Design Professional Liability in Construction: Minimizing Risk Through Contract Terms

Defining Scope of Liability, Evaluating Risks of Project Delivery Models, and Leveraging Additional Insured Endorsements

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide counsel with a review of recent court decisions addressing the scope of design professional liability, discuss the impact of the latest project delivery models on liability, and outline proactive approaches to minimize the risk of liability, including effective contract provisions.


Innovations in project delivery models, including design/build, building information modeling (BIM), integrated project delivery (IPD), and green construction have presented significant new challenges for design professionals and a varied landscape of potential pitfalls and claims.

Design professionals' increasing integration into the construction process likewise increases their risk exposure. Counsel should analyze factors currently implicating claims against design professionals, evolving state laws, and recent court decisions developing the evolving parameters of construction claims in this arena.

Through careful contract drafting and negotiations, counsel can identify and minimize certain risks by clearly defining the scope of professional services, limiting liability to third parties, disclaiming warranties, requiring additional insured endorsements, and attempting to limit contract damages.

Listen as our authoritative panel analyzes recent court decisions that define the scope of design professional liability and outlines approaches for counsel to structure contracts that minimize the risk of liability. The panel will also address relevant provisions of the American Institute of Architects and Consensus DOCs forms.



  1. Design professional's obligations
    1. General
    2. Contractual
    3. Statutory
  2. Modern project delivery methods
    1. Design/build
    2. BIM
    3. IPD
    4. Green/sustainable
  3. Effective project documentation
  4. Recent significant cases


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How have project delivery models that integrate design professionals into the construction process impacted the scope of design professional liability?
  • What trends are developing from the recent court cases that address design liability?
  • How can design liability for construction claims be minimized through strategic project documentation?
  • What are the important practical considerations for counsel representing design professionals?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


David M. Adelstein
David M. Adelstein

Kirwin Norris

Mr. Adelstein is Board Certified in Construction Law by The Florida Bar. He represents general contractors,...  |  Read More

John D. Broghammer
John D. Broghammer

Greve Clifford Wengel & Paras

Mr. Broghammer specializes in insurance coverage disputes and the representation of design professionals. His practice...  |  Read More

William E. Kelley
William E. Kelley

Drewry Simmons Vornehm

Mr. Kelley focuses his practice on construction and real estate matters, including construction and real estate...  |  Read More

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