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Judy Mendoza

Judy Mendoza has written 69 posts for Schinnerer Risk Management Blog

Brad Pitt foundation embroiled in lawsuits

In 2007, two years after Hurricane Katrina, actor Brad Pitt founded the Make it Right foundation to rebuild safe and sustainable homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Led by GRAFT architects, the organization convened 21 world-renowned architects to design climate-adapted, eco-friendly homes inspired by William McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle principles. Earlier this month, an … Continue reading

Millennium Tower continues to provide “lessons learned”

In previous posts earlier this year and last year, we detailed the ongoing disputes between Millennium Partners, the developer of the Millennium Tower in San Francisco, and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (Transbay), which built the recently opened Transbay Transit Center next to the tower. Millennium Partners contends that construction of the Transit Center weakened … Continue reading

How climate change is changing the standard of care

This intriguing issue was recently addressed by attorneys Elena Mihaly, William Franczek, and Andrew P. Selman in an article published in the summer 2018 issue of the Journal of the American College of Construction Lawyers. Their article was also part of a larger study, Climate Adaptation and Liability: A Legal Primer and Workshop Summary Report. … Continue reading

Painting the town white

Temperatures are rising and cities, in particular, are feeling the heat as a result of a phenomenon known as “Urban Heat Island effect.” An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area that’s much warmer than surrounding rural areas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, temperatures in US cities can get as much as 10 … Continue reading

Design professionals score win in California

California architects, engineers, and land surveyors can continue to organize as limited liability partnerships thanks to the work of the AIA California Council (AIA CC) and ACEC California, with assistance from Victor O. Schinnerer & Company. Senate Bill 920, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on July 20, 2018, extends the sunset date of … Continue reading

Driverless transportation and the future of bridge design

According to the Daily Telegraph, Norway has become the first country in the world to design a driverless ferry. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NNTU) is conducting trials of a half-scale ferry that shuttles people and their bicycles across the Trondheim fjord, a journey of 320 feet that takes only 60 seconds, and … Continue reading

Going green: 7 ways the growing marijuana industry may affect design professionals

Conflicting laws between the federal and state governments create many unknowns for all aspects of the expanding marijuana industry—including construction and design. Although to date, there’s only one documented insurance claim in the Schinnerer program related to the design of a marijuana facility—that’s yet to be resolved—design and construction experts are assessing how the industry … Continue reading

Update on the saga of the “Leaning Tower of San Francisco”

Last year, I reported on the claims swirling around the 58-story Millennium Tower in San Francisco that has sunk about 17 inches and tilted 14 inches to the west and 6 inches to the north since it opened in 2009. Not much has changed in a year; litigation is still on-going and the parties are … Continue reading

Thinking about hiring a drone operator?

Design professionals frequently use drones (unmanned aerial systems) to help provide professional services. A recent article by Mark A. Dombroff, “Lessons in Liability: Drones 101,” reminds us to consider the regulatory and risk management issues that can arise from your relationship with a third-party drone provider. First, consider that accidents, while rare, do occur. Drones … Continue reading

Architects and ADA compliance

In September, the law firm of Collins Collins Muir + Stewart reported on three cases (two in Illinois and one in California) that may be signaling good news for architects when it comes to claims involving allegations of ADA non-compliance. In the case of Equal Rights Center v. Niles Bolton Associates, a disability advocacy group … Continue reading