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Fall webinars open for registration

Businessman near blackboard with startup sketchOur Fall webinar series, the Business of Design, kicks off on September 6. Read on for webinar descriptions, presenters, and registration links.

Please remember that registration is limited to current insureds and brokers only.

Negotiating Contracts with Clients
September 6, 2017
1:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Register here

Through his experience in providing risk management advice to design firms, Nahom Gebre will examine the riskiest provisions design firms face in client-generated professional services agreements. He will focus on onerous provisions that corrupt the standard of care, transform normally insurable professional services into uninsured contractual responsibilities, or create risk and cost-shifting obligations that exceed the scope of professional liability insurance coverage.

This webinar will compare examples from Schinnerer’s recent experiences reviewing contracts for policyholders to standard language in the AIA and EJCDC agreement forms and focus on the contractual intent and associated risks of many client-generated provisions. Emphasis will be placed on those provisions that may jeopardize the role of the professional and create unmanageable and uninsurable contractual exposures.

Nahom Gebre is a risk management attorney with Victor O. Schinnerer & Company. A registered professional engineer, his background includes service as in-house counsel and project manager for a large engineering firm. Nahom received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Washington University and his Juris Doctor from Tulane University Law School.

Intellectual Property: Protect Yourself and Your Compensation
October 11, 2017
1:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Register here

Plans, specifications, and other deliverables created by design professionals are defined by contracts and the law as “instruments of professional service” and are not products sold to clients. A deliverable is simply documentation of the creative design process and tangible expression of the intellectual property of design firms. Protecting this status gives design professionals leverage to collect fees and control use of designs by clients and third parties.

Featuring Frank Musica, this webinar will look at copyright law—including the 1990 Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act that provides special treatment for designs—and how licensing or transferring ownership and copyright can be accomplished while preserving protection for the design professional.

Frank Musica is a Senior Risk Management Attorney with Schinnerer. His background includes service as in-house counsel for a west coast A&E firm with a large international practice and staff positions with the AIA, ASCE, and NSPE. During his tenure with the AIA and NSPE, Frank supported the activities of the AIA Contract Documents Committee and EJCDC, respectively. Frank received a Professional Degree in Architecture, an MBA, and a Law Degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Five Legal Cases Every Design Professional Should Know
November 8, 2017
1:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Register here

Judicial opinions play a unique role in our legal system; not only do they interpret law, but sometimes they make it. Mike Koger, of the AIA’s Contract Documents Program, and Frank Musica, a risk manager with Schinnerer, will explore five must-know cases (in plain-speak, no legalese) that have shaped the legal environment for the design and construction professions. This webinar will help firms avoid potential legal pitfalls when negotiating and delivering projects.

Cases that will be examined include the legal opinion that created the Spearin doctrine, which has been the basis of construction law for over a century, the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse case, and newer cases that have influenced the risks of design firms and contractors on issues ranging from consequential damages for delays to the exposures faced when incorporating new or untested materials into designs.

Mike Koger is an attorney in the AIA Contract Documents Program at the AIA. Prior to joining the AIA, Mike practiced civil litigation for four years and as an architect and urban planner for five years. Mike received his Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design degrees from Ball State University and graduated cum laude from Tulane University Law School.

Reduce Exposure and Get Insurance Credit for Doing So
December 6, 2017
1:00 – 2:00 pm EST
Register here

Based on over 60 years of claims statistics, the Schinnerer program provides premium and deductible credits for certain procedures and processes that firms incorporate into their practices and document in their project records. This webinar will examine those credits and their associated processes and how they position design firms to mitigate their professional liability exposure. Schinnerer’s risk managers—Nahom Gebre, Judy Mendoza, and Frank Musica—will discuss these proven best practices.

Judy Mendoza is a Senior Risk Management Consultant at Schinnerer’s San Francisco office. She has more than 25 years of risk management experience, including service as a regional claims manager overseeing the defense of professional liability claims against design professionals in 10 western states. She has a B.A. from Vassar College.

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