Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: Winter 2024

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Inside This Issue:

As we embrace the turnover to 2024, we look forward to new opportunities and accomplishments. Donovan Hatem hopes our readers find 2024 to be a productive and satisfying year.

We are pleased to present the Winter 2024 D&C Reporter. As Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a tool for great innovation, as well as potential mischief, we lead this publication with an article by David J.
Hatem, PC on the emerging influence of AI on design professionals.

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Artificial Intelligence: Professional Standard of Care Considerations for Design Professionals

*A version of this paper will be published in the Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: Winter 2024.

Click here for the full article and printable version!

Artificial Intelligence: Professional Standard of Care Considerations
for Design Professionals

David J. Hatem, PC

Donovan Hatem LLP

Boston, MA

December 15, 2023

I.               
Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) promises immense opportunities and benefits for society, including the various professionals who serve society. To varying and increasing levels professionals are embracing and integrating AI into their practices,

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: Fall 2023

Inside This Issue:

Note from the Editor

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Donovan Hatem is pleased to present a special edition of its D&C Reporter. The publication is dedicated to the discussion of delivery methods and risk allocation for subsurface projects. David Hatem’s thought provoking and comprehensive analysis provides valuable guidance to industry professionals, and we trust you will find this article informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss this article or any issue impacting the design and
construction industry,

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Article: Early Contractor Involvement: Rethinking and RecalibratingDelivery Methods for Subsurface Projects

*A shorter version of this paper will be presented at the Tunnelling Association of Canada Conference in Toronto, on September 24-26, 2023. The latter version will be published in the October 2023 issue of TUNNEL BUSINESS MAGAZINE.

Click here for the full article and printable version!

Introduction

For more than half a century, the underground design and construction industry has been challenged to develop and successfully implement approaches to improve delivery and risk allocation,

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: Spring 2023

Inside This Issue:

Note from the Editor

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Donovan Hatem is pleased to present its Spring 2023 D&C Reporter.  This past winter saw dramatic shifts in weather from day to day.  Economic conditions have been equally unsettled and oftentimes defy prediction, but there is a wide array of public and private projects that occupy the industry.

This edition discusses recent cases on the statute of repose as it applies to design professionals in a variety of contexts,

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David Hatem Quoted in Engineer News-Record Article

David Hatem was recently featured in Engineer News-Record. The article “Will Claims by Contractors on Big Design-Build Projects Ever End?”, written by Richard Korman, discusses the major trend in fixed-price design-build project disputes that have resulted in significant financial and profit losses for some of the largest U.S. contractors over the last decade.

Some of David’s quotes include:

“Attorney David Hatem, who represents engineers, says the trouble with that is there is not much established legal precedent of the standard of care for design work done for an infrastructure design-build proposal.”

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Article: Recalibrating and Improving Design-Build on Public Infrastructure Projects*

David J. Hatem, PC

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Introduction

By all accounts, Design-Build (“DB”) has become the delivery method of choice for most owners of public infrastructure projects (“PIPs”) such as highways, rails, bridges, tunnels, airports and other projects.  While DB delivery of PIPs is, beyond doubt, here to stay, contractors and consulting engineers (and other design professionals) involved in PIPs have experienced substantial financial losses and unacceptable levels of imbalanced risk transfer and liability exposures on a prevalent basis. 

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: September 2022

Inside This Issue:

Note from the Editor

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As summer is ending, we hope this finds you well and refreshed. We look forward to positive energy in the industry with new spending and ambitious programs underway.

In this edition of the Reporter we discuss a case where the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals awarded equitable adjustment to a GSA contractor for defective specification in an RFI, a Nevada decision holding breach of contract by an architect under state law is not preempted by the ADA,

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Article: Washington State Department of Transportation v. Seattle Tunnel Partners:  Appellate Court Affirms Denial of DSC Claim

David J. Hatem, PC

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In a June 14, 2022 Unpublished Opinion, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington in Washington State Department of Transportation v. Seattle Tunnel Partners, No. 54425-3-11, 2022 WL 2132780, (Wash. Ct. App. 2022), (“WSDOT-STP”) affirmed a Trial Court judgment denying entitlement of a Design-Builder’s differing site condition (“DSC”) claim.

The WSDOT – STP litigation arose out of the Alaskan Way Viaduct project,

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Available Now! Project-Specific Professional Liability Insurance on Design-Build and Public-Private Partnership Projects in North America White Paper

In January 2022 Donovan Hatem LLP established a Task Force consisting of professional liability insurance underwriters, brokers, engineers and architects, and lawyers knowledgeable and experienced in various aspects of Project-Specific Professional Liability Insurance (“PSPL”) on Design-Build (“DB”) and Public-Private Partnership (“P3”) projects in North America.

The mission of the Task Force was to gather information and knowledgeable input on certain critical issues on DB and P3 projects in North America regarding the impact of (a) procurement and contractual practices,

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Article: Supreme Judicial Court Articulates A New Test For Determining The Enforceability Of Contractual Provisions That Limit Liability For Violations Of G.L. c. 93A, §11.

Patricia B. Gary

Click Here for PDF Copy

On January 24, 2022, the Supreme Judicial Court issued an important decision, H1 Lincoln, Inc. v. South Washington Street, LLC, & others, which establishes a new test for determining the enforceability of contractual limitation of liability provisions for violations of G.L. c. 93A, §11. Massachusetts General Laws c. 93A is the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act which not only protects consumers,

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The Design & Construction Management Professional Reporter: Winter 2021/2022

Inside This Issue:

“Should Geotechnical Baseline Reports be the Universal and Exclusive Contractual Basis for Subsurface Conditions Risk Allocation?”
By: David J. Hatem, PC

Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds MEP Contractor’s Use of “Individual Expertise” to Support Hot Water Tank Installation is Protected by the Statute of Repose

Retail Tenants Continue To Seek Relief From Leases Due To Covid Induced Business Interruptions, While Results Remain Favorable For Landlords
By: Stephen F. Willig

To read a PDF version of the Winter 2021/2022 issue,

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David Hatem published in Tunnel Business Magazine

David Hatem was published in the December issue of Tunnel Business Magazine. His article, titled “Should Geotechnical Baseline Reports Be The Universal And Exclusive Contractual Basis For Subsurface Conditions Risk Allocation?,” addresses the potential pros and cons of using Geotechnical Baseline Reports as the standard for subsurface conditions risk in Owner and Contractor in Design-Bid-Build projects.  To read the entire article, click here.

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Should Geotechnical Baseline Reports be the Universal and Exclusive Contractual Basis for Subsurface Conditions Risk Allocation?

David J. Hatem, PC

INTRODUCTION

Geotechnical Baseline Reports (“GBRs”) are a critically important mechanism intended to clearly, objectively, effectively and contractually allocate subsurface conditions risk between Owner and Contractor in Design-Bid-Build (“DBB”) projects. (Sanders & Eagles 2017; Hatem & Corkum 2010; Hatem & Gary 2020).

The GBR is intended to provide a reasonably comprehensive scope of statements that articulate in clear and objective terms selective physical subsurface conditions reasonably anticipated to be encountered in the performance of the work. 

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Article: Supreme Judicial Court Clarifies That “All” Statutes of Limitations Were Tolled By Its COVID-19 Tolling Orders

Click here for a PDF printable copy.

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) clarified in Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc. v. Melendez, that its Third Updated COVID-19 Order, dated June 24, 2020, is a tolling order that applies broadly to all statutes of limitations – and does not just apply to those civil statutes of limitations that were set to expire between March 17, 2020 and June 30,

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Retail Tenants Continue To Seek Relief From Leases Due To Covid Induced Business Interruptions, While Results Remain Favorable For Landlords

To view a PDF copy of the article, click here.

In the New York area, litigation has continued between commercial landlords and tenants of all sizes seeking relief from, or changes to, lease terms due to hardships resulting from COVID-19 business interruption.  While the volume of cases are diminishing, there remain some noteworthy decisions that reflect how landlords and tenants have fared in seeking relief.

In The Gap v. Ponte Gadea, Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York was presented with a case of a commercial tenant seeking relief on a wide array of theories. 

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Surfside Condominium Collapse: Is There a Path Forward to Mitigate Risk of Catastrophe?

by David J. Hatem, PC
August 2021

On Thursday, June 24, 2021, Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed.  As of July 22, 2021, a total of 98 people are confirmed dead, all of whom have been identified. 

I have been involved in several high profile – and tragic – events like the Surfside condominium collapse. Notably, the Minnesota I-35 Bridge Collapse in 2007,

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MA Appellate Courts Issue Two Important Decisions Impacting Professional Liability Claims

Architects, engineers, and other design professionals should take note of two recent Massachusetts opinions which underscore the need to consider the complexities professionals face when evaluating supposed errors in judgment, and whether those errors even caused harm. The first, Doull v. Foster, SJC 12921 (February 26, 2021), eliminated the confusing “substantial contributing factor” test in favor of adopting the “but for” standard for proximate causation. This  requiring plaintiffs prove their harm would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s conduct.

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Paul Muniz Authors Chapter in the Design Professional’s Guide to Construction Law

Paul Muniz authored the chapter, titled “Design Professional Legal Responsibilities – Construction and Completion Phases” in the recently published Design Professional’s Guide to Construction Law by the American Bar Association.

The objective of Paul’s chapter is to explore the legal responsibilities of design professionals providing construction administration services to bring a project through to final completion once the ground is broken. This chapter provides guidance on site visits to verify conformance with the Contract Documents,

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Client Alert: Full Staff of New York Courts Due Back May 24, But Some COVID19 Changes In Litigation Are Here To Stay

The difference in how civil litigation was conducted in New York before COVID and now could not be greater.  Overnight, the system where the vast majority of court business was conducted live inside a courthouse was shut down.  After a hiatus, as everyone scrambled to enhance their technical capabilities, court proceedings finally resumed via remote means.  While the pace of pre-trial proceedings and appeals had increased over time, all civil jury trials were initially postponed indefinitely and have resumed only in very limited numbers. 

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