January 18, 2017: DPLE-175: Should I Go or Should I Not Go (pdf, 4mb)
Why do firms take on projects that they think could be destined to fail? When you spend time analyzing the possibilities, you can start to see future problems. Our approach will guide you through the four steps of risk management—carefully identifying, assessing, managing, and controlling the risks in projects when you’re deciding if pursuing a project is a good idea.
January 4, 2017: DPLE-119: Green Buildings and Sustainability (pdf, 2mb)
This course underscores the importance of evaluating and mitigating the risks involved in projects where energy efficiency and sustainability are emphasized by owners, through sound risk management practice and careful review of contract language. The learning event concludes with a highlight of recent and pending updates for sustainability measures.
December 21, 2016: DPLE 150 — Ownership of Documents and Intellectual Property: Are They the Same or How do They Differ? (pdf, 1.7mb)
Owners often take the position that because they are paying for the plans and specifications, they should own them, while, design professionals are concerned that the work be paid for and that the plans not be used improperly. Further issues relating to ownership and use of plans arise if the design professional is terminated or leaves the project before completion. Or, what happens if an employee leaves the firm? Who owns the documents? In today's course we will explore the complicated issues around ownership of documents and intellectual property and how to address these issues with your client.
December 7, 2016: DPLE 174 — TQM (Time, Quality, Money): Stuck in the Middle with “Q” (pdf, 3mb)
As design professionals you face many challenges delivering quality services to your client. You’re often challenged to deliver a quality design or service, for an agreed upon cost, within a specific period of time. Quality control practices can not only help you combat the impact of those challenges but they can also strengthen your organization as whole.
November 16, 2016: DPLE 173 — Ergonomics: How Your Work Environment Can Hurt Your Bottom Line (pdf, 2mb)
Design firms and surveyors have an interest in protecting the health of their employees. It requires you to be knowledgeable of the exposures faced by your employees in the office, in the field, working at home, and working mobile. During this course we’ll familiarize you with ergonomic exposures, safety hazards, risk factors, and mitigation tools associated with a variety of traditional and trending work environments.
November 2, 2016: DPLE 283 — Risk Allocation, Contractual Defenses and General Risk Management Practices to Mitigate Claims (pdf, 1mb)
The course will address issues of importance for Architects and Engineers including: allocation and management of risks and avoidance of claims; key contract provisions and concerns; and recent legal developments and trends.
October 19, 2016: DPLE 282 —Settling Stinks But Sometimes It′s the Smartest Move to Make (pdf, 2mb)
According to the 2015 ACEC Professional Liability Insurance Survey, only 3% of claims against design professionals were resolved by going to trial. Conversely, 88% of the respondents said that they settled their claims through negotiation or mediation. This course will explain some of the reasons behind those statistics.
October 5, 2016: DPLE 281 — Hiring Best Practices and Legal Pitfalls (pdf, 2mb)
Recruiting, hiring, and integrating new employees has always presented challenges and risks. With over 2,000 employment related claims filed on an average workday, implementing carefully considered hiring, integration, and termination policies is an important risk management strategy for your business.
September 21, 2016: DPLE 131 — Just One Look Isn’t Enough: Taking a Second Look at Project Documentation (pdf, 4mb)
Fewer project disputes are being tried because of complexity, time, client relationships, cost, and risk. However, litigation continues to be a popular method of dispute resolution. What you’ve written and documented, whether it’s a “work-product” or “deliverable” or an electronic communication, is discoverable in the event of a claim.
September 7, 2016: DPLE 280 — Emergency Preparedness and Protection of Field Equipment (pdf, 2mb)
Wherever you work, you’re exposed to situations that may require an emergency response. You might encounter natural disasters like windstorms, floods, earthquakes and winter storms, or man-made disasters like fires, chemical spills, or terrorism. Do you know your risks and do you have a plan to protect your business, your employees, and the public when disaster strikes?
RLI Design Professionals is pleased to provide general advice relating to professional service agreements. Keep in mind, though, that these discussions are general in nature and in making specific business decisions, it’s important to review your options with a knowledgeable attorney. If you’d like to require your subconsultant to maintain a Disaster Recovery Plan, consider including contractual language along the lines of the following:
The Subconsultant shall develop and maintain a Disaster Recovery Plan. The Plan must include strategy and actions for recovery and continuation of business related to the Subconsultant’s Services under this Agreement in the event of a disaster or emergency in order to prevent or limit the interruption of Services. The Subconsultant shall furnish a copy of the Disaster Recovery Plan to the Prime Consultant upon request.
Also consider that there are many other contract provisions that could be important in the event of an emergency. A Disaster Recovery Provision is just one type of provision that is appropriate to address those circumstances.
August 17, 2016: DPLE 279 — Making Engineering Ethics Live: Ethical Lessons from the Real World (pdf, 11mb)
As design professionals you have a responsibility to your profession and to the public. You’re held to a certain standard and expected to use your authority appropriately. Ethics then impacts, and sometimes challenges, the decisions you make and the way you conduct your business.
- Understand professional ethics for design professionals in the context of selected managerial theory
- Learn how the standard of care and ethics interact
- Consider liability exposures and problem areas that can affect your business and the public
- Apply the lessons from others’ mistakes to be more productive professionals and to better serve the public
August 3, 2016: DPLE 172 — Managing Risk in Innovative Designs (pdf, 2mb)
Clients and owners are more frequently requesting and expecting innovative design from professionals. A thorough risk analysis and a careful review of contract language are both strategic tools to help you understand your liability and mitigate your risk.
- How implementing innovative designs or materials affects the standard of care
- The liabilities attached to the use of innovative designs and materials
- Project agreement strategies to mitigate risk in innovative designs and materials
- Personal strategies to mitigate risk in innovative designs and materials
July 20, 2016: DPLE 278 — Keys to Successful Project Management (pdf, 1.6mb)
By providing project managers with the right skills and tools, your firm can more effectively manage projects, meet client expectations, and achieve more successful project outcomes.
- Incorporate additional structure into project management
- Recognize the value of a broader set of project management skills
- Better understand how ongoing risk identification impacts a project’s success
- Gain tools to assist in your firm’s support and buy-in for new project management techniques
July 6, 2016: DPLE 246 — Contracting for Small Projects (pdf, 2mb)
For many design professionals, a typical project is of short duration and relatively low cost, and may involve team members with whom you have pre-existing working relationships. Negotiating a lengthy contract might not make sense and could take longer than the project itself. Some design professionals “solve” that problem by not having a contract at all, but we all know that’s not an ideal solution. This course will provide some ideas on how to write contracts for small projects.
June 15, 2016: DPLE 171 — ADA Regulations and Their Impact on Design Professionals (pdf, 3mb)
This course is designed to help you begin to understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the way it impacts design professionals. We will identify some ways to help you avoid liability and remain in compliance with the regulations.
June 1, 2016: DPLE 139 — Managing Expectations: Scope of Services and Standard of Care (pdf, 3mb)
When documenting your Scope of Services, be aware that how you define what services you will provide to your client can greatly impact your client’s expectations. This course is designed to provide a greater understanding of the Scope of Services as well as the Standard of Care required of design professionals. We will also provide best practices for design professionals to avoid liability for not meeting the required Standard of Care.
May 18, 2016: DPLE 147 — Construction Phase Services: Perils, Pitfalls and Payment (pdf, 4mb)
Expectations of perfection and other misconceptions result in clients viewing design professionals as a source of cost recovery on projects that have run over budget, have encountered changed conditions, or have a construction contractor that submits change orders to increase their own compensation. This course will explore the pitfalls design professionals face when providing construction phase services. We will identify the sources of these pitfalls as well as how design professionals can mitigate them without compromising public health, safety and welfare.
May 4, 2016: DPLE 134 — Understanding Underwriting to Get a Good Deal (pdf, 2mb)
Completing insurance applications may not be a task you relish; call it a necessary evil if you like. But consider this — with over 50 insurers offering insurance coverage to design professionals, it’s in our best interests to be competitive enough to write the risks that we see as desirable. So when do the credits outweigh the debits in our underwriting process? You may be surprised at some of the answers.
April 20, 2016: DPLE 224 — Stopping and Restarting Project — Not Business as Usual (pdf, 5mb)
With the effects of the economy on the design and build communities many projects were stopped. Some were stopped at the early stages of Schematic Design while others were stopped during the construction process. Slowly, some of the stopped projects are restarting. The ramifications of stopping and restarting, typically, is not business as usual. This course will explore, discuss, and provide guidance on the risks and liabilities with stopping and restarting projects. The pertinent discussion topics will include: potential contractual issues, what to avoid and what to ask for; practical guidance on getting paid; copyright concerns; and other issues that a Design Professional should be aware of before restarting a stopped project. This is a timely presentation as many stopped projects are now restarting.
April 6, 2016: DPLE 170 — There’s No ‘I’ in Team, But There’s One in Risk (pdf, 4mb)
Design professionals often work together to carry out projects. Traditionally, these teams are established through various loose forms of association, most often with other firms or professionals that you have an ongoing relationship with. You will likely be familiar with this concept, but you may not be familiar with the potential legal and coverage issues which can arise when you engage in these loose forms of association. This presentation will identify several of those loose forms of association and will help you identify and understand the legal and insurance risks associated with each. It will also provide you with some best practices to employ in order to avoid problems down the road.
March 16, 2016: DPLE 169 — Mergers & Acquisitions (pdf, 3mb)
A recent major study found that 68% of design firms have strategic plans for a merger or acquisition in the next five years. This presentation will cover important considerations for firms considering merger or acquisition activity.
March 2, 2016: DPLE 168 — Five Steps to More Effective Negotiation (pdf, 3mb)
Being able to negotiate well can impact so many important elements of your business, yet few people seem to spend the time to enhance their negotiation skills. This course will focus on five steps to more effective bargaining that can be used:
- with a client in analyzing, for example, the need for additional services,
- with a consultant to determine a fair allocation of risks and responsibilities,
- with an adversary to navigate through a claim or potential claim,
- with your manager in compensation discussions, or even
- with your insurance providers for better terms!
February 17, 2016: DPLE 167 — Distracted Driving: The Biggest Issue in Driving Today (pdf, 3mb)
This session will emphasize the magnitude of the distracted driving problem, the current laws in place, and weaknesses in prevention efforts. We’ll also explore the effectiveness of existing solutions and if new technology is a help or a hindrance.
February 3, 2016: DPLE 166 — Things You Never Learned in School About Working as a Design Professional: From Social Media Liability to Site Safety (pdf, 3mb)
In speaking with design professionals about claims made against them, experience shows that they fall broadly into two categories: those items that are expected, regularly taught in loss prevention seminars, but still sometimes unavoidable (such as litigation over RFI responses) and items that are totally unexpected (such as a lawsuit for sexual harassment filed over Facebook comments, a site safety emergency brought on by a simple site visit by a young project architect, etc.). This course focuses on the latter type of unexpected claims with the goal of providing you enough real-life examples and the training necessary to avoid them outright or assist in training others.
January 20, 2016: DPLE 135 — Knowing When to Say No! Indemnification (pdf, 2 mb)
This presentation will address ways in which indemnification clauses in contracts may expose Design Professionals to liabilities not covered by their professional liability insurance policy. We will also identify tactics to limit the scope of indemnification clauses and explore how statutes may affect the legality of an indemnification provision.
January 6, 2016: DPLE 226 — Building Codes: Gravity Is the Only Law That Can Be Certified (pdf, 3mb)
Design Professionals are often asked — by proposed contracts, lender requested documents, or in other ways — to certify that their designs will, or do, comply with all building codes and other applicable laws. This course will address the reasons why certifications of those types should never be given; the ways in which such requests can be reasonably resisted; and the alternative words that can be used to fulfill the fair expectations of the requesting parties.
December 16, 2015: DPLE 165 — Insurance Basics 101: Demystifying Your Insurance Program (pdf, 2mb)
As a design professional you know you need insurance to protect your business, but finding the time to understand how the pieces of the insurance puzzle fit together is often the last priority in your busy schedule. During this course we will use common claim scenarios to illustrate how a well-integrated insurance program works, giving design professionals a concise resource for understanding insurance.
December 2, 2015: DPLE 164 — Managing Risk Through Contract Provisions: An Advanced Course in Contracts (pdf, 2mb)
When reviewing contracts on behalf of our policyholders, rarely do we find a contract that is fair, balanced, and detailed enough to serve the parties well throughout the life of a project. Negotiating the various issues can be both time-consuming and frustrating. We’ve pared down these contract issues into a checklist of twelve items that, in our experience, if handled poorly, can become the genesis for a claim. During this course we’ll review the twelve items on the checklist that we’ve found, when handled with care, can serve as key risk mitigation tools in a sound risk management program.
November 18, 2015: DPLE 161 — Social Selling: Building Relationships in a Social Media World (pdf, 2mb)
You may have heard the buzzword “social selling” which may evoke images of social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Is social selling as simple as using social media platforms to expand your sales? Technology allows all of us to brand ourselves and build upon our networks, which leads to more exposure and more contacts. During this webinar we’ll explore how social selling is more than marketing your brand through social media. We’ll learn about how social selling transforms traditional sales techniques to build stronger customer relationships and create more sales opportunities for you.
October 21, 2015: DPLE 277 — Job Site Safety (pdf, 4mb)
When you are at a job site, your first and foremost duty is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of yourself, your employees, your consultants, and the general public. This course will strive to get you to not only think about the job you have to do, but to also be aware of everything that is going on around the project. Understanding all the exposures on a job site will help you complete your part of the project safely and without costly delays.
October 7, 2015: DPLE 160 — Cybersecurity: A Growing Concern for All Businesses (pdf, 2mb)
Hackers are increasingly becoming more sophisticated. Phishing schemes are on the rise and ransomware is one of the newest threats to all businesses. There is a cost to every cyber-attack whether it’s money, data, and/or loss of time and resources. Join us for this cybersecurity update and learn more about what threats are out there lurking around your business waiting to attack your vulnerability. We’ll also discuss best practices that you may consider in addressing your business’s cyber security issues.
September 16, 2015: DPLE 244 — Emergency Preparedness for Design Firms (pdf, 2mb)
Wherever you live and work, your business is inevitably exposed to emergency situations. They might include natural disasters like windstorms, floods, earthquakes, or winter storms. Emergency situations can also involve man-made disasters like fires, chemical emergencies, or episodes of terrorism on varying scales. Increasingly technology threats, including cyber incidents, are becoming more catastrophic as cyber criminals become more savvy. How will you protect your income and assets when disaster strikes?
September 2, 2015: DPLE 273 — Working on Purpose: Setting and Achieving Goals, Managing Time More Successfully (pdf, 3mb)
In this course we learn how to manage time and energy more effectively to achieve greater results with less effort and to successfully set and achieve goals. This includes using the 80/20 rule, entrepreneurial time management principles, fine-tuning how we manage our to do lists — all with the purpose of setting and achieving clearly defined, written goals and objectives.
August 19, 2015: DPLE 159 — Evaluating Professional Ethics and Conduct Through Case Studies (pdf, 2mb)
Even landmark projects and respected design professionals face dilemmas relating to ethical considerations and codes of conduct. This course will use a case study to review common challenges and some methods to address them while balancing business, ethics, and successful project outcomes.
August 5, 2015: DPLE 272 — 20% of the Fee and 80% of the Liability (pdf, 2mb)
The typical design professional fee is split 80% for the design and construction document creation and 20% for construction contract administration services. While construction contract administration is an essential service offered by design professionals, most claims against design professionals now include an allegation relating to negligence in the construction contract administration services. Owners increasingly expect design professionals to protect them from improper performance of the contractor, or to take risks related to design changes and substitutions intended to modify project cost. This course will explore the risks that design professionals face when providing construction contract administration services. We will identify the sources of these risks and learn how design professionals can mitigate them without compromising public health, safety and welfare.
July 15, 2015: DPLE 155 — Defensive Driving: It’s an Attitude (pdf, 3mb)
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roadway incidents were the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in 2013. This session will emphasize the importance of having the right attitude while traveling out on the road. Although driving may be secondary to your responsibilities, and having the right driving attitude may be far from your thoughts, it may be the most important thing you do each day.
July 1, 2015: DPLE 158 — A Case Study in Claims Caused by Subconsultants (pdf, 1mb)
In many cases, design firms work with a variety of different subconsultants on a continuing basis for multiple projects. A certain level of risk is inherent in this relationship and it is important to remember that the client will often look to the prime design firm and not the subconsultant for ultimate responsibility. This presentation will analyze a hypothetical claim stemming from the services of a subconsultant, discuss steps that the prime design firm could have taken to reduce their liability, and review best practices of contracting with subconsultants and navigating through dispute resolution.
June 17, 2015: DPLE 157 — Project Management: Time and Resources (pdf, 2mb)
When working on a project, the most important goal is to make sure that the project is successfully completed on time and within the allotted budget. Poor planning in early stages is often the reason why many projects are delayed and cost overruns occur. This presentation is going to outline the process of carefully planning your project for maximum efficiency.
May 20, 2015: DPLE 156 — Managing Client Relationships (pdf, 4mb)
Each client relationship presents a unique set of risks for your firm. Evaluating these risks within an organized framework helps you to:
- Assess, manage, and control the risks of working with certain clients
- Prevent repeating mistakes in client selection
- Allow for consistency in client selection
May 6, 2015: DPLE 154 — Managing Risks with Hazardous Substances (pdf, 2mb)
This session will emphasize the importance of managing and assessing risk as it relates to the handling of hazardous substances. The course will include insight into the regulations surrounding hazardous substances, identify the potential exposures to liability for design professionals and provide effective tools to manage risk for the benefit of public health, safety and welfare.
April 15, 2015: DPLE 153 — Common Mistakes That Add Up to Big Claims (pdf, 1mb)
When asked about large claims, one thing we can often say is that none of us saw them coming at the beginning — not our insureds, their lawyers, their brokers, our underwriters, nor our claim attorneys. Often, it’s more of a situation where small things add up to one big problem. In this course, we’ll explore some of those small things and what your firm can do about them preventatively.
April 1, 2015: DPLE 152 — Managing Employment Practices for Employer Protection (pdf, 2.1mb)
This course will discuss the role federal laws play in relation to employment practices of small business. Emerging areas of risk exposure will be assessed. This course will explore simple measures that can be taken to lessen and prevent potential employment practices claims brought against the employer.
March 18, 2015: DPLE 151 — Practical Project Management: Tools and Techniques (pdf, 10mb)
Effective project management is often times the difference between efficiently producing a quality service, and failing to meet customer expectations. Project management doesn't have to be complex or time consuming — this presentation will teach you practical tools and techniques that you can immediately start to implement in your business to better organize and execute your projects.
February 18, 2015: DPLE 149 — Just the FAQs on Ethics (pdf, 4.2mb)
Many design professionals approach their day-to-day activities acting ethically, but thinking little about it as they do so. This course will explore what professional ethics are, where you can find various definitions, what types of situations might test YOUR ethics, and what would happen if you mismanaged an ethical matter.
February 4, 2015 Webinar: DPLE 271 — Human Resources and Employment Law for Employers — How to Prevent Costly Mistakes (pdf, 2mb)
Sample Employee Corrective Action Notice (pdf, 82kb)
Sample Handbook Disclaimer Language (pdf, 69kb)
As with many things, in employment law, prevention is the key to avoiding expensive mistakes and legal battles. No company wants to become embroiled in an employment-related dispute. They can be costly, disruptive, and media relations nightmares. This course is intended to help you prevent and minimize the risk of litigation, and to strengthen your position if dispute avoidance is not possible.
January 21, 2015: DPLE 124 — Professional Conduct: What Standards Exist and What Impact Might They Have in Practice (pdf, 1.8mb)
Design professionals, in accordance with the codes and guidelines maintained and upheld by their states and professional societies, often agree to abide by codes of conduct such as the following:
- Protect the safety, health and welfare of the public in the performance of professional duties.
- Perform services only in areas of competence.
- Issue all statements in an objective and truthful manner.
- Safeguard the trust of clients.
This course will review several common challenges faced by design professionals and some possible solutions to upholding those guidelines.
January 7, 2015: DPLE 148 — When Trustworthy Employees …Aren’t (pdf, 3.5mb)
We hire employees seeking to entrust them to fulfill obligations on behalf of our companies with competence and integrity. Occasionally, that plan goes awry in its execution. This course will review how that happens, where insurance protection may or may not exist, and how to detect or prevent these wrongful acts before they have a damaging impact on your business.
December 3, 2014: DPLE 270 — Using Key Performance Indicators: Finance for Non-Finance Majors (pdf, 3.7mb)
Running your design firm successfully requires defining and measuring against key performance indicators. This course will review some of the most common financial metrics used to help manage firms and make better business decisions.
November 19, 2014: DPLE 146 — Core Issues in Contracting for Design Professionals (pdf, 7.2mb)
Negotiating professional service contracts can be frustrating and time-consuming. At some point, it may seem appropriate to utterly and completely surrender. So what are some of the key contracting issues? And how do we address them?
November 5, 2014: DPLE 268 — Government Contracts Training: Federal Small Business Subcontracting Plan Compliance (pdf, 1mb)
The federal government sets measurable goals for small business subcontracting that contractors must attempt to meet. Failing to make a “good faith effort” towards meeting those goals can have negative consequences, including liquidated damages, default termination, and negative performance reviews. This course provides practical advice for subcontracting plan compliance, as well as other tips and pointers on today’s hot-button small business contracting issues.
August 20, 2014 Webinar: DPLE 266 — Ethics: Understanding the Good Faith Obligation (pdf, 3.8mb)
Whether you’re an architect, engineer, surveyor, landscape architect, or other design professional, when contracting with other parties, there are standards for good faith and fair dealing that you are ethically obligated to practice. This course will teach you the most common ethical pitfalls of contracting with other parties, how to avoid them, and how courts will interpret the discrepancies if they arise.
March 19, 2014 Webinar: DPLE 261 — Termination: Planning for the Best — Preparing for the Worst (pdf, 1.7mb)
Not all contracts last to completion!
This course will outline the most common events which prompt termination and discuss how parties to the contract may amicably separate themselves from contractual duties.
DPLE-101: Professional Liability Risk Management
This is an introductory course on the basics of risk management education in relation to A&E business. Most importantly, this course initiates risk management into the core fabric and culture of the firm with the principals to demonstrating to all members of the firm that managing risk is a core value of their organization. This is a workshop useful for the entire firm to attend.
DPLE-102: Risk Management Triumvirate
This course teaches design professionals about the three most crucial factors in managing professional liability risk: time (schedule), money (project budget and cost) and quality (owner expectations).
DPLE-103: How to Review a Contract
A basic yet detailed workshop on how to review a professional services contract, most important with contracts drafted by the project owner (or their legal counsel).
DPLE-104: The Risk Management Toolbox
This workshop provides details on specific tools that can be used to manage professional liability risk, their importance in managing risk and how best to integrate them into the firm and used by the firm. This course can also be called, The 9 Cs of professional liability risk management: contract, communication, compensation, control, consistency, contingency, coordination, change and coverage.
DPLE-105: How to Design and Implement a Professional Liability Program
This course will further enhance the core value of managing risk and begin teaching principals on how to express to each member of the firm that managing risk begins at the top and filters down to each and every person in the firm. This course will teach principals the core components of a sound risk management program, the importance of each to the success of the firm and how to deliver risk management education to employees.
DPLE-106: The Self Critical Risk Analysis
The self critical risk analysis is the foundation of and the most important component of a sound professional liability risk management program. The self critical risk analysis is a brutally honest self assessment. This workshop will teach principals the importance of the self critical analysis and how to undertake the analysis and utilize the results to achieve maximum benefit both on an overall firm basis as well as on the firm as it relates to individual projects.
DPLE-107: The Owner/Client Risk Analysis
Many professional liability claims are brought on by project owners/clients of the design firm. This workshop provides the tools necessary to undertake an analysis of the risks associated with a prospective project owner/client. Having this understanding and knowledge will enable a design professionals firm to develop a project specific risk management program.
DPLE-108: Establishing/Updating Your Firm’s Project Risk Analysis Procedure
Certain project types lead to more professional liability claims than others. In addition, each firm may not be suited to perform services on every project type. This workshop gives the participants the tools necessary to understand and analyze the risks associated with a prospective project. Having this understanding and knowledge will enable the firm to develop a project specific risk management program.
DPLE-109: The Standard of Care (and Its Impact on Your Client Communications)
This workshop is designed to be a basic understanding of the legal standard imposed upon design professionals. In addition, it includes an important discussion on the use of the standard of care as a defense in professional liability claims.
DPLE-110: Contract Preparation, Negotiation and Checklists
This workshop is designed to educate principals about specific procedures that are required to be consistently followed by all project personnel regarding the review, preparation and negotiation of contracts. Contract review checklists will be provided.
DPLE-111: Professional Service Contracts for Design Professionals
This course provides a basic foundation in understanding a contract, how to read a contract, the basic components of a contract and the role it plays in the delivery of professional services in the construction industry. In addition, this course will detail the different type of contracts that are used for the engagement and delivery of professional architecture or engineering services ranging from owner-drafted agreements to the highly regarded agreements prepared by the AIA and the EJCDC. This course will also discuss some of the major contractual pitfalls A/Es must be wary of as well as provisions available to and commonly used by design firms in an attempt to limit liability.
DPLE-112: The Project Managers Risk Management Manual
This course is a framework course that is intended to be continually used, updated and modified over time as the firm evolves and projects change. This workshop will provide the project manager with the tools necessary to build the foundation of a living risk management manual and protocols for all project managers to follow. The purpose here is to affirm the core value of managing risk and to affirm and set in place the vital role consistency plays in the process of managing risk especially during the construction phase.
DPLE-113: New Hire Workshop
This is a workshop designed to be presented on a periodic basis throughout a year for new employees of the design professionals firm. This course will initiate the new employee on the fundamentals of risk management education, the legal system and legal requirements of architects and engineers. Most importantly this course will introduce the new employee to the core values of the firm as they relate to the management of risk and the delivery of quality performance.
DPLE-114: Managing Risk and Providing Quality Services
This workshop is designed to give the attendees valuable information on how to successfully market and perform services for clients while managing risk in accordance with the cultural values set forth by the firm’s principals.
DPLE-115: Lessons Learned
This workshop is a real world, in depth look at the most frequent causes of claims, how to sense them and how to proactively prevent their occurrence.
DPLE-116: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of Risk Management
This course is a detailed education on the important questions that need to be asked and answered before submitting a proposal, drafting a scope of services or negotiating a contract.
DPLE-117: Emerging Issues: Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM)
This course focuses on two considerable topics in the construction segment: Integrated Project Delivery and Building Information Modeling. The Learning Event will examine Integrated Project Delivery and Building Information Modeling in the context of their likely impact on an A/E firm’s risk management program.
DPLE-118: Advance Course in Contracts
This course is designed to provide a detailed education about various contracts and their use in the construction process. In addition, very specific contract provisions will be analyzed and discussed relating to their impact on the incidence and severity of professional liability claims.
DPLE-120: Red Flag Words
Red flags warn of danger or are a signal to stop. Design professionals can avoid claims by heeding those red flags — not just in contracts, but in other aspects of their projects as well.
DPLE-121: Auto Safety for Design Professional Firms
Auto claims account for about 1/3 of our property & casualty claim dollars paid and about 1/2 of the total number of claims reported. This course will offer some insights into the types of claims suffered, the risks involved and what steps your firm can take to help prevent them.
DPLE-122: Workplace Safety for Design Professionals
Workers compensation claims account for about 1/3 of our property & casualty claim dollars paid and less than 1/4 of the total number of claims reported. Because of the potentially significant impact on your business when an employee is missing work, we offer some insights into the types of claims suffered, the risks involved and what steps your firm can take to help prevent or manage them.
DPLE-123: Business Property: Insurance Valuation and Protection
Your company evolves in many ways. One of the often overlooked changes is in business property. Have you moved? Added a location (perhaps a home office for one teleworking employee, or a storage location)? Acquired critical equipment, such as computers, printers, furnishings, or other valuable property? How do you know if you are properly insured and protected for all this?
DPLE-125: Pick One: Professional Liability? General Liability? Both? Neither?
Many clients and contractors confuse a design professional’s obligations for professional liability and general liability. But the distinctions are important because: the exposures, the insurance coverages, the premiums, the deductible obligations are actually all different.
DPLE-126: Marketing and Selling Professional Services
Strategies for growing and selling have changed. Technology allows all of us to brand ourselves and build upon our networks, which leads to more exposure and more contacts. Marketing and selling ourselves and our services can either be an endless state of activity or create defined tiers of productivity. By creating opportunities to demonstrate our expertise, we build trust with potential clients — setting the stage for more successful sales.
DPLE-127: Digital Document Transfer: What You Need to Know
Business communications have changed. The growth of information technology and the speed of FTP create an increased exposure to design professionals when transmitting information digitally. By understanding the various parameters surrounding the digital transfer of information, you can better respond to requests while still protecting your interests.
DPLE-128: Property Insurance: What’s Covered? What’s Not?
Superstorm Sandy and other recent disasters have shown businesses just how vulnerable they are to loss and disruptions. Although many businesses have policies in place, those businesses are inadequately prepared for losses and the amount of time required to address those losses.
DPLE-129: Exposures for Design Professionals
With a strong focus on professional liability, many design firms overlook other aspects of risk — injured workers, property damage, and auto accidents are just a few examples. In this course, we will examine these other exposures, explore some of the insurance coverage options available, and learn how to otherwise mitigate these risks.
DPLE-130: MAYDAY! Suspensions, Terminations and Other Significant Events
There are certain events in the course of a project that may trigger potential distress. Suspensions and terminations — whether they involve your firm or another project team member — are two such examples. This course will provide guidance to help you avoid or navigate through some of these significant events.
DPLE-132: Hiring and Integrating New Employees
Hiring and integrating a new employee can be one of the most important risk management steps undertaken by a professional service firm. This course will address some of the key considerations when undertaking this process.
DPLE-133: Knowing When to Say “No!” to Indemnification Obligations
This course will address ways in which indemnification clauses in contracts may expose design professionals to liabilities not covered by their professional liability insurance policy. We will also identify tactics to limit the scope of indemnification clauses and explore how statutes may affect the legality of an indemnification provision.
DPLE-137: Knowing When to Let Go: Waivers in Design Contracts
A design professional’s contract contains important waiver provisions that have an impact on their contractual rights and duties. This course will provide a detailed look at how waiving certain contractual rights can increase the design professional’s exposure to liability. During the course we will also provide tips on ways to mitigate risks through reciprocal and conditional waivers.
DPLE-138: What Will You Do When You Receive a Call to Action? A Look at Pro Bono Services
June 1 marked the beginning of the 2014 hurricane season and with it comes the potential for property damage and often times a need to rebuild. Your community may ask you to help rebuild, and you may be asked to do it pro bono. What will you do when the call to action comes your way? In this course we’ll discuss both the rewards and the potential pitfalls of providing your professional services with no financial compensation or at a reduced fee.
DPLE-140: Driver Safety: How What Happens on the Road Impacts Your Business
Some companies offer their employees fleet vehicles. Others require drivers to rent vehicles as part of their day-to-day activities. Still others have employees drive their personal autos on company business. Driving is one of the most hazardous and costly exposures encountered as part of doing business. This course will explore the hazards, exposures, and costs of driving on company business. We will also provide tips for implementing a motor vehicle safety policy and, in particular, driver qualifications.
DPLE-141: Alternative Project Delivery is on the Rise: What Does That Mean to You?
It’s no secret that alternative methods of project delivery are increasingly replacing traditional design-bid-build. What implications does that have for design firms of all sizes? While the newer methods were initially used primarily on large projects, more and more owners are seeing the value of alternative project delivery on smaller projects as well. This course will examine some key considerations in alternative project delivery, including resources, insurance, contracting and risks.
DPLE-142: Additional Agreements: Crucial Contact Provisions
Not all agreements speak directly towards what the contract is bargaining for. Ancillary agreements are integrated as a supplement to avoid ambiguity and provide protection for the contracting parties. This course will go over some of the most frequently used additional agreements and describe the elements that will make them legally enforceable.
DPLE-143: Breach of Contract
Participants will gain a fundamental understanding of the types of actions that typically result in a breach of a design contract from the perspective of clients, subconsultants, and the design professional. This course will also address methods of preventing and alternatively, curing breaches. Finally, participants will learn the basic legal remedies for breach of contract claims.
DPLE-144: Claims: Don’t Fan the Flames
On average, each year, roughly 25 A/E firms out of every 100 experience a professional liability claim. Want to avoid becoming a statistic? Heed the advice of our expert team of claims attorneys!
DPLE-145: Dispute Resolution — Peacefully Solving Problems
This course will teach methods of preventing disputes from occurring and, in the case of a potential dispute, how to resolve it in an efficient manner.
DPLE-203: Risk Management in an Ever Changing Profession
This course is an interactive Q&A session with insurance professionals and attorneys discussing current best practices and standard of care issues. Participants will compare and contrast practice procedures to other design professionals in their locale.
DPLE-204: Legal Risks and Exposure Associated with Sustainable Design
This course will cover what happens if a project misses a specific rating required to obtain a GSA tenant and what potential damages flow from that. A discussion will be held on lessons learned from the LEED challenge over a school in Wisconsin. We will also give an update of current codes and regulations?
DPLE-205: Basic Rules for Avoiding Construction Contract Administration Liabilities
This course will cover construction contract administration liabilities such as:
- Liability for not discovering, or discovering, defective work
- Liability for job site accidents
- Liability for impacting contractor’s performance
- Liability to owner or surety on applications for payment
DPLE-206: Understanding and Negotiating Critical Contract Provisions
This course is an interview with a Washington, DC law firm discussing the critical contract provisions that need to be understood and negotiated when entering into a professional services agreement.
DPLE-207: Documentation Do’s and Don’ts
Documentation Do’s and Don’ts is a course designed to give participants the knowledge they need for effective documentation and records retention in the event of a claim.
DPLE-208: Professional Liability Risk Management and Construction Contract Administration
This is a two part course covering The Professional Liability Risk Management Toolbox and an interview on Basic Rules for Construction Contract Administration.
DPLE-209: Liability Laws Affecting Design Professionals
This course is an interview with Arthur Schwartz, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, National Society of Professional Engineers, on the liability laws affecting design professionals.
DPLE-210: Information Furnished by Others: Confidentiality, Right to Rely and Intellectual Property Concerns
The course is an interview with two attorneys, John 'Jack' Slimm and Dante C. Rohr of the law firm Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin. The course will discuss information furnished by others: confidentiality, right to rely, and intellectual property concerns.
DPLE-211: Delays and Extra Claims: How They’re Created and How to Avoid Them
What are some of the most common ways that project delays are created, and how can these situations be avoided? How is construction contract administration related to project delays and what are some of the current trends in construction claims that result from delays? This course will address what tools and documentation can help an a/e firm in successfully defending a claim and provide some recommended steps to take when a claim for extras arises.
DPLE-212: Litigation, Arbitration or Mediation: Pros and Cons
This course will cover the pros and cons of using litigation, arbitration, or mediation as a means of dispute resolution.
DPLE-213: Limitation of Liability
This course is a discussion on limitation of liability provisions in professional service agreements. It explores the interrelationship of a limitation of liability clause with other risk reduction clauses that should be part of standard design agreements and provides negotiation strategies for conversations with clients.
DPLE-214: How to Negotiate: A Course Designed for Design Professionals
Every design professional — from the new college graduate who is practicing as an intern to the seasoned professional who is running a project, a studio, a division, or a firm — can benefit from learning to negotiate better. This course will begin with the definition of negotiation as it applies uniquely to design professionals, and develop a specific approach to negotiation — principled negotiation — for design professionals. Participants will better understand power and leverage, how to get it and keep it.
DPLE-215: Trends and Foresight — A “How To” Guide to Look Forward to 2012 and Beyond
In January 2011, DesignIntelligence published “25 Trends Transforming Architecture and Design.” Top trends on the list included developments in technology, sustainability, project delivery, and talent and leadership shortages in A/E/C. With such changes and challenges in mind, and looking forward to further findings for 2012, how does a firm prepare for the coming year(s)? One tool offered by Cramer and his colleague Scott Simpson is “The Next Architect's Toolbox.” This workshop will review 11 questions that will help a design professional prepare for the future keeping current trends in mind.
DPLE-216: SC Continuing Education Session for Design Professionals
Cases, claims, and circumstances can alter the landscape for a professional practice. Prudent design professionals monitor changes in regulations, case law, insurance, and public interest in order to assess their impact on the profession. This course features perspectives on these issues from both legal and insurance professionals.
DPLE-217: Looking Forward to 2012: Trends, Risks, Obstacles, Planning and Other Important Considerations
In January 2011, DesignIntelligence published “25 Trends Transforming Architecture and Design.” Top trends on the list included developments in technology, sustainability, project delivery, and talent and leadership shortages in A/E/C. With such changes and challenges in mind, and looking forward to further findings for 2012, how does a firm prepare for the coming year(s)? One tool offered by Cramer and his colleague Scott Simpson is “The Next Architect's Toolbox.” This workshop will review 11 questions that will help a design professional prepare for the future keeping current trends in mind.
DPLE-218: Economic Trends Affecting Domestic A/E markets
This course will explore on a 5-year forecast basis likely area/market segments of growth/retraction for design professionals.
DPLE-219: Knowing When to Say “No”: — Warning Signs in Client Selection and Contract Negotiations
Knowing whether or not a prospective client is willing to effectively and fairly negotiate contract terms should be a primary determination in the client selection process. This course is a discussion of key contract terms and other potential hazards.
DPLE-220: Say Bah Humbug to Contractual Indemnity and the Duty to Defend
This course is an overview of some recent case law that has received national attention and which presents potentially disastrous results for the design community at large.
DPLE-221: Selling Professional Services
Effective sales strategies are crucial in today’s challenging economic environment. Are yours working against you? This course will provide strategies and tactics to succeed. Through a combination of attitude, behavior, and technique evaluations, we will show how these elements can help you reach a higher level of success. We’ll discuss how to put together a prospecting plan and develop it into business opportunities. We’ll also show how establishing a relationship through bonding and rapport with a prospective client will lead to more successful sales.
DPLE-222: Analyzing and Defending Construction Delay Claims
Construction delay claims can be caused by many factors, ranging from owner-caused claims to unusually severe weather. This course will examine why construction delay claims are brought, how to effectively analyze them, what some of the important contractual clauses are in the analysis, and how design professionals can defend against them.
DPLE-223: Contract Administration Pitfalls and Pointers
This course offers an analysis of the common problems that occur during the contract administration phase and provides a review of some best practices to help avoid those problems.
DPLE-225: Are You Ready for Recovery? Positioning Your Firm
As the economy recovers, the design firms that have positioned themselves best will reap the greatest advantages. In this course, a lawyer, a risk manager, and an insurance broker — all of whom are dedicated to serving design professionals — will help evaluate how design firms can position themselves for the balance of 2012 and beyond.
DPLE-227: Managing Client Expectations
Expectations of perfection and other misconceptions result in clients viewing design professionals as a source of cost recovery on projects that have run over budget, have encountered changed conditions, or have a construction contractor that submits change orders to increase their own compensation. This course will explore the sources of these misconceptions as well as how design professionals can address them.
DPLE-229: What Every Design Professional Needs to Know About Suretyship
As a design professional, are you knowledgeable about the different types of construction industry bonds and your possible role in the event of a contractor default? This course will provide a short history of Suretyship and elaborate on the various types of bonds that exist today. We will also discuss the role of design professionals in various contractor default scenarios from the standpoint of a Surety’s investigation. Lastly, a discussion will be held on the implications for design professionals and sureties in LEED projects.
DPLE-230: Lessons Learned from the Michaels v. CH2M Hill Case
A 2011 decision, Michaels, et al. v. CH2M Hill, Inc., in the Supreme Court of the State of Washington reveals a case in which horrific facts have led to very problematic changes in the risk calculation for design professionals in Washington and perhaps other states. Design professional immunity is significantly eroded in Washington and design professionals must anticipate that future plaintiffs will raise new and creative theories of liability based on this Court’s conception of what “plans and specifications” must include and how the standard of care is now measured.
DPLE-231: Review of Significant Cases Involving Design Professionals (4 hour)
This course will be a review of significant recent developments in the law for Design Professionals including, but not limited to: limitations of liability, contractual definitions of the standard of care, clauses defining construction observation duties, statutes of limitations, choice of applicable law, choice of forum, and choice of venue. We’ll also close with a discussion on where business might be generated in the next two years.
DPLE-232: Review of Significant Cases Involving Design Professionals
This course reviews significant recent developments in the law relating to Design Professionals. It includes in-depth discussions of meaningful contract provisions and their impact on potential liability exposure and risk management.
DPLE-233: Who’s Responsible for ADA and FHA Compliance?
In an August 2012 decision, the Nevada Supreme Court held that ADA was enacted to remedy discrimination against disabled individuals and to prevent discrimination. Thus, the owner of a place of public accommodation that constructs a facility not readily accessible to individuals with disabilities, regardless of intent, is liable for unlawful discrimination. In its decision, the Nevada Court further held (excluding landlord-tenant relationships) that the ADA contains no provisions permitting indemnity or allocation of liability between the various entities subject to the ADA.
DPLE-234: Looking Forward to 2013: Trends, Risks, Obstacles and Planning
With the changes and challenges of 2012 in mind, and thinking about forecasts for new issues in 2013, how does a design firm get ready for the coming years? This course will review the questions — and some answers — that will help design professionals prepare for what’s to come.
DPLE-235: E-Discovery Update for Design Professionals
Electronically stored information including emails, attachments, and other data stored in various media is part of the framework of litigation discovery. Failure to comply can result in sanctions, monetary penalties, and potentially losing an otherwise winnable case. Complying can be expensive and damaging if not managed effectively. This course will review the rules, the risks, and a plan for addressing the issues.
DPLE-236: Yours, Mine and Ours…Who’s Responsible for That Design?
Allocated Design, Collaborative Design, Delegated Design, Integrated Design and Shared Design: The sophistication of modern building envelopes and systems, and new project delivery systems, has increased the number of contributors of relationships among them. In this course, we will help you to identify and manage (by avoidance or control) the risks created by these developments of modern design.
DPLE-237: Information Exchange: Understanding Confidentiality, Rights to Rely and Other Concerns
When project information is exchanged between owners, contractors, and design professionals, what are the rights, risks, and responsibilities that each party needs to consider? Does a design professional automatically have a right to rely upon information that is furnished by a contractor or an owner? What confidentiality issues arise? How might those responsibilities be addressed or modified by contract? What are the intellectual property concerns to keep in mind? This in-depth course will address each of these questions by leading industry experts.
DPLE-238: Review of Significant Claims Involving Design Professionals
This course will be a review of significant recent developments in the law for Design Professionals including, but not limited to:
- limitations of liability
- contractual definitions of the standard of care
- clauses defining construction observation duties
- statutes of limitations
- choice of applicable law
- choice of forum, and
- choice of venue
We’ll also close with a discussion on where business might be generated in the next two years.
DPLE-239: Protecting Your Practice — Contracts for Building Inspection Engineers
This course will focus on the importance of written contracts between building inspection engineers and other design professionals, contractors, and owners. It is intended to educate building inspection engineers about the key provisions to consider when either using a standard contract or negotiating a non-standard contract.
DPLE-240: The Worst-Case Secnario Survival Handbook for Design Professionals
For most design professionals, the “worst-case scenario” is a substantial professional liability claim. Evaluating past claims allows us to evaluate what went wrong and how public health, safety and welfare may have been compromised almost always inadvertently. Errors originate in proposed contracts; in interpretation of laws, codes, and regulations; in lender-requested documents; or in other ways. This course will address how these issues can be identified, assessed, and mitigated for the protection of all.
DPLE-241: Lessons Learned from Recent Court Decisions
This course will be a review of recent court decisions and how they affect a design professional’s practice. Topics that will be addressed and reviewed include:
- Site Safety
- ADA/Compliance with Law
- Third Party Claims
- Economic Loss Doctrine
- Change Order Procedures
DPLE-242: An Update on Design and Construction Defect Law in Colorado
Explosive growth over the past two decades has changed the physical landscape in Colorado in fundamental ways. The same can now be said for the legal landscape as well. Today more than ever, it is critical for you and your business to understand not just your expertise and your market, but also the developing legal environment in which you work. Before you take on any project, you must fully understand that your work will have long-lasting impacts that reach far beyond your clients, business partners and employees. This is a thorough and fast-paced discussion about the current trends in design and construction defect law in Colorado.
DPLE-243: Show Me the Money — Contract Terms That Help You Get Paid…and Make Your Life Easier
This course will provide insight regarding contractual terms and practical advice to help design professionals get paid for services.
DPLE-245: Legal Landmines: Key Project Concerns from Start to Finish
All projects pose risk. Statistically, though, some aspects of those projects pose increased risk to design professionals. In this course, we’ll focus on some of the risk-intensive aspects of design and construction projects.
DPLE-247: It’s Not If, But When…Data Privacy 101
No one is immune from data breaches. There are more than a handful of types of data security breaches, and data security is threatened in a number of different ways. Laws protect “personal information,” and professional service firms are obligated to abide by those laws. How can professional service firms protect themselves against — or at least prepare themselves for — what could be an inevitable breach?
DPLE-248: Mediation & Arbitration: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?
Our clients often ask us mediation, arbitration or jury trial? If the decision could only be as simple as choosing the right words! However, significance should your honeymoon with your client end in divorce. This course will walk participants through some of the key components and considerations to help a design professional decide which dispute resolution mechanism might be better for a particular project or client type.
DPLE-249: Ethics for Design Professional
While design professionals may be well-versed in the practical responsibilities of their craft, their ethical obligations are not always as clearly defined or as intuitive as one may think. Continuing education rarely addresses the ethical implications presented by purely legal solutions. This lack of adequate knowledge can lead to even the most conscientious architect and/or engineer unknowingly violating his/her ethical obligations. This course will outline the legal requirements to help successfully navigate through difficult issues that arise during business development, the design and construction of projects, and in dealing with clients and colleagues. Armed with a better understanding of various Codes of Ethics, participants will be better prepared to avoid missteps and better able to represent their own firm, their clients and their profession.
DPLE-250: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook for Design Professionals
Superstorm Sandy and other recent disasters have shown businesses just how vulnerable they are to loss and disruptions. Although many businesses have policies in place, those businesses are inadequately prepared for losses and the amount of time required addressing those losses.
DPLE-251: If You Don’t Want to Cry Over Spilt Milk, Put a Lid on It: Three Important Contract Tools for Design Professionals
There are three contract issues that are often overlooked, but are key tools to managing and mitigating risk: being mindful of documents that are incorporated into the contract by reference, defining a clear scope of services and limiting liability. This course will review those three concepts and explore ways in which each might increase or decrease the risks to a design professional.
DPLE-252: Managing Prime Consultant-Subconsultant Relationships
This course provides an overview of key strategies and techniques for selecting project teams and creating contract agreements for them. In particular, the course will focus on important contract provisions that address the scope of services, allocation of shared liabilities, and “flow down” obligations from the prime agreement, ultimately focusing on the liabilities of entering into a contract of this type.
DPLE-253: 2014 DPLE Employment Practices
Employment liability covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process and claims such as: wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. This first part of this course will give a brief overview of the exposures, followed by a description of methods to control them.
DPLE-254: Cyber, Privacy and Technology: Are You the Next Target?
Architects and engineers, like other professionals, often have access to their clients’ personal and financial details. At the same time, they may possess comparable information about their clients’ clients. As a result, architects and engineers are at risk for being sued if and when something happens to that information — such as when a laptop or cell phone is misplaced or stolen or a hacker breaches a firm’s or client’s systems and accesses the client’s personally identifiable and/or confidential information. This course will cover why design professionals are at risk, how to create and implement best practices, and the advantages of cyber, privacy and technology (CPT) insurance coverage.
DPLE-255: Legal Decisions Affecting Design Professionals
This course is a review of legal decisions across the United States that affect design professionals, both from a professional and business standpoint. The cases allow you to shore up your responsibilities to help alleviate legal problems or personal problems in the future.
DPLE-256: Ethics for Design Professionals
Whether you’re an architect, engineer, surveyor, landscape architect, or other design professional, your profession is regulated and guided by various requirements. Lawyers (and your colleagues) know these requirements and will hold you to those standards whether or not you know them yourself. Therefore, it’s important to exercise caution to avoid fines, loss of licensure, or other penalties.
DPLE-258: Revisiting Black + Vernooy: Lessons Learned
In 2011, a three-judge panel of the Austin, TX, Court of Appeals heard a case brought against the architecture firm Black + Vernooy. The case and its outcome teach several important lessons to review in this course.
DPLE-262: Employment Practices Liability
Employment practices liability covers wrongful acts arising from the employment process and claims such as: termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. The first part of this course will give a brief overview of the exposures, followed by a description of methods to help control them.