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Re: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!

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M. David Finley, P.E. wrote:

Unless you have authorization in writing for the subsequent phases, it seems to me that your only firm ground is the original contract for which you apparently were paid. They can claim that ya'll never had a verbal agreement on the amount of the additional work.

Nevertheless, if you don't mind ticking off the architect, keep nagging them in wiritng, with phone calls, and by personal visit.

A last resort option: Does Texas have a mechanic's lien law or small claims court?

Well, now we're getting into legalities, here. My understanding is that Texas allows "verbal contracts." Certainly my execution of design drawings and the contractor's installation of work based on them--not to mention signatures by my client, the archy, on my proposals, will stand up under the rather more reasonable standards of scrutiny in this state.

I'm just saying that "contractual issues" are really not pertinent in this case.

We do have "mechanic's lien" and "small claims court." I really don't think I'd have a problem "proving" that I'm owed the money. The question really becomes "is it worth it?" And not just for six hundred bucks, but because of the principle. I'm rather tired of our profession being treated as though we were providing termite services or auto repair.

There's no law that says your engine can't knock or ping, or that you can't have termites. There IS a law that structural engineering must be done for commercial building work such as this. In the end this guy's simply saying "c'mon, you didn't do that much!"

Bill Polhemus, P.E.
Polhemus Engineering Company

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