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

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On Mar 17, 2005, at 8:23 AM, Bill Polhemus wrote:

Ultimately the Architect sent me a check minus six hundred dollars to reflect what the owner was willing to pay for the work.
Who did you contract with, the architect or the owner? That will determine who's responsible for payment. If your contract was with the architect and you have something in writing to that effect, the architect is on the hook. If you want to get nasty and you don't care if you do business with the guy, you can file for the amount in conciliation court with very little cost to yourself. There will be no lawyers involved and you'll be responsible for presenting your case directly to a judge, as will the architect.

There's two caveats--
1. the trouble of actually collecting the judgment can be significant, becasue it involves considerable legal process, although only the worst deadbeats want to continue in business with an outstanding legal judgment hanging over their heads. Outstanding judgments affect credit ratings and and show up in other business-to-business dealings. 2. You need conclusive proof that the architect is liable for the payment. That would be in the form of your proposal for the work with language about who pays whom for what. Don't expect a judge to rule in your favor strictly from basking in the light of your shining countenance. You need to havesome back-up that you're qualified to do the work and that your rates aren't outrageous.

If you are not paid or you decide not to collect, you should also request, in writing, to have all your work product returned along with all copies, and be sure the owner and architect understands that the engineering work which you performed will not be implemented without payment. Moreover they should know if imminent safety concerns arise because your advice was not followed that you are ethically obligated to notify the local jurisdiction. You want to make sure you send the notification by registered mail with a return receipt requested, so there will be no question that the request was sent. You want to send copies to both the architect and the owner and a third, neutral party, so the architect and owner are on notice that your copies are available which can surface in the event of any claim.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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