During the course of discussions on construction contract administration and related topics, the speakers will address the potential implications of William H. Gordon Associates, Inc. v. Heritage Fellowship, decided by the Supreme Court of Virginia on February 12, 2016.  The case interprets several concepts applicable to the relationships among the architect/engineer, contractor, and material suppliers on a construction project, with particular emphasis on the engineer’s standard of care relative to the specification of products and review of RFI’s, shop drawings, and related matters.  Don’t miss this important liability update.

Registration:                    8:00 – 8:30 am

Morning Session:             8:30 am – 12:45 pm

Lunch (On your own):       12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

Afternoon Session:           1:45 – 5:30 pm

Contract Law and Design Professional Agreements          J. Watson

   The imperfect agreement: rules for contract interpretation

   The basics: standard form contracts

      Uniformity and differences in standard forms

         Similarities in document structure

         Differences in document content

   Examining key contract provisions

      Contracts between owners and design professionals

      Contracts between and among design professionals

      Contracts with contractors and teaming agreements

   Frequent pre-contract and contract-based disputes

      Pre-selection disputes

      Breach of the “agreed upon” performance

Professional Malpractice Issues          B. Richardson

   Elements of professional liability claims

   Who can bring a claim?

   Common sources of professional liability claims

   Common defenses to liability claims

   Determination of damages

   Alternative dispute resolution, litigation and settlement agreements

Handling Ethical Issues          B. Dulin

   Sources of ethical obligations; legal and professional requirements

   Protection of the public welfare

   Other professional responsibility requirements

   Tension between obligation to public and other concerns

   Connection to malpractice liability

   Common examples: construction, design, environmental issues, new technologies

   Balancing professional obligations, risk management and economic pressures

Intellectual Property Essentials: Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Trade Secrets          M. Mayberry

   Securing ownership of your designs through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets

   Leveraging your intellectual capital through licenses, franchises, and other technology agreements

   Resolving intellectual property disputes

Insurance Considerations for Design Professionals          J. Watson

   Risk management through review of contracts and insurance policies

   The scope and limitations of a professional “claims made” policy

   Contracting away or never having the insurance coverage you thought you had

   What covers a non-professional’s act within a professional corporation?

   Errors and omissions insurance and “advanced” project delivery methods

Federal and State Environmental Law          B. Dulin

   Overview and recent regulatory and judicial developments

   Agency policies and procedures

   Review of upcoming federal environmental regulatory agenda to address

   Climate change and other issues; anticipated issues and challenges


   9.0 Continuing Ed. Hours
   7.5 AIA Learning Units (Not HSW)

Professional Engineers
   9.0 Continuing Ed. Hours

Continuing Education Credit Information

This seminar is open to the public and offers 9.0 continuing education hours to architects (non-HSW) and 9.0 continuing education hours to engineers in most states, including Virginia. Educators and courses are not subject to preapproval in Virginia.

This program is approved by the American Institute of Architects for 7.5 Learning Units (Sponsor No. J885). This course is not classified as HSW by the AIA. Architects seeking continuing education credit in any state are responsible for being aware of restrictions on non-HSW coursework.

Attendance will be monitored, and attendance certificates will be available after the seminar for most individuals who complete the entire program. Attendance certificates not available at the seminar will be mailed to participants within fifteen business days.


Betsy Dulin

38th ED, LLC

38th ED, LLC, RichmondMs. Dulin has over 25 years’ experience in the practice of law and engineering. She is a registered professional engineer (civil) and is licensed to practice law in Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio.Ms. Dulin has a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and an M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering from WVU and Virginia Tech, respectively, and her law degree is from Washington & Lee University. She has worked throughout her career in the engineering design and construction context as a design professional, project manager, planner, and attorney. Ms. Dulin is experienced in negotiation and drafting of contract documents, including specifications, and she has experience in both civil and criminal litigation. She also has significant experience working with public sector clients on contracting, regulatory, construction, legislative, and public communications matters. Ms. Dulin is a former dean of the College of Information Technology and Engineering at Marshall University and is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Construction Specifications Institute. She owns her own small business, where she specializes in planning, project management, technical writing, public engagement, and meeting facilitation. Ms. Dulin is an adjunct faculty member with Virginia Tech, offering graduate courses that cover construction, contracts, environmental issues, and related topics.

Michele Mayberry

New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, PC

New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, PC
Ms. Mayberry provides legal counseling and services relating to the procurement and enforcement of intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Scientific areas of her practice include chemistry, biotechnology, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as computer science. Ms. Mayberry’s litigation experience and extensive understanding in how patent claims will be construed by the courts enables her to provide sound patent claiming strategies for her clients as well as thorough opinions of counsel relating to issues of infringement and invalidity.

Bruin Richardson

Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Of counsel with Coates & Davenport in RichmondMr. Richardson has over 25 years’ experience in counseling and litigation for businesses and technical professionals. He previously worked with several firms specializing in construction and design liability, where he gained extensive experience in construction claims and litigation, as well as employment and labor law. He has represented all parties involved in design and construction projects, including insurers, engineers, architects, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, surveyors, and owners. He also counsels architecture and engineering firms in all aspects of their business operations, including employment matters, business transactions, and contract review and negotiations. Mr. Richardson serves as president-elect and development committee chair of the Maymont Foundation board of directors, which is responsible for administering a 100-acre estate. He is a former member of the Virginia State Building Code Technical Review Board, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a (J.D.) and Washington & Lee University (B.A.).

James Watson

Coates & Davenport, P.C.

Coates & Davenport P.C., RichmondMr. Watson is a 25-year member of the Construction Law and Public Contracts Section of the Virginia State Bar. His practice is focused on serving clients in the areas of both public and private procurement and construction. In addition to having tried numerous construction cases before federal and state courts, arbitration panels, and federal boards of contract appeals, he is a frequent speaker before professional and construction industry groups. Mr. Watson recently spoke on design-build issues at the 2016 regional conference of SASHTO. His comprehensive knowledge of the construction process is enhanced by being certified for six years as a project management professional (PMP) by the Project Management Institute. In addition, Mr. Watson worked for over two years with project managers in construction administration with one of the nation’s largest multi-disciplinary engineering firms. There, on a daily basis he worked with engineers to resolve complex construction issues involving all major engineering disciplines. Although not an engineer, Mr. Watson twice served as chair of the Richmond Joint Engineers’ Council. He has served on the board of directors of the Richmond Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute and was certified by the national CSI as a MasterFormat-2004® instructor.