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Articles

Deconstructing Damages in Architect or Engineer Malpractice Actions

04/10/2019 by James W. Walker & J. Brandon Sieg

No design professional is perfect all the time. At some point, they make mistakes—specify the wrong materials, leave out a required element, overlook a code requirement, bust a calculation, among other things. Sometimes they catch and correct their mistakes before any harm occurs. Sometimes, though, mistakes in construction documents cause our clients to spend “extra”… Read more »

What are the key factors in client selection?

04/01/2019 by James W. Walker

Design professionals, like all professions (including lawyers), delight when the phone rings with a prospective new client on the line wanting to hire you for a new project. However, any lawyer who represents design professionals can tell you stories about projects that went south and ended up in litigation almost entirely because red flags at… Read more »

U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES THAT TRANSPORTATION EMPLOYER’S ARBITRATION AGREEMENT WITH INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR IS NOT SUBJECT TO THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT

03/26/2019 by Vania Ratliff

Generally, once parties sign a contract with an arbitration provision, disputes arising out of the contract are required to be heard by an objective arbitrator. After Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925, the long-established federal policy has been to liberally favor arbitration agreements. Prior to the FAA, however, there was no guarantee… Read more »

Bad Company Corrupts Good Licenses

02/26/2019 by Ashley G. Moss

Poor business associations can jeopardize contractors’ and design professionals’ licenses Virginia regulations set forth a long list of “dos and don’ts” for contractors and design professionals.   Most of the prohibitions concern the contractor’s or design professional’s own conduct.  For example, contractors may not practice contracting without a license; they may not provide services using expired… Read more »

Trump “Strengthens” Buy-American Act:

02/25/2019 by Gretchen M. Ostroff

On January 31, 2019, the President signed another Executive Order which purportedly “strengthen[s] Buy-American principles” for federally-funded infrastructure projects.  This Executive Order was not President Trump’s first effort at creating a preference for American-made goods.  Just four days into office, he signed a Presidential Memorandum aimed at requiring “materials and equipment produced in the United… Read more »

Mediation: What Is It And Why Do It?

01/22/2019 by Neil S. Lowenstein

Mediation is often confused with arbitration. They have similarities, including that both are overseen by third-party neutrals that do not have financial stakes in the outcomes. The key difference is that while arbitration results in the neutral evaluating the outcome (which typically is binding, but by agreement can be non-binding), while in mediation the third-party… Read more »