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Re: CONTRACT WITH WHOMEVER?

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At 07:21 PM 11/23/99 EST, you wrote:
 What is the legality of contracting for services with an 
>unlicensed individual (such as a general contractor, mechanical engineer, 
>etc.) for services to be provided to an owner?
>
>It is my opinion that this type of contract is strictly illegal. That it 
>creates a situation where an unlicensed individual (possibly a good salesman) 
>could write a contract with an owner for structural engineering services thus 
>circumventing the State law. It would seem to me that any engineer who allows 
>this to occur is breaking the law as well.
>
>I would like comments.
-------------

Legality depends on what the juridiction's laws say.

In California, anyone not in business as a CE, EE, or ME, in an illegal,
unlicensed way, may be the client of a professional engineer. The PE Act
says, "This chapter does not prevent an individual or business engaged in
any line of endeavor other than the practice of civil, electrical, or
mechanical engineering from employing or contracting with a registered
civil, electrical, or mechanical engineer to perform the respective
engineering services incidental to the conduct of business." [Bus.and Prof.
Code Sec 6738(d)]

Thus a contractor who needs to build something for which no design exists
may employ or retain a civil engineer (or PE in the in the appropriate
branch) to design it. The contractor however may not purport to be in the
civil engineering business, only in the contracting business for which
licensed. A firm properly practicing in one branch of PE may retain or
employ a PE in another branch when the need occurs, but may not claim to be
in that second branch's practice simply because of the presence of that
employee or consultant. And if the seismic renovation you refer to was not
an "incidental" adjunct to EE and/or ME work on the structure, then the
EE/ME firm appears to be out of line contracting to design the seismic work.
See Black's Law Dictionary for a definition of "incidental"

That's how it appears to me. See if the PE Board can answer promptly or clearly.

Charles O. Greenlaw  SE