Blog

Hazardous Materials – Contract Tip of the Week

Hazardous Materials – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: Who is responsible for hazardous materials on site? A: Waste materials, hazardous substances, and contaminants can pose a clear danger when they’re discovered on a project site. Taking responsibility for these types of site conditions is beyond the capability of...

Rejecting Work – Contract Tip of the Week

Rejecting Work – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: Can we reject work during site visits? A: Rejecting work may increase your risk. While you may have the authority to reject or require additional inspection for work that does not appear to conform to contract documents, you do not have the professional duty to do...

Lien Rights – Contract Tip of the Week

Lien Rights – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: Should I waive my lien rights? A: We recommend that you speak with knowledgeable counsel on this matter, because lien rights vary substantially from state to state. It is industry standard, however, to waive your lien rights only when you have been paid in fully...

Electronic Files – Contract Tip of the Week

Electronic Files – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: I have a client who wants to receive all of my design documents as electronic files. How can I protect the integrity of my design and the use of my instruments of service? A: Transferring data electronically poses not only corruption, conversion, and software error...

Accuracy of Information – Contract Tip of the Week

Accuracy of Information – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: We are required to verify the accuracy of information or data supplied by or on behalf of the project owner. Does this present a risk? A: Yes, if you do not expressly have the right to rely on the information furnished by or on behalf of the owner/client, you may...

Drawings – Contract Tip of the Week

Drawings – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: I’ve been told to distinguish between “record drawings” and “as-builts.” Can you explain how you perceive the difference? A:   A: “As-builts” are typically prepared by a contractor who marks up plans in accordance with changes or clarifications that are...

Permits – Contract Tip of the Week

Permits – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: Is obtaining the applicable permits for a project within my reasonable scope of services as a design professional? A:  In most cases, this responsibility falls to the contractor. However, if you agree to accept this responsibility, be sure that your...

Geotechnical Services – Contract Tip of the Week

Geotechnical Services – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: We need to subcontract geotechnical services on a project. Can we be held liable for these services? A:  Yes. If you engage any type of subconsultant, you can be held vicariously liable for their services. Industry standard documents typically exclude the...

Purchase Orders – Contract Tip of the Week

Purchase Orders – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: We’re working with a new client who requested that we use a purchase order as our form of agreement. Would you have concerns about that approach? A:  Purchase orders are sometimes employed due to a client’s accounting procedures or system workflows. Since purchase...

Standard of Care Provision – Contract Tip of the Week

Standard of Care Provision – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: I’ve heard conflicting opinions about including a standard of care provision in my contract. What are your thoughts and recommendations? A:  The law recognizes that professionals must exercise reasonable judgment and skill when performing their services on behalf...

Warranties or Guarantees – Contract Tip of the Week

Warranties or Guarantees – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: How do warranties or guarantees affect the standard of care? A:  Warranties or guarantees often go beyond the normal standard of care required in performing professional services. They may obligate you as a design professional for damages beyond those...

Force Majeure – Contract Tip of the Week

Force Majeure – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: What is “force majeure” and how does a force majeure provision impact my contract? A:  A force majeure is an occurrence beyond your control that may impact your ability to perform your contractual obligations. Typical force majeure events might include...

Change in Agreement – Contract Tip of the Week

Change in Agreement – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: My client made a change in our agreement without notifying me. How can I address this? A:   It is in your best interest—and arguably in the best interests of both parties to the agreement—to include terms in your contract that require either party to notify the...

Subconsultants – Contract Tip of the Week

Subconsultants – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: We need to hire subconsultants for a portion of our services. Does my client need to approve? A:  Check your agreement. It’s not unusual for the owner/client to require prior approval of subconsultants. One way to address this in order to avoid any lapses in...

Complex Requirements – Contract Tip of the Week

Complex Requirements – Contract Tip of the Week

Q: My contract contains complex insurance requirements that I don’t fully understand. Can you help? A: Yes! Please contact your insurance broker, who can work with RLI to review, explain, and address the insurance requirements in your contract. Also, please keep in...