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Architect Sentenced to One Year in Prison

In March of 2012 we wrote about the case where Los Angeles officials brought involuntary manslaughter charges against an architect for the installation and construction of fireplaces that did not meet building codes. The fireplace, which was manufactured for outdoor use, was allegedly built into the house with wood framing and combustible drywall normally used … Continue reading

Understand the Legal Issues in Indemnity Agreements

Almost every contract a firm faces has one or many indemnity agreements in which the firm promises some sort of payment to or on behalf of the client. From a professional liability insurance perspective, contractual indemnity obligations are easy to analyze—if they promise anything other than the correction of harm or the payment of damages … Continue reading

What’s New from Risk Management

From time to time we’ll update you with the latest resources and news from our risk management services department. Here is some information on recent publications: Guidelines #1, 2014: New issue of our policyholder newsletter features articles on limiting personal liability for professional negligence, addressing technology exposures for departing employees, and our revised technology risks … Continue reading

Limitation of Liability Clauses: Good or Bad?

Well, it depends. Limitation of Liability (LOL) clauses, in the correct situation, can be a useful tool in managing and limiting a firm’s risk. However, in some situations LOLs can increase a firm’s exposure to risk. With insurance rates increasing, especially for some professional disciplines, LOLs are viewed as a way to minimize the damages … Continue reading

A European Look at Sustainable Façade Products

Sustainability is growing, and product image is important when it comes to architects specifying products and materials. A recent Arch-Vision study asked architects in Europe what the most and least sustainable façade materials/products are, in their view. The results showed that bricks, wood, and stone are currently thought of as the most sustainable products to … Continue reading

New Schinnerer YouTube Channel Launched

In 1998, Schinnerer first published its comprehensive Voluntary Education Program for Design Professionals (VEP). This practice assistance program for design firms helps firms understand and manage their professional liability exposure and lower their professional liability insurance costs. Over the years, this educational program has been expanded to address advanced issues of practice and to respond … Continue reading

EPA Issues New Regulation for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Engineers should be aware that the EPA issued a final rule amending the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” concerning environmental site assessments of potentially contaminated sites. The EPA ruled that Phase I assessments should now reference ASTM International’s E1527-13 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” in order to comply with … Continue reading