Law for Architects: What You Need to Know

Law for Architects: What You Need to Know


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An essential reference for practitioners, emphasizing how legal concepts affect the process of bringing architectural vision to reality.

Law for Architects: What You Need to Know guides design professionals through the daunting landscape where design and construction meet the legal system. It provides an introduction—written in clear, reader-friendly language—to issues that arise at every stage in the practice of architecture. For architects starting or building their own practice: Why do I need a written agreement with my clients? Why do I need insurance? How do I organize my firm? For seasoned architects considering retirement: How do I transfer ownership in my company? How can I benefit from the good will I helped to build? For students who want to learn more about the practicalities of starting out: Why is it important to have a license? Isn’t it enough to have a degree in architecture? What are my rights as an employee? It also addresses the perennial questions that concern architects: How do I protect myself from being sued? How do I protect my intellectual property rights in my work? and much more.

Law for Architects identifies the legal issues that lurk in every corner of your design practice and helps you figure out what questions you need to ask.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393733457
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/21/2012
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 479,299
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert F. Herrmann is a partner in the New York City law firm of Menaker & Herrmann LLP. A graduate of Yale College and Columbia University School of Law, he has for more than thirty years advised architects, engineers, interior designers, owners, and contractors. He is a professional affiliate of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, where he has organized and participated as a panel member in many seminars for design professionals. He serves as a mediator of construction claims for the American Arbitration Association and the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court.

Table of Contents

Foreword 7

Preface and Acknowledgments 11

1 Why Do I Need an Agreement? 13

Getting Started: What Should an Initial Proposal Contain? 14

What Are the Benefits of Using American Institute of Architects Forms of Agreement? 15

How Is the Typical Architect/Owner Agreement Structured? 16

Consultants: Who Should Engage Them, the Architect or the Owner? 45

What Do I Need to Know if I Am Working on a Project in a Foreign Country? 47

How Is My Role Different If I Am Just the Design Architect? 50

The Owner's Agreement with the Contractor: What Should I Know? 51

2 What Is My Intellectual Property and How Do I Protect It? 55

What Is Copyright? 56

What Are Derivative Works? 58

Who Owns A Copyright? 59

As the Copyright Owner, How Do I Protect My Work? 62

How Long Does Copyright Last? 63

What Is Copyright Infringement? 63

How Does a Court Decide Whether a Copyright Has Been Infringed? 66

What Are the Remedies for Copyright Infringement? 70

As the Copyright Holder, Can I Put Pictures of the Building on My Website? 71

What Are My Intellectual Property Rights When Working Abroad? 73

What About My Rights in Electronic Documents? 73

Does Using Building Information Modeling Software Change My Rights? 76

What Is a Trademark? 77

Can Any Word or Symbol Be Trademarked? 78

What Are the Penalties for Trademark Infringement? 79

What Is a Patent? 80

What Are the Penalties for Patent Infringement? 81

3 Why Do I Need Insurance? 83

What Exactly Is Insurance? 84

What Role Do Insurance Brokers Play? 85

What Does Professional Liability Insurance Cover? 88

What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover? 91

What Does Workers' Compensation Insurance Cover? 92

What Does Commercial (Business) Automobile Insurance Cover? 92

What Does Business Office Insurance Cover? 92

What Does Employment Practices Liability Insurance Cover? 93

What Does It Mean to Be an Additional Insured? 93

What Insurance Should My Consultants Carry? 94

What Is Project Insurance? 95

What Is a Waiver of Subrogation? 95

How Are My Professional Liability Insurance Premiums Calculated? 95

4 What Do I Need to Know About Getting Paid? 97

What are the Different Means of Determining the Framework for Compensation? 97

What Happens If My Client Fails to Pay? 100

What Is a Lien? 101

What Is my Last Resort? 104

5 What Do I Need to Know About Forming and Organizing An Architectural Firm? 105

What Form of Entity Should I Have? 105

Why Do I Need a Written Agreement with My Other Owners? 111

Can I Practice Architecture with Other Professions? 120

What Do I Need to Know About Practicing in Other States? 120

What Do I Need to Know About Expanding Ownership of My Firm or Merging My Practice? 123

6 What Employment Issues Do I Face as an Architect? 127

What Do I Need to Know About Hiring? 127

What Workplace Issues Should I Be Aware Of? 136

What Can I Do to Avoid Litigation if I Have to Terminate Employees? 146

7 How Do Construction Disputes Get Resolved? 151

What Does a Construction Claim Look Like? 152

What Is Meant by the Term "Claim"? 153

When Do I Need to Get a Lawyer Involved? 154

What Are the First Steps in Addressing a Claim? 155

What Should I Do When the Claim Is Against Me? 156

Why Is It Critical to Save My Records? 156

What Are the Main Dispute Resolution Vehicles? 157

How Are Disputes Resolved Informally? 158

How Can Monetary Claims Be Resolved Informally? 159

How Can Non-Monetary Claims Be Resolved Informally? 159

Should Dispute Resolutions Be Documented? 161

What Are the Main Types of Formal Claims Resolution? 161

How Does Mediation Work? 162

How Does Arbitration Work? 166

How Do I Enforce a Favorable Arbitration Award? 170

How Does Litigation Work? 171

What Are Appeals? 176

8 I May Have Committed Malpractice: What Is My Legal Exposure? 179

Under What Sorts of Laws Can Someone Sue Me for Damages? 180

What Sorts of Things Can I Be Sued For? 184

What Are "Economic Losses"? 189

Who Can Sue Me for Economic Losses? 192

For How Long After a Project Can I Be Sued? 196

9 How Do I Become Qualified to Practice Architecture? 199

What Kind of Activities Require a License? 199

Why Are Architects Required to Be Licensed? 201

Who Decides Who Gets Licensed? 202

What Are the Requirements to Become Licensed? 203

Do I Have to Be Licensed in Every State Where I Provide Architectural Services? 204

Does My Firm Need to Be Licensed? 206

What Do I Need to Do to Keep My Architecture License? 206

What Happens If I Am Not Licensed? 206

So If I Have a License and Keep It, Is That All I Need to Do? 207

10 How Do I Choose an Attorney to Help Me? 211

Notes 214

Index 216

About the Authors 223

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