Business and Professional Practices
Full Session without Abstracts
This presentation consists of a roundtable with 4 lawyers commenting on the professional practice topics: (1) documenting the engineer’s file, including what should be in the file and what should not be in the file; (2) what to do when claims or potential claims surface during an ongoing project; (3) how to mitigate the chance of a claim; and (4) reporting claims and potential claims. Examples from the speakers’ practices will be used to highlight why, when, and how these issues arise. Each lawyer will spend 10-15 minutes explaining a topic and the issues attendant thereto. Thereafter, the lawyers will share their experiences involving actual claims that relate to the topics.
The presentation will encourage engineers to critically review and perhaps implement change to their on-the-job-practices and procedures. The goal of the presentation is to provide engineers with the knowledge necessary to minimize their exposure to claims or, alternatively, place them in the best possible position should a claim ensue.
Accordingly, this presentation will discuss the various ways engineers can document their work on project, the best ways to document and communicate events during design and construction, and the consequences of failing to document matters in an appropriate manner or failing to retain certain documents. Discussions will include the use of emails and text messages on a project. This presentation will also explore how to tackle the challenges presented when potential claims or claims surface during an ongoing project, stressing the importance of confronting these challenges directly when they arise. Specifically, this presentation will discuss what to do when an engineer must rely on information from another source that appears to be incomplete, conflicting, or otherwise incorrect as well as how to minimize damage after an error is discovered.
Additionally, this presentation will discuss how to mitigate the chances of a claim, exploring topics such as maintaining good relationships with the other parties on the project, researching and developing solutions to projects, and obtaining the appropriate assistance from other professionals, whether legal or technical experts. Finally, this presentation will educate engineers about how to report potential claims and claims, discussing the importance of reporting situations internally and to the engineer’s insurance carrier. Topics will include the reporting requirements of claims-made professional liability policies, the advantages of early reporting, and the resources made available to engineer through the engineer’s professional liability carrier once a claim or potential claim has been reported. This presentation will also discuss some of the reasons why an engineer may be reluctant to report and hopefully dispel with any myths regarding same.