Yesterday, when I first read your submission, I was initially tempted
to respond as many others have, that you should "fire" your client.
However, since you usually have good advice to others writing to the
seaint site, and since you seem to be bothered by this problem it
appeared that you do not want to do this. Let me suggest an alternative
which others may well improve upon.
In Alberta, Canada, where I live and do most of my work, we have a
piece of legislation known as the Alberta Building Act. This act
provides for fines ( up to $10.000) and prison terms (up to 6 months) or
both for persons violating or conspiring to violate the Alberta Building
code. I'm sure there is similar legislation in your state. Why don't
you get a copy for your client and also point out that he may also be
subject to serious problems with his association (possibly disbarment)
and serious litigation. You may go so far as to offer to help him
repair previous projects (at reduced or even no fee for business
development purposes if you want to). This might enable you to turn a
very negative situation into a very positive one for you.
Here's something else you might find interesting. In Ottawa, Ontario,
Canada, there is an insurance group called ENCON Group Inc. Now this
group specializes providing professional liability insurance for
architects and engineers. It also has a very aggressive stop loss
campaign. Every year they conduct cross country seminars for anyone who
wishes to attend. These seminars are not only free to anyone who wishes
to attend but ENCON gives a policy fee reduction to all policyholders
who do attend. I don't know if they offer insurance to non Canadian
professionals but they do insure North American losses for Canadian
professionals. Not only are these people very knowledgeable about
litigation and losses in all regions but I'm sure, as part of their stop
loss campaign, they would be pleased to reply on line to your enquiry if
you were to forward it to them. Their e-mail address is www.encon.ca
Good luck in dealing with this problem.
H. Daryl Richardson