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Jury or judge—which to choose?

Design professionals are often asked during contract negotiations to waive their right to a jury trial. For many years, this was not an issue because it was believed that judges reached better decisions in cases involving design professionals because the facts were too technical for a jury to understand. However, litigation in recent years has … Continue reading

Ten things architects and engineers should know about P3s

(1) Nomenclature: When you hear “P3” or “PPP” or “public-private partnerships,” substitute “design-build-finance-operate-maintain project delivery.” It’s been used for decades in other parts of the world to deliver public infrastructure (horizontal and vertical) and now governmental entities (federal, state, and local) in the United States have developed a strong interest in institutionalizing this as a … Continue reading

Fit for the intended purpose language rife with liability

Under American law, design professionals are required to exercise reasonable skill and care in their designs, but that normal (and insurable) legal requirement can be modified by an expressed or implied fitness for purpose obligation. Unfortunately, this is an issue we continue to see in our contract reviews for policyholders. Beyond the Standard of Care … Continue reading

New overtime rules will affect all employers

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employees who work in excess of 40 hours in a work week are paid at 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for those hours worked in excess of 40 hours. If the employees are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity (white collar exemption) … Continue reading