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Conv. Constr. one direction

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We're reviewing a wood-framed project designed under the 1988 UBC.  In one
direction, the lateral design was engineered, with shear walls, holdowns,
etc.

However, in the other direction, where there are long party walls, the
engineer stated that Conventional Construction criteria were met, so he just
put in gyp. bd. shear walls.  When we work the loads backwards from his
calculations, these walls would be overstressed using the loading for his
designed direction.

My questions:  Was there anything in the code that said you could use
conventional framing requirements in one direction even if these
requirements weren't met in the orthagonal direction?  Was/is this the
standard of care?

Mike Livingston, SE