Team of Donovan Hatem Attorneys to Present at the 2021 ACEC National Conference

Two Donovan Hatem attorneys will be presenting at the upcoming ACEC National Conference to be held October 27-30, 2021 in Marco Island Florida.

Gwen Weisberg will present on Thursday, October 28 “Strategies for Effectively Defending and Resolving Claims Through Alternative Dispute Resolution” where she discusses the various elements of a successful negotiation, including how to prepare for and develop a strategy for negotiation and more.

Patricia Gary will present on Friday, October 29 “Climate Change and the Built Environment: Current Thinking for Engineers“,

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October 2021 Roundtable – Top Ten Contractual Issues

Join us for our October Roundtable on Thursday, October 21, 2021, as we focus on the top ten key contract provisions to assist design professionals to avoid and manage professional liability risks.

In this presentation, David will discuss:

  • Recommended Contract Approaches Design Professionals Should Use;
  • Key Contractual Provisions and Principles;
  • Risk Management Through Contracts – Pitfalls to Avoid;
  • How to Descend Risks to Subconsultants.
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Team of Donovan Hatem Attorneys Lead Full Day Seminar on Law for Massachusetts Architects

Join a team of our attorneys on Monday, September 13, 2021, for a live webinar on Laws for Massachusetts Architects.

Topic Discussions Include:

  • Understanding the Law of Professional Liability
  • The Architect’s Standard of Care
  • Understanding the Law of Architectural Copyright
  • Architects and Construction Liens
  • Overview of Contract Law for Architects
  • Complying with Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Understanding Massachusetts Building Design Law
  • Climate Change and Recent Developments in Massachusetts Law

List of Speakers:

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June 2021 Roundtable – Claims Investigation, Documentation, and Dispute Resolution

A notice of a design issue or design claim is a serious matter.

A serious matter merits, and requires, a serious response. When an issue or claim is asserted, a number of steps should be taken, and a thorough, meaningful investigation should be conducted.

Join us for our June Roundtable on Thursday, June 24, 2021 presentation as we will:

  • Address the steps to be taken to evaluate an allegation that a design error or omission was made.
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March Roundtable – Climate Change: New and Emerging Trends

Join us Thursday, March 18th to learn about new climate change policies during 2020-2021. Climate change considerations are increasingly important in the design process. Learn what is being done at the state and local levels to address the challenge and how effective risk management strategies incorporate resilience measures into design


  • The Commonwealth’s key initiatives to advance its net-zero and climate resilience goals, with a focus on the 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap, Resilient Massachusetts Action Team (RMAT) climate resilience tools and guidelines,
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January Roundtable – What’s New: A Review of 2020 and Recent Cases Involving Design Professionals

This new year let’s look back to see what’s ahead!   Join us Thursday, January 21, 2021,  for this timely case study presentation focused on common legal issues faced by design professionals including:

  • Statute of Limitations
  • Duty to Defend
  • Indemnification
  • Risk Exposure
  • Contractual Provisions
  • COVID-19 Impact


Eric Howard, Partner, Donovan Hatem LLP

Brian Newberry,

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November Roundtable: Contractual Indemnification and Insurance Procurement Provisions for Design Professionals

This month’s Roundtable focuses on risk management and allocation for design professionals through a review and evaluation of the spectrum of contractual indemnification provisions and insurance procurement provisions in project contracts.

Join us on Thursday, November 19th as David Rich addresses the following:

  • The universe of available indemnification agreements and insurance procurement provisions, as well as the differences in scope among the varying agreements.
  • Contractual indemnity and insurance procurement provisions are among the most important provisions that govern the scope of risk and responsibility for a given Project.
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October Roundtable: Contractor Involvement in Final Design: Varied and Evolving Roles, Responsibilities and Risk Allocation

Over the last several years, we have experienced new approaches that – to varying degrees – involve contractors in the arena of important roles, risks and responsibilities associated with the design process.  These approaches include design assist, design delegation, CM/GC, Progressive Design-Build and Design-Build.

In each of these approaches, what are the respective roles, responsibilities and risks of the primary project participants – the Owner, the Design Professional, and the Contractor (or Design-Builder)?

Join us Wednesday,

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September Roundtable: Measuring Design Professional Performance

Though we took a break, Donovan Hatem is still committed to providing our community with quality programming and we are excited to resume our Roundtable series for the rest of 2020! Please join us Wednesday, September 23 for our virtual Roundtable to discuss measuring design professional performance.

Topics include:

  • Standard of Care
  • Measuring Imperfection
  • Difference between Standard of Care & Owner-Implied Warranty
  • Role of Experts

Click here to register

Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

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March Roundtable: Consent to Settlement: A Review of the Recent Supreme Judicial Court Decision

Jon Cowen gave an in-depth discussion on the Rawan v. Continental Casualty Co. case, recently issued by the Supreme Judicial Court, and how it affects the design community.
Topics included:

  • Protection of design professionals’ reputational interests
  • Impact on the handling of liability claims by professional liability insurers
  • Best practices in responding to claims while maximizing insurance coverage

For a copy of the presentation, 

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January Roundtable – A Look Back at What’s Ahead: A Review of 2019 and recent cases impacting Design Professionals

This new year to look back at what’s ahead!

Join us Wednesday, January 29, 2020,  for this timely case study presentation focused on common legal issues faced by design professionals including:

  • Statute of Limitations
  • Duty to Defend
  • Indemnification
  • Construction Control Affidavits

Jon C. Cowen, Partner, Donovan Hatem LLP


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David Hatem to Speak at ACEC/NHDOT’s 6th Annual Winter Technical Meeting on Design-Build

David Hatem will be speaking at ACEC/NHDOT 6th Annual Winter Technical Meeting on January 10, 2020. This year’s theme is Design-Build.
David will discuss the Pitfalls of Design-Build as well as participate on a panel exploring Design-Build in New Hampshire.

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October 2019 Roundtable: Design-Build – Professional Liability Risks for Design Professionals

These days, nearly half of the nation’s projects are delivered using the design-build method. It is projected to increase by 18 percent by 2021. There are perceived advantages: The Owner manages only one contract, the engineer and contractor work together as a team, and it is perceived that there are fewer negligence claims against the engineer.
Not true. The number of claims against the engineer is increasing and represents a significant concern for the profession.

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September 2019 Roundtable: State of the Union – Design Professional Education

Join us on Thursday, September 5, 2019, as David Hatem leads a discussion with top industry educators to explore the status of education for design professionals.
Topics include:

  • Current trends, including admissions processes, areas of concentrations, adequacy of supply of talent
  • Establishing diversity in the industry through the student body
  • NAAB, P.E and other relevant licensing requirements
  • Current curriculums and their impact
  • New ways of teaching and expanded educational offerings,
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June 2019 Roundtable: I Really Should Patent That!

Intellectual property impacts every industry, including architects, engineers and related creative professions. New technologies and discoveries are changing the ways that we design and build our roads, bridges and plants. Innovations are making our buildings more energy efficient. New 3D printing and additive manufacturing techniques are being scaled and applied to the construction of concrete structures while advanced composites are being retrofitted to strengthen deteriorating supports and foundations.
Securing intellectual property – patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets –

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May 2019 Roundtable: The Good, the Bad and the Here We Go Again

In 2018, the Design and Construction industry was very busy.  This is great, but in our review not all the news is good.  There are topics of interest to discuss from 2018 that impact design professionals in 2019.
Join us on Thursday, May 2nd as Sue Yoakum leads this discussion and reports on what we learned last year, and how your services may be impacted in 2019, how to include if good, how to avoid if bad and how to get off the “here we go again”

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April 2019 Roundtable: Contract Provisions and Relevance to Claims and Defenses

To adequately manage risks in the design and construction phases of projects, professionals need to understand how contracts provisions can affect the performance of services and liability exposure.

Join us on Thursday, April 18th to hear Donovan Hatem Attorneys Brian Newberry and Eric Howard discuss the important role that contract documents play in providing professional services and how best to anticipate and plan for disputes and conflict management.

Topics include:

  • Pre-Bid
  • Standard of Care
  • Ownership of Documents
  • Indemnification
  • Limitation of Liability
  • Claims and Dispute Resolution

And more!

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NY April 2019 Roundtable: The Good The Bad and The Here We Go Again

In 2018, the Design and Construction industry was very busy.  This is great, but in our review of 2018, not all the news is good.  There are topics to discuss of interest from 2018 that impact design professionals in 2019.  Such topics include; standard of care, indemnity, limitation of liability, fiduciary duty, personal liability, and claims arising from construction costs and schedule delays.
Join us on Thursday, April 11th as Sue Yoakum leads this discussion as well as report what we learned in 2018,

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March 2019 Roundtable – Do Design Professionals Own the Risk of Climate Change?

Join us on March 6th to learn how climate change relates to the professional standard of care, and how effective risk management strategies incorporate resilience measures into design.
Our panel and topics include:

  • Patricia B. Gary
    Patricia will discuss how climate change is redefining professional liability risks, the limitations of FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps to identify flood risk, how this relates to the professional standard of care, and why new modeling tools inform best practices.
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September Roundtable: The Eternal Triangle- Constructor Claims Against the Owner: Design Professional “In the Middle” or “Front and Center”?

Consider this relatively simple hypothetical (but very real and frequent) claim scenario:
The Constructor on a design-bid-build project asserts claims against the project owner for substantial additional costs and delays allegedly due to (a) design errors and omissions and (b) owner failure to pay for contract and extra work, and interference with the Constructor’s performance of the Work. (Assume all of (b) is unrelated to alleged performance deficiencies of the Owner’s Design Professional.) The project design was prepared by the Design Professional,

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