Boston Office Welcomes New Associate

Donovan Hatem’s Boston office is pleased to welcome James Soucy to the firm.

Attorney Soucy is a Litigation Associate with more than 13 years of comprehensive experience providing a range of legal services to national and closely-held corporate and individual clients. Prior to joining the firm, James operated his own private practice in New Hampshire, where he focused on representing clients in litigated and transactional matters.

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Relational Risk Allocation in D-B and P3s

Understand the various risks assumed by Design-Builder, Owner and Engineer Subconsultant in Design-Build and Public-Private Partnerships.

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How Ten Key Provisions in a Strong Design Professional Agreement Can Prevent or Terminate a Lawsuit

Donovan Hatem invites you to join us for a discussion led by Ken Walton, on AIA agreements and key provisions in a strong design professional agreement that can provide protection to design professionals. Effective use of these provisions can shield a design professional from potential legal liability or assist in terminating litigation after it has started.

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Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

With the holidays fast approaching Donovan Hatem is already considering the upcoming season and our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.

Planting Trees

This year the firm will be planting at least 50 trees with our company’s seasonal e-card. This measure will offset about 50 tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the trees. eCO2 Greetings planted 10 trees on behalf of Donovan Hatem last year across a variety of registered forest restoration schemes, and this year we have increased our efforts to diminish the effects of climate change.

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Risk Management and Contractual Strategies for E-Communications and Construction Site Accidents

Risk Management and Contractual Strategies for E-Communications and Construction Site Accidents

Donovan Hatem invites you to join us for our next Design Professional Roundtable discussion led by Eric A. Howard on how design professionals can manage risk and develop strategies for dealing with issues and claims that may arise as a result of information transmitted in electronic communications such as e-mail, marketing materials and social media. This program will also address how design professionals can manage risk and develop strategies for dealing with indemnification rights, responding to interviews, and OSHA. Attendees will learn about standard contractual provisions including means and methods, site safety, defense and indemnification and additional insured protection for design professionals.

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An Engineer’s Professional Liability Case in New Hampshire

By Michael Coghlan

Design Professionals Do Have Choices
In a recent case against an Engineer performing residential home inspections in the State of New Hampshire, the court dismissed the case and awarded attorney’s fees against the Plaintiff Homeowner.

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Legislative Initiatives Impacting Design Professionals

Join us for our next Boston roundtable on Thursday, October 22. This panel discussion will be focused on the latest legislative actions impacting design professionals.

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Opportunities for Infrastructure Reform: Improving America’s Procurement System

Recently, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program hosted the first of a series of workshops, with support from insurance company AIG, focused on identifying the biggest challenges and opportunities for America’s procurement system for infrastructure and the built environment. Leveraging real world experience from practitioners in government, finance, insurance, law, and construction, Brookings identified the top four opportunities for smart infrastructure reform. Contributing his knowledge of the industry, Donovan Hatem attorney David J. Hatem was one of the participants in the Brookings workshop.

For more information on the research, read the entire Brookings report, Opportunities for Infrastructure Reform: Improving America’s Procurement System.”

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Requirements for Establishing a Design Professional’s Liability

By Lauren M. Ippolito

In a recent decision by the New York Supreme Court in June 2014, the Court affirmed that expert testimony is a necessity in a case where is it alleged that a design professional failed to adequately perform its services or improperly performed its work pursuant to a contract.

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Recent CM-At-Risk Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Decision – What Does It Mean for Project Participants?

On September 2nd, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decided Coghlin Electrical v. Gilbane Building Company v. DCAMM (referred to here as “Coghlin“) involving an issue of first impression in Massachusetts (and throughout the United States), and one of critical importance to the successful utilization of the construction manager-at-risk delivery method (CMR).

Read David J. Hatem, PC‘s entire article published in ACEC Insights, Summer/Fall 2015.

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2015 ACEC Fall Conference

Don’t miss David Hatem at the 2015 ACEC Fall Conference!

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Project Management Firm Has No Implied Duty to Ensure the Safety of Subcontractor’s Employees

By Gregory Paonessa

The Massachusetts Superior Court (“Court”) recently held in Rodrigues v. Tribeca Builders Corp. that a project management firm whose duties are primarily logistical, managerial and administrative does not owe a duty to ensure the safety of project workers.

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The Mechanic’s Lien – Are You Protected?

Gregory Paonessa recently had his article “The Mechanic’s Lien – Are You Protected?” published in Thomson Reuters’ Legal Handbook for Architects, Engineers and Contractors: Issues in Construction and Technology, Vol. 31, 2014/2015.

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In Case You Missed It: Sovereign Immunity Still (Mostly) For Sovereigns

By Lucas Blackadar, Esq.

Just this past spring, the Texas Supreme Court decided Brown & Gay Engineering, Inc. v. Olivares, 461 S.W.3d 117 (Tex. 2015), a case arising from the death of two motorists – one intoxicated and one sober – on the West Park Tollway in Fort Bend County, Texas. The key question raised in the case was whether Brown & Gay Engineering (B&G), the engineering firm retained by the Fort Bend County Toll Road Authority to design the signage and layout for the Tollway, could be protected under sovereign immunity. B&G was an independent contractor, so some on the Court felt that resolving that question was, more or less, a complete and utter waste of time. However, the Court decided to engage, swatted down most, if not all, of B&G’s arguments, and actually provided some helpful guidance in the process.

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Construction Manager at Risk May Have Design Risk According to Mass. SJC

Yesterday, September 2, 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court released its Coghlin v. Gilbane opinion. Note, the case has been remanded to the Superior Court for proceedings consistent with the SJC’s opinion.

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D-B and P3s: Design Professionals Do Have Choices!

By David J. Hatem, PC

Design Professionals Do Have Choices

With much of the discussion of D-B and P3s frequently focused on the risks and liabilities associated with these methods, the discourse can often feel negative, leaving at least some of you thinking and asking:

“If D-B and P3s represent the dominant present and future trends for infrastructure projects and potentially other, vertical projects – are they, in reality, positive developments for design professionals and do I or my firm want to be a part of those trends, and do we actually have a choice? If we do choose to be a part of those trends, how should we go about it?”

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The Design and Construction Management Professional Reporter: September 2015

Inside this issue:

New Jersey’s Joint Tortfeasor Law Warrants Strict Appliation in the Courts

By Lauren M. Ippolito, Esq.

Sovereign Immunity Still (Mostly) for Sovereigns

By Lucas M. Blackadar, Esq.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Enforces the Statute of Repose

By Michael E. Coghlan, Esq.

Project Management Firm Has No Implied Duty to Ensure the Safety of Subcontractor’s Employees

By Gregory S. Paonessa, Esq.

Expert Testimony and Proof of an Independent Legal Duty Are Required To Establish a Design Professional’s Liability

By Lauren M. Ippolito, Esq.

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Uncertainty in the Design and Construction Process

In an attempt to understand the varying perspectives of owners, designers and contractors, McGraw Hill Construction released a report in September 2014 identifying aspects of uncertainty in the design and construction process.

The research was undertaken by McGraw Hill Construction Research & Analytics Group and surveyed over 2,500 owners, architects and contractors in an attempt to understand and initiate a conversation about uncertainty. While the study establishes the groundwork for understanding, the next step might be to determine how to accurately “handicap” a project as a contingency in consideration of project complexity, delivery method, project owner and design and construction team familiarity with the project type, project location, and other issues that impact a successful project.

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Defining the Zone of Foreseeable Risk

By Lindsey D. Smith, Esq.

Contracts

While architects and engineers understand that, by signing a contract to perform design services, they owe a duty to those with whom they contract, they may not be aware that the law extends that duty to others with whom they did not contract. Moreover, they may not be aware that courts in different states apply different legal principles to determine the scope of the duty owed.

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The Economic Loss Rule – Variations on Enforcement

By Lindsey D. Smith, Esq.

Courts in different jurisdictions come to different conclusions on similar legal issues, often, with vastly disparate consequences for design professionals. The economic loss rule—a doctrine preventing negligence claims seeking purely economic damages—is no different.

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