Dear Abby Advice for Engineers– too good not to share!


A recent column in the ENR shares a plethora of good advice for structural engineers–and any design professional–who wants to avoid a lengthy, ugly construction claim lawsuit.  Among the good gems in the article:
  • “E-mails can haunt. ‘Any e-mail you write can be used against you. Be careful—don’t write anything you don’t want to show up on the front page of your local newspaper.’” [I always say: imagine having to explain what you wrote to your elderly grandmother.].
  • “A tip: Mediate, mediate, mediate: This is the chance to control the outcome. In arbitration or in front of a jury, others control the outcome.” [This is very true. Early mediation can sometimes be productive, but other times some discovery is necessary first. Each case is different, so discuss when to mediate with your lawyer.]
  • “Be careful what you say. Example: If you call the contractor ‘an asshole,’ you are not covered by your insurance; if, as the observer of the process, you call the contractor incompetent, you are.”  [While I’m not nuanced in the acceptable derogatory language that may or may not be covered by your insurance policy, in general err on the side of caution. Think of your grandmother again when you decide what language you will use.]
  • “It’s not the size of the claims that hurts, it’s the time it takes to fight it—and the cost…Get your insurer’s assistance during the project to try to resolves issues as they arise.” [Very good advice.  Often, free claims prevention/loss prevention services are covered under your errors & omissions insurance policy.] 
haunted house
Have you been haunted by the ghosts of emails you've written.

           Photo (c) Moon Stars Paper blog. 



Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Melissa Dewey Brumback, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.