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Re: New Survey - Please participate

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At 11:09 PM 5/18/99 -0700, you wrote:
>
>Please participate in our new ONE question survey at our web site at:
>
>http://www.seaint.org
>
>If an engineer observes an unsafe structure and choose NOT to report it to the
>authorities, should that engineer be prosecuted?
--------------------------------------------------------

Sorry, but this question is too much like the classic, "Have you stopped
beating your wife?"  Neither answer is any good.

I would not answer it in a deposition, because it is not clear as to the
circumstances, and the answer could go either way, and firmly so, depending
on those circumstances.

And as Robert McGhie noted, prosecuted by whom, and as a violation of what?

Is this question really asking, "Should there be an enforceable law about
reporting IF a scenario the asking person envisions (but has not adequately
described) is somehow, by someone, known to be true?" ?

The Cal Atty General in the mid-1980's answered a very specific question
along these lines that was brought by Sen Greene on behalf of SEAOC and
originated by Arnold Bookbinder, SE. The answer was narrowly crafted to
answer the specific question and nothing else. The question however had not
revealed that the originator was constrained by attorney-consultant
privilege, which mattered. So the question was asked in modified form to the
Office of Legislative Counsel, which answered differently than before, but
just as narrowly to what was asked.

It is a mistake to apply an interpretive legal opinion to matters beyond
those it specifically addressed.

Charles O. Greenlaw  SE    Sacramento  CA