Professional Liability Insurance: Perspectives on the State of the PLI Industry

Donovan Hatem’s September 7th Design Professional Roundtable will feature a panel discussion on a variety of important subjects relating to professional liability insurance for design professionals.  The panel will include underwriters from major professional liability insurers and will be moderated by David Hatem. 

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California Legislature Modifies Indemnity Obligations for Design Professionals

By Gwen P. Weisberg, Esq.

The California Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 496 which significantly modifies California Civil Code section 2782.8 (“Code”). The Code, as modified January 1, 2011, provided that any design professionals entering into a public contract or contract amendment had a duty to defend a public agency under an indemnity agreement and pay the public agency’s costs of defense associated with the design professional’s negligence, recklessness or willful misconduct; there was no limitation on the payment of the costs of defense. The Code provided further that all contracts and all solicitation documents between a public agency and design professional were “deemed” to incorporate those indemnity and defense requirements by reference.

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Update: Maryland Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal in Duty of Care Case

By Gwen P. Weisberg, Esq.

In the April 2016 edition of the Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter, Donovan Hatem LLP reported that the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, Maryland’s intermediate appellate court, issued a ruling that, in the absence of a contractual relationship on a public construction project, a design professional does not owe a duty of care to a contractor for purely economic losses. The Court declined to apply a “privity equivalent” analysis or impose an extra-contractual duty on the design professional since, as is the case with design-bid-build contracts, both the design professional and the general contractor were sophisticated businesses which had ample opportunity to define and allocate their risks in their contracts with the government owner.

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Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency: Design Professional Roles and Risks

By David J. Hatem, PC

Climate Change, Sustainability, and ResiliencyThe need for design professionals to take climate change, sustainability, and resiliency (“CCSR”) into consideration in project design is growing. Of equal importance is the aspirational goal of educating owners to adopt CCSR objectives in project programs. These objectives need to be achieved in a process that adequately accounts for the management of design professional risks.

Roles in the Design Development Process

Design professionals, through their professional skill, acumen, and experience, provide services (including design) to their clients (typically private and public owners, and sometimes contractors and others) in making recommendations as to how to design a project that will achieve the programmatic objectives of their clients. Those recommendations typically emerge from studies that the design professional provides to its client. The scope and quality of those options and recommendations derive from the scope of services that the client engages the design professional to perform.

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: June 2017

Inside this issue:

Massachusetts Federal District Court Applies Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) Heightened Standard of Pleading to Negligent Misrepresentation Claim

By Molly E. Manson, Esq.

Good Neighbor Design Practices: How Prudent Design Decision-Making Can Increase Project Success and Limit Professional Liability Exposure

By David J. Hatem, PC and Molly E. Manson, Esq.

Construction Control Affidavits and the Importance of Defining Design Professional Scope of Work

By Bryan R. Wieland, Esq.

Recent Case Highlights Important Business Lesson

By Brian C. Newberry, Esq.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Complaint Against Design Professionals Based Upon the Three-Year Statute of Limitations

By Patricia B. Gary, Esq.

Divergent Outcomes in Massachusetts Cases Demonstrate the Effect of a Comprehensive Bar Against Damages in a Subcontract

By Jennifer A. Lincoln, Esq.

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The 2017 Updates to the AIA Contract Documents

In 2017 the American Institute of Architects (AIA) updated its contract documents as part of its regular 10-year revisions. These well-regarded, industry standard agreements take into account recent developments in the design and construction industry.

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David Hatem named to 2017 Best Lawyers Construction Law

Congratulations to David Hatem for his recongition in Best Lawyers 2017 Survey Results New England. David was recognized for his contributions in the area of construction law.

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A Few Thoughts on Good Neighbor Design Practices

“Good Neighbor Design Practices” refers to a number of specific design considerations relating to permanent work for any given project (your client’s project) that may have external, and potentially adverse impacts and influences on adjacent structures or property.

A Few Thoughts – Good Neighbor Design Practices

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Good Neighbor Design Practices

How do design professionals take into account adjacent external conditions and considerations in the design of their project? Good neighbor design practices require an understanding of the conditions (under, on and above) adjoining properties and structures, as well as identifying risks of damage and meeting the standard of care for structural design. Join us for a program focused on contractual and risk management recommendations for design professionals performing services in this context.

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Jennifer Lincoln Joins Boston Office

Donovan Hatem welcomes Jennifer Lincoln to the Boston office as an associate in the Professional Practices Group. Jennifer’s practice concentrates primarily on advising and representing design professionals in drafting, negotiating and evaluating contracts. Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer worked as legal counsel and contracts specialist for a full-service construction and architectural firm in the MENA region, where she oversaw contract review and dispute resolution for all services including supervision, construction management, design, infrastructure, sustainability and planning, landscape, and development projects.

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Legal Food Frenzy

Donovan Hatem is once again raising funds and collecting food for the Greater Boston Food Bank’s 8th annual Legal Food Frenzy. The 2017 Legal Food Frenzy takes place March 20 through March 31. All proceeds will provide food to those in need via the Greater Boston Food Bank’s 530 member agencies across Eastern Massachusetts.

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Understanding Design-Build: Risk Allocation and the Professional Liability Claims Experience

Design-build (DB) is on the rise as the delivery method of choice for many owners seeking to contain cost overrun and other project risk exposures. However, design professionals face unique risks and challenges when utilizing DB. Learn what this trend means for design professionals in the areas of business development, teaming and collaboration with contractors, professional liability and related commercial risk exposures, risk management and contracting practices, insurability of risk, and quality assurance/quality control practices.

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: March 2017

Inside this issue:

Acceptance of Initial Design Documents in Divisible Design Contract Triggers Accrual of a Breach of Contract Action Against Design Professional

By Molly E. Manson, Esq.

Limitation of Liability Provision May Not Preclude Recovery Under Chapter 93A if Claim is Based Upon Fraudulent Conduct

By Patricia B. Gary, Esq.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules Municipalities Have Limited Time to Bring Lawsuits Against Design Professionals for Municipal Contract Breaches

By James L. Soucy, Esq.

Considering the Costs of Contract Arbitration Clauses

By Brian C. Newberry, Esq.

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Design Professional Marketing: the Do’s and Don’ts from RFPs to Project Completion

marketing do's and don'tsWhether a design professional is tweeting project photos or disclosing project details in an RFP – marketing comes with hidden risks. To manage these risks, design professionals need to understand how contracts, intellectual property ownership and licensing rights may affect their marketing activities.

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Early Warning Signs and Problem-Solving Approaches to Construction Phase Issues

early warning signs and problem-solving approaches to construction phase issuesIf during construction an issue arises, you may still be months away from a claim. What can be done early on to avoid or change the outcome of construction phase issues or claims? Presenters William Perry, P.E., M.ASCE and Gwen Weisberg, Esq. will discuss cases involving construction phase issues; how they were resolved, including what worked/didn’t work and why.

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: December 2016

Inside this issue:

Diverse and Bifurcated Design Roles: Distinguishing Design Responsibility and Design Risk Allocation

By David J. Hatem, PC

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2016 in Review: Successful Cases and Lessons Learned for Design Professionals

2016 in ReviewCome celebrate the new year with us! Join us for a panel presentation on January 5 to hear some of the most noteworthy professional liability claims handled by Donovan Hatem attorneys. Partners David J. Gorman, William D. Gillis and Colin M. Black will recap a few of their most interesting cases and highlight critical issues and trends for design professionals.

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Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build: Opportunities and Risks for Consulting Engineers

P3-DBAs P3 and DB approaches on bridges, roads, transit, water supply and treatment, tunnels, rail, and other public infrastructure projects continue to increase, consulting engineers need access to vital knowledge and reliable expertise to make conscientious and prudent decisions about P3 and DB project opportunities and risks.

The second edition of Public-Private Partnerships and Design-Build: Opportunities and Risks for Consulting Engineers presents new industry information and experience on P3 and DB approaches, and offers timely recommendations about the rewards, challenges, and risk exposures for consulting engineers in today’s still evolving P3 and DB project work environment.

All proceeds from the sale of this book are exclusively retained by ACEC. To learn more about this edition or purchase a copy, visit www.acec.org.

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Construction Institute Boston Day-Summit

Partner David J. Hatem is set to present Legal Perspectives on Alternative Project Delivery and Design-Build Methods at the Boston Society of Civil Engineers Section (BSCES) Boston Day-Summit on Friday, December 2. This full-day seminar is sponsored by the Construction Institute Boston Chapter and will feature presentations on a mix of project case studies, technical review, technology and innovative planning and construction techniques, and specific construction projects and detailed challenges.

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Spreading Holiday Cheer at Rosie’s Place

Rosie's PlaceDonovan Hatem is giving back this holiday season by partnering with Rosie’s Place to collect gifts. Rosie’s Place is a Boston women’s shelter that provides a safe and nurturing environment to help poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives. We’re proud to support the holiday gift drive and help brighten the season by giving the women at Rosie’s Place a special gift.

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