7 Critical Mistakes Engineers and Architects Make During Project Negotiation and Execution: Mistake #6

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May 30, 2017
Author: Melissa Brumback

Author: Melissa Dewey Brumback is an AV-rated partner in the Raleigh, North Carolina law firm of Ragsdale Liggett, where she concentrates her practice on complex construction, commercial, and business litigation. For more information: https://constructionlawnc.com/contact-information/

Mistake #6 Failing To Respond Properly To Claims Of Errors & Omission

Like the contractor who misuses the RFI process to document a claim of design errors, some contractors and owners tend to write letters and emails complaining of issues during the project.  Often the issue complained of is minor.  Sometimes the issue has already been resolved.  It does not matter; if you get a letter that states that your firm did something wrong, respond and respond in kind.   

Specifically, do not call to dispute allegations made in a letter; respond with your own letter.  For every letter stating your firm did something wrong, there should be a corresponding letter from you explaining why the facts support your position.   

Sometimes clients complain that letter-writing wars are pointless, and they may very well be, at times.  However, if you do not respond (even to simply say you disagree with the opposing party’s statements), it will be that much harder to explain yourself to a jury after the fact.  The jury will wonder why you did not respond, or respond in writing, during the project.

Mistake #1 Not Treating The Contract Seriously
Mistake #2 Allowing Unfair Or One-Sided Contract Terms To Persist
Mistake #3 Not Choosing The Proper Dispute Resolution Method
Mistake #4 Failing To Have Good Change Order and/or Failing to Have a Good Request for Information Processes
Mistake #5 Failing To Have A Quality Document Retention System
Mistake #6 Failing To Respond Properly To Claims Of Errors & Omission
Mistake #7 Failing To Involve Insurance Company & Lawyer At First Time Of Trouble

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