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Frank Musica

Frank Musica has written 59 posts for Schinnerer Risk Management Blog

Design firms may face problems enforcing copyright protection

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled on March 4th that copyright owners must wait for registration before pursuing infringement claims in court. The decision settles a circuit court split wherein certain courts had previously held that merely applying for registration was enough to satisfy the statutory prerequisite for a lawsuit. Although the opinion will have … Continue reading

Construction cost volatility alert for design professionals

Project owners want certainty on both the cost of putting a capital asset in place and the time it will take for the productive asset to become available. One of the greatest sources of claims against design firms is the dissatisfaction of clients with the ability of firms to design to a budget and complete … Continue reading

AIA commissioning services agreement updated

Earlier this year, the AIA published C203-2017, Standard Form of Consultant’s Services: Commissioning. The document has been significantly updated to reflect changes in the industry that have taken place since the prior version. The changes include: provisions describing the consultant’s role to help prepare the owner’s project requirements; detailed description of the consultant’s commissioning plan; … Continue reading

Military funding bill leads energy efficiency and climate resiliency

Although the federal government has been delaying or rescinding programs that address alternative energy sourcing and climate resiliency, the Department of Defense (DoD) is looking at ways to reduce energy usage and protect military installations from the effects of climate change. Last month, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (Act) was signed into … Continue reading

Using AIA scope documents for non-traditional design services

Shortly after releasing the 2017 versions of the traditional owner-architect agreements, the AIA Contract Documents Committee published detailed scope of services agreements that assign professional duties to supplement or replace traditional services. These AIA specialty services documents can be added to any base owner/architect agreement to form a contract. B201-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services: … Continue reading

New California law and uninsured defense obligations

California recently enacted a law that appears to lessen significantly the burden of indemnity provisions in contracts governed by the state’s laws. The goal of the legislation was to remove the immediate duty by design professionals to defend public and private clients. That duty was based on the mere involvement of the design professional on a project even … Continue reading

Cyber ransom is a lucrative tool for criminals

If your firm’s computer systems have not already been held for ransom, there’s a good chance they could be during 2017. The costs, losses, and damages to design and construction industry firms can be enormous. From restoring files, to paying for project delays, to rehabilitating a firm’s reputation, even one ransomware attack can be devastating. … Continue reading

Rules relaxed for some Cuban infrastructure projects

Despite warming relations between the United States and Cuba, Congress has yet to change the embargo on most forms of trade (although restrictions on Cuban cigar and rum imports was recently eased, among some other changes). As a result, so many design projects related to tourist facilities, buildings, ports, and other infrastructure improvements have gone … Continue reading

FEMA proposing new rules on building in floodplains

In January of 2015, the Obama Administration issued Executive Order 13690. The order was aimed at improving resilience to current and future flood risks and modified the 1977 Executive order 119888, which addressed flood plain development. Among other actions, the new order directed FEMA to develop a proposed amendment to 44 CFR part 9, “Floodplain … Continue reading

Protect employees from Zika exposure

Now that the first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus have hit the continental United States, it is time for employers to become aware of the threat. There is good reason for this concern. While Zika generally exhibits only mild symptoms in healthy adults, it can have devastating consequences if contracted by an employee just … Continue reading