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The situation with the contractor sounds like Design-Build with Contractor
lead.  The situation with the <fill in the blank> sounds like consulting
with <fill in the blank> lead.  As long as the lead does not advertise that
they have engineering services, everything sounds legal.  
The most successful projects I have been involved in have been the ones that
had the best team arrangement and had the correct professional as the lead.
For example, a civil engineer should lead a road project with structural,
electrical, etc. consultants.  Industrial plant work should have a
mechanical as a lead and so on.  In my opinion, an architect should not be
the lead professional on every job; however, in some jurisdictions this is
the law.
With design-build projects, the owner must realize that leaving certain
decisions up to the contractor is not a good idea.  Several contractors in
Florida seem to believe they know exactly what should go into an elementary
school ... I disagree and that would be the time for the consultant to speak
firmly because I know that any engineer does not want to end up in court
because the playground does not meet the principal's standards.

Hope this clears the picture instead of clouding it up ...

William J. Keil, P.E.

<  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
could write a contract with an owner for structural engineering services
circumventing the State law. It would seem to me that any engineer who
this to occur is breaking the law as well.  >