Registration:                8:30 – 9:00 am

Morning Session:         9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Lunch:                        12:30 – 1:30 pm (Provided by Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP)

Afternoon Session:      1:30 – 4:30 pm

Overview of Preventing Georgia Engineering Liability Claims          J. Dinardo
Understanding Situations that Give Rise to          S. Stuart
Professional Negligence Actions

   An overview of professional negligence claims

   Elements of a professional negligence claim

   Understanding the duty of care

   Parties who can bring a claim to a professional negligence

   Understanding the standard of care

   Understanding the law of damages

   Defenses to professional negligence claims

   Identifying common sources of liability claims

Understanding Liability Under Contract          G. Miller

   An overview of contract law and key concepts

   Understanding contract formation and revision

   Recognizing liability exposure under contract

   The Economic Loss Rule

   Shop drawing liability

Engineer’s Duties and Liabilities to the Contractor         G.S. Walters
in the Design-Bid-Build Delivery Model

   Sufficiency of design

   Administration of contract for owner

   Review of contractor submittals

   Inspection of contractor’s work

   Approval or rejection of contract pay applications

Adopting Strategies to Minimize Liability Exposure          C. Rogers

   Negotiating favorable contract terms

   Maintaining adequate contract documentation

   Implementing document retention policies and procedures

   Utilizing forms and standard documents

   Identifying and avoiding common mistakes that increase liability risk

Understanding General Liability and                K. Johnston
Professional Liability Insurance Coverage

   Coverage provided by general liability vs. professional liability policies

   Certificates of insurance and additional insureds



   Insurance availability

   Insurance policies

   Warranties, guarantees, and certifications

   Recognizing and responding to design professional claims

Minimizing Liability Risks by Maximizing Compliance          J. Dinardo
with Rules of Professional Conduct 

   Complying with rules of professional conduct

      • Objectivity and truthfulness

      • Competency

      • Confidentiality

   Preventing conflicts of interest

   Complying with rules on sealing of documents and plans

   Preventing the unauthorized practice of engineering

   Discussion of ethics hypotheticals/case studies

Resolving Engineering Liability Claims          Z. Rippeon

   Using alternative dispute resolution procedures



   Arbitration vs. mediation

Conclusions, Closing Remarks and Discussion


This seminar is open to the public and offers up to 6.0 PDHs to Georgia professional engineers. Educators and courses are not subject to pre-approval in Georgia.

Florida professional engineers can earn 4.0 Area of Practice continuing education hours for completing this program. HalfMoon Education is a Florida-approval continuing education provider (Sponsor No. 0004647). This course does not offer any Laws and Rules credit for Florida engineers.

Engineers seeking continuing education credit in other states will be able to apply the hours earned at this seminar, in most cases. Refer to specific state rules to determine eligibility.

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


Joseph J. Dinardo

Partner in the Atlanta office of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP.
Mr. Dinardo’s practice focuses mainly on construction disputes, lien prosecution and defense, contracts, commercial litigation, labor law, and collections. He currently serves on the Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia’s (ABC) Management Education Committee and is involved with the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA).

Kirk D. Johnston

Partner in the Atlanta office of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP
Mr. Johnston focuses his practice in the areas of construction litigation, risk management and transactional services. He has many years of experience representing owners, general contractors, architects, surety companies, and other entities on a wide range of construction projects, including high rises, highways, bridges, and industrial complexes. A significant portion of his practice involves claims avoidance through assisting clients in every phase of the construction process. Mr. Johnston is a licensed property and casualty insurance adjuster and his experience in the interpretation of insurance policies further aids owners and contractors in catastrophic loss management, litigation and construction-related claims under CGL, professional liability, and builders’ risk policies.

Garrett E. Miller

Partner at Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP in AtlantaMr. Miller practices construction law, government contracts and general commercial litigation, and focuses on the representation of owners, contractors, subcontractors and design professionals in all phases of public and private construction and service projects throughout the United States. Mr. Miller is an advocate of the mediation process as an efficient and cost-effective means of dispute resolution.

Zack Rippeon

Partner at Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP in AtlantaMr. Rippeon represents a variety of construction industry professionals, including lenders, owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors and design professionals, assisting with all aspects of construction law. His experience includes contract formation and negotiation, and asserting and defending claims utilizing all forms of dispute resolution. He also assists clients with statutory and regulatory compliance matters such as lien filings, bond claims and licensing matters. Mr. Rippeon spent many years as a project manager with several large general contractors, which gives him helpful insight to the legal issues faced by construction clients.

Charles E. Rogers

Partner at Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP in AtlantaMr. Rogers focuses his practice on the representation of parties involved with the design, construction, ownership and development of commercial and residential construction projects, for public and private entities. This representation encompasses all phases of such projects, including pre-project planning and development, contemporaneous management, and resolution of project-specific disputes and claims, as well as post-project operations and claim handling. Specific services provided include traditional litigation, claim preparation and defense, contract drafting and negotiation, alternative dispute resolution and general consultation.

Steven J. Stuart

Associate at Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP in AtlantaMr. Stuart‘s practice covers construction, energy, environmental, and contract law. Prior to attending law school, he spent several years managing the construction of multi-million dollar commercial and residential projects in the Washington, D.C. area. Mr. Stuart is a certified LEED-AP through the U.S. Green Building Council.

G. Scott Walters

Partner in the Atlanta office of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP
Mr. Walters received a B.C.E. (Bachelor of Civil Engineering) degree from The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. Before law school, he worked as a project engineer, project manager, and owner’s representative on numerous commercial construction and environmental remediation projects. Mr. Walters has represented contractors, subcontractors, owners, and developers in general business matters, contract claims, and disputes involving real estate issues, bid protests, differing site conditions, changes, delays, defective plans and specifications, construction defects, and regulatory compliance.