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RE: California contract law

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Of course, this is all legal mumbo-jumbo, and we all long for a "word and handshake" contracts - but that's what it is.  And in situations that it may be questionable, it is always prudent to follow the letter of the law (refer to BORPELS bulletins).
And I've been wrong before, so whatever was offered above is just 2 cents (not necessarily mine), with no other value declared, expressed, or implied. :^)
Steve Gordin SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
From: Jnapd(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 12:22 PM
Subject: Re: California contract law

I disagree on this one.
The proposal is to inform the client which registered engineer is will be signing the plans and calculations.  I do not see anything in the law that indicates that the registered engineer has to produce or sign the proposal.
Joe Venuti
Johnson & Nielsen Associates
Palm Springs, CA
I've sealed hundreds of drawings in various states and I have never signed an engineering services contract.  I've always worked for large engineering firms - officers of the firm sign the contracts (and the contract may list professional engineers in various disciplines that will work on the project).  I'm not even authorized to sign a contract for my employer.

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


From: S. Gordin [mailto:mailbox(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 3:26 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: California contract law

Hard to disagree - there are many other provisions of the law.  You are right again, a non-PE can be an owner. However, the way I read the law provision quoted earlier, the non-PE owner can sign the contract only together with the PE.
Generally, for the engineer to sign a contract should not be a problem. If it is - something is not right; if so - better to stick to the letter and (rather than solely to) the spirit of the law.
Your advice appears a little bit confusing.
To call the board is an idea as good as to read the manual - "if anything else fails."  However, in a non-standard situation, they will only (albeit, readily) interpret the law; the decision and responsibility will still remain on our end.  
Steve Gordin SE
Irvine CA
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 1:56 PM
Subject: Re: California contract law

What you list is true, however there are other provisions in the code.
----- Original Message -----
From: S. Gordin
Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 12:52 PM
Subject: Re: California contract law

This is not about a proposal, but about a contract; IMO, these two are quite different. 
The law is specific: "Before the Professional Engineer or Professional Land Surveyor begins work, they [PE-SG] need to sign a written contract with their client, or his or her representative. ..The written contract must include, but not be limited to, all of the . following:... 3. The name, address, and license or certificate number of the Professional Engineer..."
From the horse's mouth (California Business and Professions Code) this sounds like "6749. (a) A professional engineer shall use a written contract when contracting to provide professional engineering services to a client pursuant to this chapter. The written contract shall be executed by the professional engineer and the client, or his or her [client's, not PE's-SG] representative..."