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RE: Legal and liability - using my stamp

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Stan Caldwell wrote: "The PE rules and regulations in most (if not all)
states require (or intend to require) that the work be sealed by the
licensed engineer who personally produced it or supervised its production.
The antiquated idea of a chief engineer who seals all of the work by a
design firm is illegal, and has been so for several decades." 
 
Comments: "How illegal" it is for a chief engineer to stamp all design work
probably depends somewhat upon how state registration laws are worded. While
I don't see it happening that much "across disciplines" these days, it does
seem to still occur within a discipline, i.e., a chief structural engineer
might review and seal structural work primarily developed by subordinate
engineers. If the subordinate engineers are under the chief engineer's
overall supervision, the chief engineer could argue that the design was done
under his/her "supervision" even if the chief engineer had minimal
involvement during design development. But some states have fairly tight
definitions of responsible charge to disallow such an approach. 

Personally, I agree that such plan stamping at least violates the "intent"
of most registration laws, and I like to see state registration laws that
define design supervision such that the responsible professional engineer
must have regular technical involvement throughout the project. Much of the
design work can still be done by subordinate engineers, but the responsible
engineer should have enough involvement to know how the design is
progressing and what problems are encountered. 


William C. Sherman, PE
(Bill Sherman)
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)cdm.com

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