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Re: Testing the waters in Court

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Hello Dennis,

    Yesterday I wrote a reply to your posting; I am not sure it went through 
since I don't see it listed here today.
    The UBC, in my opinion, is merely a guideline, a "minimum requirement" 
standard that engineers must follow to achieve a "safe" design, which is the 
ultimate goal of the UBC.  The UBC may not be the ONLY Road towards that 
goal; engineering creativity and judgment, along the guidelines prescribed by 
the code, if applied responsibly may equally achieve that goal.
    As to your comments regarding testing the waters in court, it is 
appropriate and certainly feasible, in an existing case where code 
applicability is in issue, to subpoena the head of the seismology committee, 
which is responsible for setting the "lateral forces guidelines."  As such, 
the seismology committee may be forced to rationalize the basis of their 
guidelines, and may be even pinned-down to admit that these guidelines are 
only that (a guideline), and are not necessarily the ONLY way to achieve a 
safe design.

    By all means this is not a panacea, a cure-all medicine.Further 
discussions are certainly in order.

George Hakim