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RE: When do you suspend service

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Title: RE: When do you suspend service

Dennis:

I would like to join the chorus of those advising you not to suspend work, or to suspend work ONLY as a last resort and after carefully assessing the consequences of doing so.  The problem with suspending work is that there are serious side-effects.  First, you will create ill-will, not only with the contractor, but also with the various owners and architects.  You probably will never work for any of them again, as well as other companies that they talk to.  You might even be sued by one or more allegedly injured parties for the costs associated with any delays blamed on you.  You say that the amounts in question aren't large.  If under $10,000, I recommend that you simply write-off the losses and learn from the experience, while at the same time continuing to work professionally in the best interests of all three projects.

On future projects, you should insist on being paid for any and all construction administration services after permitting on an hourly basis, with payment from your client (i.e., the architect or owner), not from any third party (i.e., the contractor).  Your contract should state that payment for these extra services is not contingent upon reimbursement from the contractor or anyone else.  I believe that "pay when paid" and/or "pay if paid" provisions are baloney, and have successfully taken more than one architect to court when they tried to use this language to avoid paying me.

Regards,

Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas (Hockey Heaven), Texas

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Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie"
while looking for a bigger stick.
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