June Roundtable – I Really Should Patent That!


Intellectual property impacts every industry, including architects, engineers and related creative professions. New technologies and discoveries are changing the ways that we design and build our roads, bridges and plants. Innovations are making our buildings more energy efficient. New 3D printing and additive manufacturing techniques are being scaled and applied to the construction of concrete structures while advanced composites are being retrofitted to strengthen deteriorating supports and foundations.
Securing intellectual property – patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets –

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: May 2019

Inside This Issue:
“Protection Under A ‘No Damages For Delay’ Clause In Contract Between Contractor and City May Not Be Extended To Third-Party Architecture Firm”
By: Shaun Loughlin
“Designers Utilizing Drones in Development Require Plans for Regulatory Compliance and Risk Management”
By: Jennifer A. Lincoln
“Florida Appeals Court Finds Consequential Damages Waiver Provision Valid in Design Contract”
By: Catherine A. Maronski
To read our May 2019 issue,

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May Roundtable – The Good, the Bad and the Here We Go Again

In 2018, the Design and Construction industry was very busy.  This is great, but in our review not all the news is good.  There are topics of interest to discuss from 2018 that impact design professionals in 2019.
Join us on Thursday, May 2nd as Sue Yoakum leads this discussion and reports on what we learned last year, and how your services may be impacted in 2019, how to include if good, how to avoid if bad and how to get off the “here we go again”

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April Roundtable – Contract Provisions and Relevance to Claims and Defenses

To adequately manage risks in the design and construction phases of projects, professionals need to understand how contracts provisions can affect the performance of services and liability exposure.

Join us on Thursday, April 18th to hear Donovan Hatem Attorneys Brian NewberryEric Howard, and Jennifer Lincoln discuss the important role that contract documents play in providing professional services and how best to anticipate and plan for disputes and conflict management.

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NY April Roundtable – The Good The Bad and The Here We Go Again


In 2018, the Design and Construction industry was very busy.  This is great, but in our review of 2018, not all the news is good.  There are topics to discuss of interest from 2018 that impact design professionals in 2019.  Such topics include; standard of care, indemnity, limitation of liability, fiduciary duty, personal liability, and claims arising from construction costs and schedule delays.
Join us on Thursday, April 11th as Sue Yoakum leads this discussion as well as report what we learned in 2018,

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March Roundtable – Do Design Professionals Own the Risk of Climate Change?


Join us on March 6th to learn how climate change relates to the professional standard of care, and how effective risk management strategies incorporate resilience measures into design.
Our panel and topics include:

  • Patricia B. Gary, Partner, Donovan Hatem LLP
    Patricia will discuss how climate change is redefining professional liability risks, the limitations of FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps to identify flood risk, how this relates to the professional standard of care,
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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: Summer 2018

Inside This Issue:
“A Project Manager May Owe a Duty of Care to a General Contractor Without Privity of Contract”
By: Denise A. Brogna
“No One Would Buy the House: Tennessee Court Holds That Defendant Has Burden of Demonstrating Cost of Repairs to Damaged Real Property in Certain Circumstances”
By: Jennifer A. Lincoln
“Practice Tips for Engineers Facing Ethical Dilemnas”
“U.S. District Court Finds “Faulty Workmanship” Exclusion in Professional Liability Policy Precludes Coverage for $894,671.97 Award”

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September Roundtable: The Eternal Triangle- Constructor Claims Against the Owner: Design Professional “In the Middle” or “Front and Center”?

Consider this relatively simple hypothetical (but very real and frequent) claim scenario:
The Constructor on a design-bid-build project asserts claims against the project owner for substantial additional costs and delays allegedly due to (a) design errors and omissions and (b) owner failure to pay for contract and extra work, and interference with the Constructor’s performance of the Work. (Assume all of (b) is unrelated to alleged performance deficiencies of the Owner’s Design Professional.) The project design was prepared by the Design Professional,

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June Roundtable – Mediation for Design Professionals: Mediator Perspectives

Preparing for a dispute involving liability claims requires careful planning and consideration. Learn whether a dispute is “right” for mediation and get an insider perspective from a panel of experienced mediators. This program will offer recommended steps for a successful mediation with a focus on design professionals, including how to effectively present positions, issues to consider during preparation, and creative solutions to reach a resolution. Along with providing the ingredients for a successful mediation, the program will also address how to reduce time and expense and how success should ultimately be defined in the mediation process.

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: April 2018

Inside this Issue:
Colorado Court of Appeals Rules On Implementation Of Settlement Setoff
By: Joseph M. Gesker
Federal District Court Dismisses Cross-Summary Judgment Motions in Copyright Action
By: Z. Michael Gu
Massachusetts Appeals Court Reverses Dismissal of Complaint Under Anti-Slapp Statute
By: Patricia B. Gary
Penzel: Missouri Court of Appeals Applies Spearin and Modified Total Cost Damages in Two Instances of First Impression
By: Jennifer A.

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April Roundtable-Standard of Care

At the center of the debate in every claim against an architect or engineer is — did the professional services provided meet the standard of care? This question arises often on projects when construction costs and change orders start to rise and endanger the ability to build the project for the anticipated construction costs.

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March Roundtable: Standard of Care

PLEASE BE ADVISED: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. THE NEW DATE FOR THIS EVENT IS APRIL 19TH.
At the center of the debate in every claim against an architect or engineer is — did the professional services provided meet the standard of care? This question arises often on projects when construction costs and change orders start to rise and endanger the ability to build the project for the anticipated construction costs.
In 2018,

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A Look Back at What’s Ahead: A Review of 2017 and recent cases impacting Design Professionals


Come celebrate the new year and our 25th anniversary of the Roundtable Series with a look back at what’s ahead! Join us for a presentation on February 15th to hear some of the most noteworthy professional liability claims handled by Donovan Hatem attorneys.
Eric A. Howard and Patricia B. Gary will recap a few of their most interesting cases and highlight critical issues and trends for design professionals.

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Climate Change and Design: What do Owners want from their Design Professionals?

Climate change considerations are becoming increasingly important in the design process. Project owners are being presented and challenged with a range of decisions regarding design options with respect to climate risk. That field of options and range of corresponding owner decisions present professional liability risk issues for consulting engineers. Join us on January 25th to hear from a panel of experts about what is being done at the state and local levels to address that challenge and to promote best practices in engineering projects.

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: December 2017

Inside this Issue:
Design-Build & Public-Private Partnerships: Managing Cost Overrun Risk for Project Owners On Infrastructure Megaprojects
By: John Reilly P.E., C.P.Eng. and David J. Hatem, PC, Esq.
Abstract
Cost overrun risk for owners has been a significant concern, prompting development of a number of best practices to more realistically identify and quantify risks that impact cost and schedule on megaprojects and to prudently allocate those risks among project participants.
Design-build (DB) and public-private partnership (P3) projects present owners with the opportunity to transfer substantial design and construction risks to private sector participants.

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Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency Considerations In Design: Professional Liability Risk Issues for Consulting Engineers

By: David J. Hatem, PC and Patricia B. Gary
Climate change, sustainability and resiliency (CCSR) considerations are increasingly becoming important in the design process. Project owners are being presented and challenged with a range of  legally permissible decisions regarding design options reflecting greater or less sensitivity to CCSR considerations. That field of options and range of corresponding owner decisions present professional liability risk issues for consulting engineers.
Read the entire article on page 1 in the Fall edition of ACEC Insights.

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Teamwork: Prime-Consultant Relations and How to Establish a Collaborative Design Team

Please join us on December 7th for Donovan Hatem’s Design Professional Roundtable which will feature a panel discussion on a variety of important subjects relating to assembling a collaborative design team. The panel includes:

  • Josh Alston – Risk Manager, Nitsch Engineering
  • Edward Hughes – Chief Financial Officer, Shepley Bulfinch
  • Chad Wisler – Managing Principal Vanderweil Engineers
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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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