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

By: David J. Hatem, PC
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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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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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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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

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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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A Tale of Two Cities: Retrospective and Prospective Views of the Big Dig and Megaproject Delivery

By David J. Hatem, PC and Gregory S. Paonessa, Esq.

From the 1950s until substantial completion of the Central Artery Tunnel (CA/T) Project in 2006, otherwise known as the Big Dig, Boston was a city divided. Dubbed the “Green Monster” by locals, the elevated Central Artery ran from the north of the City southbound over the Charles River and by the Boston Garden. From that point, it separated the North End from the West End, and Government Center, Faneuil Hall and the Financial District from the Waterfront. The Artery provided a never ending source of smog and soot which covered surrounding buildings and engulfed the City in noise from vehicular traffic. It plagued the City as an under-designed, ill-conceived means of traversing from the North to the South Shore and the I-95 corridor.

Read the entire article on page 5 in ACEC Insights.

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