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Third Quarter 2006

STAMPED, SEALED AND DELIVERED

A Risk Management Publication for Architects and Engineers

IN THIS ISSUE (click on each subject line to read more)

Designers Need to Carefully Select Consultants This Old House Comes to Washington What Designers Need to Know to Avoid Federal Equal Access Claims

A Claim Handlers’ Perspective – Keep Good Project Files So You Can Find Your Documents

Going International with a Project? Put Arbitration in Your Contract Legislative and Litigation Roundup:

  • Local ACEC Chapter Working to Change Oregon DOT Contract

  • Qualifications Based Selection now Required on all State Agency Projects in Oregon

  • Federal Court Ruling Keeps Defendants in Copyright Cases Longer

  • California Enacts Legislation Making Type 1 Indemnities Unenforceable in Public Entity Contracts

Stamped, Sealed and Delivered is a quarterly newsletter designed to inform architect and engineer professionals like you of the potential risks that impact your business and suggest ways to prevent them. Stamped, Sealed and Delivered includes timely, insightful articles collected from our experienced claim specialists — people who work with claims related to your profession every day. We hope this newsletter will help you recognize the exposures that could affect you, both professionally and personally, so you can more confidently provide services to your clients.

DESIGNERS NEED TO CAREFULLY SELECT CONSULTANTS

By Laura Guagliardo1

LEGISLATIVE AND LITIGATION ROUNDUP

Local ACEC Chapter Working to Change Oregon DOT Contract

You would not jump blindly into becoming business partners with just any design professional who comes along. So why would you team up with a consultant you know nothing about?

Just as design professionals investigate clients to manage risk via the client selection process, designers should carefully select their consultants.

A good starting point in retaining a consultant is to check the consultant’s financial stability. You need to know that the consultant will be around to complete the project. Checking on a consultant need not be difficult. Start by obtaining a list of the projects the consultant has worked on and contact the client to see what the client’s view is of the sub-consultant.

The Oregon chapter of the American Council for Engineering Companies (ACEC) has been working diligently to persuade the Oregon Department of Transportation that the indemnity clause currently being used in the DOT’s professional services agreement is in need of revision.

As currently written, the clause is both uninsurable and inequitable to AE consultants. The proffered changes seek to delete the obligation to “defend” the State. Another suggestion is to narrow the scope of the indemnity to only those matters that could arise from professional liability.

Continued on page 12

Another good area to investigate is determining how reasonable the consultant is to work with and what communication style they use. Are they easy to work with? Are they responsive to requests? Will the consultant work well with your style?

1

Laura Guagliardo is a specialty claims attorney with Travelers’ Architects and Engineers Chicago claim office 1

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