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

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Liens can be tricky. If you don't execute them correctly, you could actually
create more liability for yourself.

Here in CA, one of the (many) tricks is filing a preliminary lien notice
within 20 days of starting work. If you don't, you would then be filing an
invalid lien.

I try to avoid this avenue whenever possible and try to focus on creating an
enforceable agreement.

I also have a clause in my agreement that reads: "There are no "paid when/if
paid" provisions in this agreement." I don't care if (or when) my client
gets paid; my bill is still due and payable. That way, I don't have to
qualify the client's client.

Regards,

T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)	
ALLEN DESIGNS	
Consulting Structural Engineers	
http://www.AllenDesigns.com	
V (949) 248-8588	 .	 F (949) 209-2509	

-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden, SE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)maddengine.com] 
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:06 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: RE: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!

I'm not sure Paul,

I had a small residential project a couple of years back. The owner kept
changing his mind on stuff causing both the architect and I to keep issuing
addendums (or is it addendi?)... anyway, I had about 1600 bucks in revision
hours and my contract clearly stated that any changes to original
architectural design that impact the structural design would be billed time
and material... I sent the bill to the architect... 1, 2, 3, 6 months later,
still no check for the last round of revisions. He hadn't gotten paid
either. I asked what happened, and he said the owner is refusing to pay
because he didn't know it would cost $300/sq. foot to add on to his house
and he wasn't paying for "Expensive Paper" from architects and engineers.

The architect told me he was going to Lien the property. About 1 week later,
my check showed up. So I don't know if just the threat of Lien did it, or if
he was actually going to get it... I've considered it a couple of times, but
they always have some letter or something they need from me and I just hold
it hostage till I get paid.... but it's usually small time stuff with me.

But if it's an option, that would be great.
-gm

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Feather [mailto:pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net] 
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 7:39 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!

David brings up an interesting point.  I have always been under the 
impression that as professional service providers we cannot issue a 
mechanics lien, we do not have the same lien rights as a contractor.  I am 
sure it probably varies from State to State.

Paul

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "M. David Finley, P.E." <pec(--nospam--at)isgroup.net>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!


> 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?
>
> David Finley
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
> To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
> Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:55 AM
> Subject: Re: I Got Th' "Eagle Done Flew" Blues!
>
>
>> M. David Finley, P.E. wrote:
>>
>>> Bill,
>>>
>>> Two questions:
>>>
>>> 1)  Was your invoice only for the original "fixed fee" or did it include

>>> any additional charges not addressed in your original signed contract?
>>>
>> I submitted four invoices in total, each as I completed various phases of

>> the work.
>>
>> For example, my first invoice was for the "original" contract. 
>> Subsequently, I did some revisions at the request of the 
>> Contractor--revisions that I thought were unnecessary, and I indicated 
>> this to all involved, but when they insisted upon the work, I did it and 
>> billed them accordingly.
>>
>> After that, I billed for the corrections to the structural deficiency.
>>
>> I also billed for a field inspection (which uncovered the fact that the 
>> structural deficiency repairs were not being done correctly).
>>
>>> 2)  Do you want to do any future business with the architect and/or the 
>>> architect's client?
>>
>> I would like to, but I don't know that it's possible. The Architect 
>> doesn't like the fact that the Owner, a long-time client, was "mad," and 
>> blames this squarely on me. It may be that we do no more work together 
>> because of this.
>>
>> Apropos of nothing: I recently had an "interview" with a potential 
>> Architectural client, a small firm that does very "artistic" work (the 
>> partners are a married couple who are Dartmouth graduates, have a 
>> daughter currently attending Sarah Lawrence--you get the idea).
>>
>> Anyway, the wife remarked that they never bill "lump sum" any more. It's 
>> ALWAYS hourly. They don't pad their hours, according to her, but they 
>> insist on billing hourly and if their clients balk at this, they can go 
>> somewhere else.
>>
>> "We got tired of the nickle-and-dime crowd," she explained.
>>
>> Oh, to have that luxury!
>>
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