Thursday, September 24, 2009

Project Documentation and Record Keeping

Ernest M. Isola, Partner at Gordon Reese LLP will discuss project documentation and record keeping highlighting the best practices to minimize risk during negations as well as the design and construction phases of a project.

Ernest Isola of Gordon & Rees LLP proposes to spend about 15-20 minutes on each topic and use the remaining time for questions and answers and/or examples highlighting important issues.

1. Front End Documents - architectural contracts, negotiating appropriate contractual protections (e.g., limitation of liability), not accepting the owner's standard contracts (e.g., indemnity), examples of same, making sure you can perform all contractual obligations, enforcing the contract.

2. Drawings/Specs - being clear as to what is included and not included in design package, problems with "builder's set" of plans, constructability/peer reviews, documenting an evolving design, proactively addressing the impact of changes, preparing for claims

3. During the Project - the "Document War," including discussion of responding to all issues, response time, tracking RFIs/responses, clearly documenting the reasons for changes, maintaining records as if there will be a claim, emails, meeting minutes, schedules, claim documents, drafts, photographs, videos, site observation reports

4. Rules pertaining to document retention and discovery of electronic documents - includes document retention policies, and statute of limitations applicable to construction claims impacting how long they are stored. In addition, the California Legislature recently passed an "E-Discovery" or "electronic discovery" law that governs what construction participants are required to do in terms of retaining electronic documents and ultimately producing them if a claim should arise. This law and the rules concerning storing and producing both paper and electronic files in the event litigation should arise affects every design professional and should impact how they keep their documents.

Speaker Bio: Ernest Isola has been with the San Francisco-based law firm Gordon & Rees,LLP, since 1997, and is a partner in both the Construction and Commercial Litigation practice groups. He specializes in counseling and defending professionals and businesses involved in a variety of claims, including construction disputes and professional liability claims. He is co-author of the chapter, “Special Topics in Litigation of Disputes Involving Design Professionals and Construction Managers” in the book Design Professional and Construction Manager Law, through the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction industry. He has also spoken extensively on many topics on construction and is the chief editor of Gordon & Rees’ quarterly Construction Law Newsletter.


Small Firm Forum: Project Record Keeping

Hosted by Rachel Slonicki.

Time: Noon - 1:30pm

Location: AIA East Bay Chapter Office, 1405 Clay Street, Oakland.

Contact: 510/464-3600 or Catherine Roha, AIA

Cost: Free for AIA East Bay Chapter Members; $3 for non-members.

1.5 CES/LU

For more information: 510/464-3600

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