Melissa Dewey Brumback
Ragsdale Liggett PLLC

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2840 Plaza Place Suite 400
Raleigh, North Carolina 27612, United States
Phone: 919-881-2214
Fax: 919-783-8991
Areas of Practice
  • Business Torts
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Construction Law
  • Insurance
  • Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Real Estate
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Do I really need my own lawyer if the insurer is giving me one? (law note; tip)

Several readers have reached out to me about my post on getting a Reservation of Rights letter with comments and questions. The most common refrain has been something along the lines of: “Do I really have to hire my own lawyer…more
 /  Construction Law, Insurance

Dear Engineer: Has your insurer issued a “Reservation of Rights” letter? (law note)

In my previous post, I made reference to getting a “Reservation of Rights” letter. I noted that the carrier may decide to defend you under a Reservation of Rights (i.e., hire your lawyer) but may not, necessarily, accept the…more
 /  Construction Law, Insurance

“Professional Best Efforts” part 2– Reservation of Rights for Engineers who agree to “best” efforts? (law note)

Recently, a reader reached out to me to ask about case examples of an engineer losing his insurance coverage because he agreed to a “heightened” or “best” standard of care. The reader stated that he was an insurance adviser who…more
 /  Construction Law, Insurance

Changes to your Scope of Services on the Construction Project (law note)

Our office is in the middle of a large renovation. It’s been several months of drilling, sawing, painting, carpeting– you name it. I’m proud to say that we have had not one change to the scope of work during that time.. Okay,…more
 /  Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law

Agree to use your “professional best” ? You may lose insurance coverage! (law note)

Yesterday, I was part of a panel at the NC Bar Association Construction Law Winter Meeting, discussing insurance issues for design professionals. …more
 /  Construction Law, Insurance

They threatened to sue! What do I do? (Law note on construction disputes)

I just spent some time answering emails from folks worried because they’ve been threatened with a lawsuit over a construction project gone bad. They want to know: Can they do that? What can they get? But what if…more
 /  Construction Law

Can You Change the Scope of Work? Not in a bidding situation! (reader comment)

Setting the Right Expectations for Owner Clients is a must, as I recently wrote in my post discussing Scope of Work clauses. According to construction consultant Tony Frisby,* scope of work issues are more important than…more
 /  Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law, Government Contracting

Setting the Right Expectations for your Owner Client– Craft your Scope of Work well (law note)

Regular readers of this blog know that you absolutely should have a written contract, and not rely on “gentlemen’s agreements.” But what is the most important part of your agreement to provide professional services? The…more
 /  Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law

Betterment on Construction Projects, part 2 (more cowbell) (law note)

Another question about betterment, and about A/E insurance policies: I am confused on why the A/E even carries error and omission insurance. I must re-read one of the policies. And if betterment protects the designer, why…more
 /  Construction Law, Insurance

Of backwoods towns, train-wrecks, and feuding neighbors (i.e., an Email warning) (law note)

What is it about train-wrecks that we all slow down to rubber-neck the blood, guts, and gore? Whatever the reason, we all love to watch a good fight– especially those on-line, where people treat one another less than human…more
 /  Construction Law

Betterment on the Construction Project (law note)

Today’s post is thanks to a discussion with an engineer following a talk I gave for the ASCE of North Carolina.  He asked about owners trying to recover for obvious mistakes, for which they’d have to pay anyhow…more
 /  Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law

Lessons from a Diner: Up Front Costs can Save You Money in your Engineering Practice (law note)

I happen to frequent a place in my hometown called Elmo’s Diner.  A lot.  As in, many of the servers know me by name.  The food is good, yes.  The selection is great.  But there is a much more important reason that I go there…more
 /  Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law, Insurance

3 Unusual Signs that You Will *NOT* be Sued (tip)

So often, lawyers are the bearers of bad news.  What will get you sued.  Signs a lawsuit is coming.  What you can’t say (even though you’d really like to say it!).  What “wouldn’t be prudent”.  (h/t SNL)…more
 /  Construction Law

Give Way or Yield? The jurisdiction of your contract does matter! (Law note)

Have you ever been to England? If so, you’ve likely seen their version of our “Yield” sign– the “Give Way” sign. It is a bit jarring to those from this side of the “big pond”…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Commercial Law & Contracts, Construction Law

Learn from SONY: Don’t use trash talk in your construction project emails!

Lessons in construction administration come from everywhere — including the SONY scandal. In case you are a bear hibernating in a cave (in which case, go back to sleep!), you’ve heard about the SONY hacking that was…more
 /  Construction Law
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