Architects

News & Analysis as of

Copyright in House Plans

A couple, the Ecklunds, approached Oakcraft Homes, a custom home-builder. Based on their discussions, Oakcraft prepared a house plan and gave a copy of the plan to the Ecklunds. The couple later took that plan to a rival home...more

AIA Construction Contract Issues: An Owner’s Perspective

MANY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ARE DOCUMENTED USING AIA FORMS. These forms focus on issues concerning the architect and contractor. It is in the owner’s interest to protect itself by negotiating the key provisions in the...more

Recent Developments in California Construction Law

Notable 2014 Case Law - Liability for owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and design professionals - This year, California courts decided a variety of cases with important relevance to...more

Florida Supreme Court Limits Application of Statute of Limitations

A decision issued by the Florida Supreme Court earlier this year significantly limits the protection afforded by the statute of limitations to subcontractors and the like that are brought into construction litigation as...more

The Need for Homebuilder Vigilance About Copyrights

Are homebuilders as vigilant as they should be in protecting their intellectual property rights — including the copyrights that qualifying architectural drawings and structures receive automatically as a matter of law, even...more

Real Estate Tip: Risky Risk Allocation

Landlords and tenants spend a good deal of time deciding how to share risk, how to insure against it, and whether or not to provide indemnities with respect to it. When the leased premises is a place of public accommodation,...more

What Kind of License Do You Need for Design-Build Services in Florida?

Design-build firms are not required to hold a contractor’s license in Florida. They’re also not required to have an engineer’s license. Architect’s license? Nope, they don’t have to hold that one either....more

New York Court Revisits Architect’s Duty Under Contract and Tort Principles

Issues of privity and whether claims sound in breach of contract or negligence are common in construction defect cases involving architects and New York is no exception. Indeed, New York courts have long wrestled with...more

False Origin Claims Applicable to Services as Well as Goods

M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. & Assoc. v. Strabala - Clarifying prior Lanham Act case law related to false designation of origin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated a district court’s dismissal under...more

Patent Rights in Government Contracts

Patents are often a company’s most important asset. Thus, when a company is contracting with the federal government, that company needs to proceed with caution to avoid loss of patent rights. Government contracts can cover...more

Drafting Contracts to Minimize or Avoid Claims

Many claims that arise in design and construction may be mitigated or avoided as a result of prudent contract drafting at the outset of the project. This article provides practical tips for drafting contracts to minimize or...more

Renowned Architect Wins Retraction From The New York Review of Books

On August 25, 2014, The New York Review of Books issued a retraction in response to a defamation suit filed in New York State Court by well-known architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid was selected to design one of the stadiums for the...more

Re-Claiming Credit

When an employee leaves and sets up a competing business, may he or she claim experience for work done by the former employer? The Seventh Circuit recently considered whether an architect – a former employee of a firm – is...more

Federal District Court in New Jersey Holds that Economic Loss Rule Does Not Bar Contractor’s Tort Claims Against Architect Where...

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey contracted HDR Architects and Engineers, P.C. (“HDR”) to design a medical school building. After the project went to bid, the Bedwell Company (“Bedwell”) contracted with...more

Architects and Design Professionals Can Be Held Liable for Defects Based On Third Party Claims

A homeowners association, on behalf of its members, sued a condominium developer and various other parties for construction design defects that allegedly made their homes unsafe and uninhabitable for a significant portion of...more

California Supreme Court Expands Architect’s Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

A new decision issued by the California Supreme Court holds that, even in the absence of contractual privity, an architect on a residential building project owes a duty of care to future homeowners to provide design services...more

Building Confidence: Consult an Attorney Before Starting the Construction Process

With high-end residential construction again on the rise in Southwest Florida, owners, contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and others should be proactive and mindful of the various statutory requirements and...more

Principal Architects on Residential Projects Liable for Construction Defects Outside Their Control; Developers and Owners May Pay...

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided the much watched case Beacon Residential Community Assoc. v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP. The court held that the “principal architect” “owes a duty of care to future...more

California Supreme Court Holds Design Professionals Owe a Duty of Care to Future Homeowners

The California Supreme Court in Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP (July 3, 2014), held – based on common law principles – that an architect owes a “duty of care” to future homeowners...more

Architectural Copyrights Should Be Treated No Differently than Other Copyrights

Zalewski v. Cicero Builder Dev., Inc. - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in addressing the extent to which architectural works are protectable copyright material and the proper framework for assessing...more

The California Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Homeowners In Disputes With California’s Architects

In the case of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore Owings and Merrill et. al. (July 3, 2014, S208173) Cal.4th, a condominium homeowners association, sued the developer of the project and the project architect...more

Is Your Design Professional Construction Contract Too Friendly? (Law Note)

My husband often travels the back roads between Chapel Hill and Fuquay Varina to visit friends. En route (a circuitous route that goes past Sharon Harris Nuclear Power Plant, among other places), he passes by the “Friendly...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Design Professionals' Duty to Future Residential Purchasers

Design professionals, such as architects and engineers, often seek to avoid liability to third party property purchasers for their negligence by arguing that their role in preparing plans was too remote for a duty to be...more

Architects May Be Sued Directly by Homeowners Association for Design Defects

In a unanimous decision, California’s Supreme Court has ruled that the principal architects for a condominium project may be sued directly by a condominium homeowners association for design defects. The case, decided July 3,...more

Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal Of School District’s Claim Against Its Architect

The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued a decision in Gillespie Community Unit School District No. 7 v. Wight & Company that upholds the dismissal of the District’s claim of fraudulent misrepresentation against its...more

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