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Engineering from Home - Protecting Perso

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Michelle,

Unless your "corporation" is the registered structural engineer, the 
corporation does not protect anything.  Even in the employ of a firm, nothing 
is protecting you personally from a lawsuit, especially if your seal appears 
on the drawings and/or calculations.

As far as limiting liability, a personal friend who was a judge told me that 
you cannot contract away negligence.

To see what protection you have with regard to your personal assets, check 
the bankruptcy laws of your state.  From what I understand, the "tools of 
your trade" cannot be seized, neither can cars or houses in which you have 
less than a certain investment, nor can the clothes be taken off your back.

Then check to see what the homestead exemptions are in your state.  If they 
are not protective enough, do what O. J. Simpson did:  Move to Florida (or 
Texas).

Finally, worry more about doing the best job in the best way you know how, 
and don't waste time worrying about how you can avoid being sued.  Ask 
yourself why certain firms are being sued again and again and others are 
never sued?  (If the firm you work for is sued repeatedly, examine 
carefully what they do avoid being sued, and avoid doing the same thing.)  If 
you make a mistake, admit it, and don't try to deny it.  Don't compound a 
mistake by making a bigger mistake of not admitting it.

Hope this helps.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona

Michelle wrote:

. > This is a question regarding consulting from out of the home.  Normally, 
. > I do not do consulting from my home, however, various Architect/Designer 
. > friends have asked me to do some consulting on some small engineering 
. > projects (additions, custom homes, retaining walls).   I'm not sure 
. > whether I'll do the projects because I have a few concerns regarding 
. > protecting my personal assets (house, savings, 401k, etc.) from lawsuits 
. > if (heaven forbid) I get named in a lawsuit (as in some lawsuits EVERYONE 
. > is named on a project).  I realize no one is really fully protected from 
. > being sued, however is there a way to limit liability and protect my 
. > personal assets?  I have heard that if one incorporates oneself this 
. > helps protect personal assets but I'm not sure what that entails.

. > Any info. would be very helpful.

. > Thanks,

. > Michelle