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I Forge Iron

Who keeps the plans?

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I recently came across an interesting issue when soliciting a design bid from an engineer.  The client is using a cloud-based project management system that includes a "live" model of the project.  I'm not an expert in CAD or BIM so I specifically asked the engineer about this process.  The system allows everyone in the project to access the exact same 3D model at the same time.  As the engineer explained all of this they mentioned something I wouldn't have thought of.  The client "owns" the project. This means that the design consultants, Architects, and Engineers all lose access to everything they did on the project when it's complete.  In this system, even email is contained within the project so even that will disappear whenever the client chooses. Apparently there are strict rules against removing anything from the collaborative site.  


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Jeremy,  I think most design professionals would have a contract ensuring their payment for their work in whatever form it takes.  The "old way" of doing things was for these same professionals to develop, improve, then finally submit the final versions of their work to the client.  Communications were via meetings, calls, messages, mail, and email.  At the end of a job, those design professionals kept all their notes, calculations, versions, communications, and designs.  Non-disclosure agreements kept them from selling that information to the clients competitor, but they kept their work files for later reference.  In the past, some Architects claimed copyright protection on their designs to prevent clients from sharing the plans. 

That reminds me of one particularly curmudgeonly Architect who refuses to allow digital versions of his plans to be circulated. He set up an exclusive contract with one print-shop that only provides paper prints of his projects.  If you want to measure plans like it's 2008, you have to buy the plans, then have them scanned into a digital file yourself.  


That's an interesting point but I feel there's a worthy distinction.  A forum is purely voluntary, the information posted is how members generate value to offset their free access.  The collaborative systems I'm talking about aren't optional at all.  The design contract stipulates that all design work, and communications must be done on the collaborative system.  Nobody has permission to take files or communications offline.  The client's staff do not communicate outside of the collaborative system at all.  

I also think there's a worrisome consideration with regards to security.  The client doesn't own the collaborative system.   The software firm running the system is quietly collecting a lot of information.  Not just about the project, but about the individuals working within it.  Taken in sum, the software firm has a lot of potentially lucrative applications for that information.  

I suspect an engineer would pay dearly to have access to their old project files in the event of a liability situation.  "Collaborative" is a handy way to explain any number of irregularities in the custodians record! 

There are some really unethical people in this industry.  I can name at least three contractors who change the construction plans and specifications in their file share site without showing an edit midway through construction.  They even kept the file-name the same. One of them tried to add a drive-up teller facility to a bank project that way!  I only caught it because I happened to notice that the file size had gone up.  The "time-stamp" on the file share site never changed which suggests they either figured out how to fool it, or the programs are built to allow contractors to fake the time stamp.  Either way, this particular file share site is awfully popular among cheating scoundrels.

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1 hour ago, rockstar.esq said:

That's an interesting point but I feel there's a worthy distinction.  A forum is purely voluntary, the information posted is how members generate value to offset their free access.  The collaborative systems I'm talking about aren't optional at all.  The design contract stipulates that all design work, and communications must be done on the collaborative system.  Nobody has permission to take files or communications offline.  The client's staff do not communicate outside of the collaborative system at all.  

I think a legal argument could easily be made that being part of a collaborative project is voluntary, nobody's holding a gun to your head. I'm a fan of Judge Judy and you see the "I didn't have a choice" defense fail almost constantly.

I don't keep anything of value in the "cloud" or similar, it isn't secure, I don't care what the claims are, they're marketing puffery. If it's not hacked it's for sale, FB, Googe, FBI, etc. for example. Yeah, the FBI or was it the CIA have been hacked a couple times. Oh then there are the services like Life Lock, just give them full access to your identity and they'll keep it safe for you. Right. I think Experion and maybe the other credit score companies was hacked and people's full credit info was compromised and sold on the "dark web."

If you want ANYTHING kept confidential don't tell anybody. The engineer may sound curmudgeonly but I agree with him. Want a copy, sign the contract and buy A copy. Copy and sell it is a violation of contract and copyright law. 

Just saying, it's an information tech world, knowledge is power and it's full of thieves who'll gladly take every penny you have and can borrow. What's a thief care if you have to live in a cardboard box on a back street.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Fair point Frosty.  I actually spoke to an architect about this situation and specifically asked about the liability concern when the design team can't curate their own files.  The tone of the conversation changed immediately.  They hadn't considered it before, but within a few minutes they were sounding out the same sort of security concerns that plague social media.  

As for that Architect who only dealt in paper plans, I think it's worth pointing out a few things.  #1, the Architect has to produce plans and specifications known in the trades as "contract documents" for the purposes of bidding.  To the best of my knowledge the copyright protections of their plans don't change regardless of whether the plans are digital or paper.  #2, His "beef" with digital plans is likely drawn from an architectural standard that dates to when blue prints were actually blue.  In the old days, you couldn't scale the drawing to measure anything for the project.  You had to use the dimensions provided by the Architect.  This is because it's incredibly labor intensive to draw the plan by hand.  If the Architect discovered an error in their drawing, they could correct the written dimensions without being forced to redraw the entire thing.  Modern Architects love to leave this requirement in their specifications because it's a "get out of jail free" excuse for their errors.  The flip side of this issue is that since virtually everything is BIM or CAD, the drawings can be quickly adjusted to match needed dimensions.  It's so consistent that most Architects don't bother to generate scaled drawings with sufficient data points to actually locate everything you'd need to know to bid the project.  They know we're using digital systems to measure their drawings so many architects don't bother with putting a dimension on every individual thing.  

I think the crusty Architect was simply trying to generate a catch-all excuse to avoid responsibility for an incorrect dimension.  He could blame it on the scanner on the first go around, then he could claim you should have added up his dimensions to get your measurements.  When you point out that he doesn't provide sufficient dimension lines to achieve that, he'll just counter that by saying that it's the bidders responsibility to ask these questions before the deadline.  All of which naturally ignores the fact that the deadlines are much too quick to allow sufficient time for the back and forth question game to end in a complete bid.  This sort of "gotcha" set-up is very common with design professionals who work for unscrupulous clients.  Being clear, concise, and fair would lead to paying the going rate for the project.  Laying traps and playing "keep-away" with basic information doesn't happen by accident.

I recall winning a project this Architect had drawn by exposing the cost of a sole specification product to the client.  The cost difference between equal products was enough to fund the second phase of the project.  Corruption is very expensive.

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As a "little guy" in a big pond where this kind of thing is getting more common, what tends to hurt me is the lack of a "keepable" paper trail.  Something as simple as "This specification is based on maintaining appropriate lubrication" can come back and bite you if you don't have access to that paper trail.  I can think of a hundred times I've added a minor comment in e-mail or on a drawing that I've had to pull the "I told you so...right here" line and prove it out when the client ignored something I told them was critical.   Sometimes I've had to do this years later.

I almost always follow up any phone conversation with a written clarification e-mail these days for just this reason.

One has to jump through hoops to produce/maintain/file your own paper trail...which might be a contract violation to do in these cases...just to cover your south end and have access if needed.  Sure, it could be dragged out of a client in a court case but the little guy can rarely afford to go that far.  

As to the ethics question---It is unethical for a client to expect/require that you operate without access to copies (or copies in your own file) of all correspondence or documents you produce or add to a project. Imagine an engineer having to give up (or legally destroy) their calculation notes or correspondence on a large project due to such a policy. Unfortunately, ethics in most business seem to be taking a back seat these days.

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I get you rockstar and you're right. I was a professional draftsman for a while and thought a drafting arm clamped to my table was high tech. The office had a copy printer and blueprint machine. I cheated by drawing on mylar in layers then making multiple exposures for prints in case there was a change of design. I was drawing highway plans from the ground up.

I'd transferred out when CAD started getting advanced enough to load on a PC.

Working for State DOT meant having to deal with the unscrupulous as a matter of course. Both sides of the table I really HATED that part of working for the gvt. Everything is dirty.

Your points are hard to argue including the old guy looking for someone else to blame for errors or just to lazy to learn a new trick. Seen enough of both and heck I find it too hard to learn new tricks very often. 

I don't think there is a way to keep ahead of the unscrupulous, I've known too many guys who put a lot more effort into dodging the job than doing it. There are folks who are crooked because they LIKE being crooked. 

Getting in the game, any game means exposure and a balance between risk vs return. Glad I never tried opening my own business I tend to take people at their word too easily to be successful.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I really appreciate your comments.  The exposure of not having access to your files, heck, even knowing that your files weren't tampered with, is just too much to ask.  I suspect you're quite correct that most savvy design professionals are going to find a way to keep bootleg a copy of their work.  I also suspect that it's just a matter of time until some horrid client sues their design professional for using a bootleg copy to defend against a liability claim.  


You're right about the games and the nonsense.  I think this tech is introducing a new wrinkle.  While everyone is focusing on the client and design team relationships, the software company running this stuff gets overlooked.  I think it's a data capture game with high stakes for anyone who doesn't see it coming.

Before I mentioned digital estimating programs.  Well some of the most expensive programs are "free" to use on bid-letting systems.  The General Contractor invites subcontractors to bid using a bid-letting system that has all the files for the project.  These bid-letting systems strike a deal with industry-leading estimating programs so a sub can "do your estimate for free".  I'll say this much, if they're letting you use a $2,500 software package for free, you're not their real customer.  


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Just an aside since architects have been mentioned in this thread:  The Architectural Institute of America model contracts are used extensively in the construction industry.  What the AIA contracts are best at is covering the nether regions of the architect.  I suggest that any property owner or contractor go over the model contracts VERY carefully and strike out any objectionable language.  The hold harmless clauses are particularly bad.  These things are VERY long and complex and it takes time and expertise to go through them.  I wish I had the hours back I have spent reviewing them and I am sure that I missed a few landmines.  Fortunately, most contracts go smoothly, the contractor does the job and the contractee pays for it and everyone is happy.  Only occasionally do you have to have someone in a black robe tell you what you really meant.

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I think these mandatory collaborative systems are a response to the shortcomings of the one-sided AIA templates.  You're right that most projects happen without resorting to a court case, but that overlooks the scores of potential jobs that stall out because the "norms" of this business are unworkable for the clients.  

I regularly see projects with progress percentage milestone dates marked on the title block that go back six months to a year.  It's incredible how many of these jobs spend more time in design than they do in construction.  From the client's perspective, the "live model" is a way to see just how much time the design team is actually spending on their job.  The jobs I'm participating on have an eight week deadline to get 100% complete Construction Documents. I could name twenty jobs in the last month of similar size, scope, and regional area that were in design for nine months or more to get to the same point. 

I don't think we're dealing with a Herculean design team either.  This same group did one of the aforementioned 20 jobs that took nine months to achieve the same thing.  I think they know they're being watched, so they're not dividing their time with other projects.  I suspect for many of these design professionals, seeing one job through to completion would be much less frustrating than jumping around to whatever job is the most behind schedule.  

I suspect the next focus of these collaborative systems will be to tie cost impacts to everything in real time.  This would slay another design phase problem, blowing the budget.  It's never made any sense to me at all that Architects don't have their own estimators on staff. The courtesy budget check from local builders has devolved into a sham bid.  There are local design firms whose budget check at 50% drawings always passes, yet the 100% construction set consistently blows their clients budget.  

 On the surface, it sounds obvious, half the stuff was missing  at the budget check so it's natural that the price would be lower then.  OK, sure, but that's assuming that the half that was missing is a complete unknown to everyone.  That's not the truth.  The design team knew the broad strokes of what was missing, and chose not to share that information at the budget stage.  Any contractor who included costs for all that hidden information on the budget round would be ignored because they're now the highest bidder.  

 Any contractor who exposes the design teams malfeasance, risks incurring their wrath on future work.  The client doesn't know who to believe, but it's reasonable to assume that if informed decisions were made in the first place, the whole thing would be less expensive.  


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Dear Rockstar,

Another issue from the property owner/client perspective is the cosy relationship between architects, engineers, design firms, and contractors.  They will all be working with each other again and do not wish to foul their nest for future projects by calling BS on one another.

Almost 20 years ago the County I worked for at the time passed a bond issue to build a new Human Services building.  Once the voters approved the bond issue we knew the maximum budget for the property (in CO a government cannot incur multi-year debt without a vote of the people).  We went to the architect and asked for a design within the budget.  They came back with a design and cost estimate and when we put it out to bid the lowest bid was about 50% greater than the budgeted amount.  The excuse was that the cost of steel had increased.  I thought that is something the architects should have been keeping track of.  I can see being off 10-15% plus or minus but that much means all they were doing was a WAG.  We had to cut back the scope of the project considerably to get it within the budget.

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You've nailed it on the cozy relationships being a deterrent to throwing blame around.  Cities really don't have much excuse for their design contract procedures.  If they can write in liquidated damages penalties for construction being late, why can't they write in  penalties for the Architects design coming in over budget?  I'm not aware of any penalties for designs that don't pass building department review either. 



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Mr. R. Star,

Many jurisdictions follow common law or specific legislation, that will allow a ten per cent overage in costs. Above that,  the contractee is on the hook, for the cost overage.

That includes architects.

Each state in the union has their own laws and jurisprudence concerning the matter. So Checking with the Attorney General's office is advised.

The local architect society may also help.

A design that does not pass regulatory approval is the architect firms liability.

That approval is a essential term of the contract.  In other words such shoddy work is worthless. (a.k.a.  a material term of the contract). 

If it is breached,   it IS a breach of contract.

Hope the afore going is of value.


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Your post is very interesting and timely.  I've solicited design proposals from engineers on several occasions.  On the most recent bid, all of the proposals included provisions that exempted the engineer from responsibility financial or otherwise for ; cost impacts, failing to meet regulatory approval, and omissions in their own designs.  

I've read Architectural design contract templates from the AIA and these same exclusions are very common. Many times, the specification manual will have lengthy passage(s) which stipulate that it's the bidders responsibility to inform the architect or engineer of any errors, omissions, discrepancies, or  other relevant issues before the bid, or else the bidder will be held responsible for the consequences of same.  

If they've exempted themselves from liability via contract, or via specifications which are part of the executable construction documents, would the regulations you mentioned apply?

Also, I think I should clarify that the projects that fail to pass building plan review, are generally revised and resubmitted however many times it takes to get to permit.  I suspect they may be meeting the liability requirement by doing all the revisions necessary to get a permit at no additional cost.  To the best of my knowledge, there are no consequences to the design team for the time lost.

While I am curious about all of this, I think most clients and contractors can't afford the time or the money to seek legal solutions to design team problems.



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You have just bumped into an old legal dodge that is perfectly okay in some, (actually most),  jurisdictions.

The "hold harmless",  (actually called a "disclaimer"),  clause that you saw in the contract document will not hold up in court nor in arbitration.

So why is it there?

Check the contract clauses and you should see a clause that states that if a contract clause (s), is/are found to be void, (unlawful),

the rest of the bargain is still o.k. without the void  clause(s).

Why would contractees put in such a clause? (for example architects).

Lawyers are aware of this game but laymen are not aware of it.

The layman reads the contract and figures that they have no rights under that contract. Most throw their hands up in the air and eat their losses.

If contractors were allowed to disclaim all liability, they certainly  would. But in doing so they would really offer contractors essentially nothing.

This has happened in the past.  And the courts and legislatures have ruled that such contracts are void as against public policy.

Or the contractor has a right to a court determination,  and damages for breach of contract.

Often a lawyers letter  or private conversation with the contractee will determine the matter.

Hope that helps,


In other words people cannot contract themselves out of the law.

You can read the rich history of those one sided contracts and their demise  in a contract law (history), book.   The sea shipping contracts  written during the las part of the eighteen hundreds and the first decade of the twentieth century discusses the subject.  Those contracts only obligated the contractee shippers to take the sender's money and nothing else. The contract disclaimed all liability. (the English House of Lords  was not amused).


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i find this thread quite interesting , here seems to be an industry belief that Architects /engineers should " know their stuff" as it were. this might well have been possible 40-50 years ago but today its just not possible , take just one small segment of their game ie. paint , the reps from the manufacturers can barely keep up with "their" brand  let alone 5 or 6 brands. technology  and chemistry is changing/evolving (and not always for the better) legislation and "best practice" is also in flux , then also mutch of the cad /drawing and specifying packages are self scripting  its hard to keep up and stay on top of it all.    

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Mr. Ianinsa,

Selling a product in the U.S.A. is governed by the U.C.C.. (Unified Commercial Code article 2).  Similarly, Canada and England have the (Sir MacKenzie Chalmer's Sale Of Goods act or amended legislation.Those acts cover goods bought and sold. There is clause stipulated or not that that the goods must meet the  "implied warranty of fitness".

This is a fancy phrase for the obligation that the goods be functional and do the job they touted to do.

In other words, We cannot sell and take payment for a useless piece of junk.

There are other laws and jurisprudence,  (case law)  that obligate a party offering services,  for pay,  to deliver proper services. (and not contingent "crap").

Failure will result in negligence and/or breach of contract litigation.

Those parties are warrantying their expertise. If the contractee consultant is not sure than he should not be taking on the assignment.  The other party is relying on that expertise.

The relevant party should  not be forced enter an agreement that is really a 'crap shoot'.

There are other consultant that can offer that expertise.

I forget,  now,  whether South Africa,  (S.A.),  is a Common Law jurisdiction, or uses some form of law derived from Dutch Civil Code law.

If it is the latter,   my comments are not relevant for S.A. (i.e. nugatory).


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Slag,  Thank you very much for your legal explanations!  It's never made sense to me that design contracts essentially exclude every negative outcome the client would be hiring them to avoid.  This makes much more sense as a dodge, and I must admit, it's an effective one against the laymen who often eat crow when things go wrong.

I'd like to encourage you to write a post about things along this line.  I had a "contract law" course as part of my construction management degree but they never touched on any of this.  I'd love to know how I could go about determining what is and isn't allowed in my state. 

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Mr. R. Star.esq ,

A basic contracts course will cover the highlights of contract law. 

It usually does not, have time to explore contracts for purchase and sale, nor contracts for services.

I enjoyed 4 contracts courses in law school. And did more study preparing to write the New York State, and Ontario, Canada bar exams.

Writing a " … post about things along that line...",  could end up taking 30 or 40 pages to merely cover the highlights of the law pertaining to purchase and sale.

Incidentally, any sale over a certain of amount of money is covered by such law,  even if it is not reduced to a writing. (that is covered by each state's Statute of Frauds Act).

Take a look at the sale page documents that accompany  a purchase,  the next time you buy a washer or radio or etc. It will be there. Most people don't notice it and could care less.

If you are interested in such law,  contact your state's Attorney General Office for their suggestion of proper materials. (they are required by law to answer your question).  As ignorance of the law is no defense. 

There are books that cover this area of law. But, I think that they would present too much detail.

My suggestion is to get a hold of the contract law section of a Bar Exam preparatory course. That portion that considers article two of the Uniform Commercial Code.

It covers the law pertaining purchase and sale.  Those materials are excellent and very succinct.

Alternatively, the net may have good material. I do not know for sure, as I studied law before the net's existence.

If we were closer situated we could do it together (for beer and hamburgers, I'm cheap), but I seem to remember that you are located in the far west.

Hope that helps.



p.s. you can thank politicians and business interests for not making the joint and several clause and the "illegal", unenforceable clauses, continue to be present in contract documents


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I was greatly surprised at all the clauses I found in "simple" rental contracts that violated either/both state and city laws starting back when I was in college and renting an off campus place. I was told they were there to intimidate renters who didn't know about resources they could use if there were issues...

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A lot of the time various waivers and hold harmless clauses are there only to discourage claims and litigation.  They are unenforceable in a court of law but serve to deter people who have a valid claim.  Whoever drafted the language knows perfectly well that it has no legal effect but if it can serve to avoid, say, 50% of potential claims it has served its intent well.

Rockstar, because of the question of one governmental entitiy's authority over another one building permits and building code compliance can be problematical.  For example, a state office building may not have to meet a local building code or obtain a local building permit or even comply with local zoning because a local government cannot regulate a "superior" level of government from which it derives its authority.  This will vary from state to state and may be addressed by statue but it can lead to some interesting results.

Also, in CO there is a provision in the state Constitution which prohibits "pledging the public credit."  This was enacted in the 19th century to prevent local governments from issuing bonds or making loans to support shaky railroad promoters who promised to bring a RR to town.  Now, CO governments can use it to avoid any hold harmless clauses in contracts because that would be "pledging the public credit" to a private party.  I believe that other states have similar laws.

I agree with Slag that it would be pretty tough to present a cheat sheet on contracts here.  It is a very complex area of the law and even a contracts course in law school only lays the general groundwork.  There wasn't much in my contracts course that helped me in slogging through the AIA contract templates.  Getting ahold of the bar exam review materials on contracts is a good start but remember,  they are intended as a memory aide to people who have already been through law school, not to educate someone who has no prior knowledge.

Fortunately, at blacksmith level the best binding contract is usually a handshake.  The blacksmith does the work, the customer pays, and everyone is happy.

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Mr.George N. M.,

It is a pleasure to meet another law enthusiast.* Welcome.

"Pledging the public credit" is a novel concept for me. And I am certain that it applies ('obtains'), in Colorado,  (and probably many other states as well).

Generally a contract that has enough disclaimer clauses that it essentially absolves one party of all liability, makes for a void contract.

It is essential that a contract has "consideration" flowing from one party to the other. That must go both ways. (i.e. mutatis mutandis).

A contract that does not have such (mutual) consideration is void. An example of a bargain is one party selects a bottle of aspirin from the pharmacy, and the purchaser then pays for that bottle.

This concept of required consideration, goes back many hundreds of years.  Indeed,  to the very beginning of contract law. It is an essential; requirement.

No lesser jurisdiction can appropriate an area of legal subject matter from an authority that has that jurisdiction. That is a municipality cannot usurp a state. Nor a state usurp the jurisdiction of the federal government.

This area of law is governed by the U. S. constitution, jurisprudence and pertinent legislation.

The Federal Government has a very powerful tool to grab jurisdiction from the states. It is called the commerce clause.  Any matter that affects interstate commerce is fair game. That clause has been granted very scope by the courts. Few state challenges have succeeded where the commerce clause has been questioned.

U.S. constitutional law is a very complicated area. It usually comprises at least two courses in law school. (often three).

An example of a jurisdictional question would be,  for example,  no municipality may pass laws and regulations that concern property law. ( personal property.) The constitution gives that authority to the states.

And no state legislature may usurp Federal matters.

An example, of the latter occurred  when the state of Massachusetts passed a law that attempted to affect international treaty rights, that for a reason they thought important. That occurred in the 1980's

The Supreme Court struck down that law.  The state had no such jurisdiction.

I find it odd that a contractor company would demand all copies of a consultant contractee. We regularly insisted that the contractee must retain a copy in order to better comply with that contract. For example in non-disclosure agreements.

The professional must retain a copy should the question of professional negligence arise, by the contractor or any third party.  Most contractors requested all copies and we always refused.  No contractor ever refused that request by me, (and my firm or legal department). Insisting on sole retention was a deal killer.

I hope that the above points shed further light on the matter.




I strongly agree that a bargain between a blacksmith and purchaser needs no contract, a handshake should suffice.  Contracts, generally, will not make a crook honest.

If you suspect that a party is dishonest, do not deal with them.

* I just discovered that you are,  indeed,  an attorney,  as well as a blacksmith. We appear to have much in common.

p.p.s.  One other advantage of incorporation is that the income tax avails a corporation oceans more deductions than a citizen.




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Dear Slag,

Although it has been 30+ years since I graduated from law school I still think of myself as a "recovering geologist."  It's one day at a time and you are never completely cured.  Whenever I get an urge to hit a rock with a hammer or make a map I call someone up and they talk me out of it.  "My name is George and I'm a geologist.  I've gone 27 days without hitting a rock with a hammer." (applause)  When the bottom fell out of the minerals industry in the early 80s I didn't want to go to work at Burger King or 7-11 (I never wanted to say, "Do you want fries with that?" professionally.) I went back to the Univ. of Wyoming and went to law school.  It's been fun.  Inside job, no heavy lifting.  I've been a blacksmith since the late '70s and that has been fun too.

Contracts and contract attorneys are for the small percentage of times when things go bad.  Attorneys get paid to look for and prepare for the worst case scenario.  Most contract and agreements go just fine but the few that go bad justify all the preparation for the worst.  However, it is hard to quantify a negative.  You can't tell a client that you saved them X dollars in litigation costs and judgements because of the way you drafted their contract.

One of the nice things about being a blacksmith is that while I have had to deal with ideas and paper all day long I get to deal with something very tangible at the forge.  That has been a real saving grace and one of the reasons that I have not burned out as an attorney.


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Wow, I'm another Geologist that was kicked onto the street with the oilfield crash of the early 1980's.  I spent a year resting, then apprenticed to a professional sword maker for a year; then got married and had to find a "real job". Ended up getting a CIS degree and working for Bell Labs, NRAO and Dell for the last 30 years.

I keep a rock hammer in my truck and when I get the urge to go hit a rock I do so!  Trying to hold it in can give you Cactolithisis!  Living out here where the bones of the earth clearly show makes it easy...

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