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RE: California: Legal and liability - using my stamp (Jordan)

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Your example is perfect.  I strayed a bit after quoting you by noting a different state. My point was that the reality of modern practice is not in sync with the codes.


"Responsible charge"  can be debated, but a single plan check at the end is not what I consider being involved in the design. Nor does sealing documents out of your discipline simply because you're the head of the company/department jive with the law.  With the few points of reference I have, I suspect the "an owner seals everything" attitude to be the norm rather than the exception, even when it's clearly (to me) outside of the law.  In one sense I agree with my old firm - I think the responsibility should rest on the shoulders of the owners, and should not be delegated to employees - if you're name is on the door, it better be on the documents from your office.

Unfortunately, the era of one-to-three man partnerships with a back room of drafters/designers (another thread altogether) is over. Getting a PE is no longer the key to ascension into ownership or leaving to create a new firm. PE's now work for the same wage-scale as ditchdiggers (but without the overtime pay).  In fact, in larger firms PE is merely the transition from  the time-and-a-half or straight-time-for-overtime world into the 60hr week salaried position.

I think Mark's situation brings up a disconnect between the law/regulations and the reality of corporate design firms.   How can you have a PE in responsible charge if the final say on the drawings is really made by an owner? How can an owner sign a document which wasn't prepared under his or her direct supervision?  Perhaps the "new" reality requires an owner with a seal to actively participate in the design of all projects under his or her signature.  Should the ownership be a certain percentage on order to seal (to make sure there are no one-share employee "owners")?

The whole concept of responsible charge, when viewed from a liability perspective as we've done here, is based on the small firm, and a legal quagmire results from the extension to 60 or 200 or 3000 person firms.

At 12:55 PM 6/8/2004 -0700, you wrote:
I'm not sure I follow you.  The example that I presented seems to be an obvious interpretation of California law, but maybe I need to clarify:  If TOM (the boss, partner, whatever) did NOT work on the project AT ALL (including plan checking -- the work was completed by a registered SE who made all of the responsible decisions), the text of the law does not appear to ALLOW Tom to sign the documents.  Even if Tom was involved in getting the project going but did not personally contribute to engineering decisions made (either DD or CD), the text still does not appear to allow him to sign.  I'm not talking about lawsuits, juries, corporate America and the like -- I'm simply referring to the text of the law.
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