Tips & Guidelines for Working with Attorneys

Providing fact testimony

When a lawsuit is filed against an architecture firm for services it provided, members of the firm may be subpoenaed to testify on relevant facts in a deposition and possibly in a trial. View suggested tips and guidelines when providing fact testimony

Claims defense from the attorney’s perspective

When a claim is made, counsel experienced in defending design professionals is retained by the professional liability insurance carrier to defend the claim on behalf of the architect. Resolving a complaint requires a collaborative effort between the architect and attorney. Find out how best to work with an attorney in your own claim’s defense.

Claims management by the architect

A liability claim made against an architect typically begins with a written notice of claim and demand for payment and can escalate to a lawsuit. All claims have the potential of ending up in court and quick, proactive claims management response can often be successful. To understand the internal management actions to take at the infancy of the process to assist your attorney and defeat the claim or minimize liability exposure.

The authors:

Greg N. Ziegler, Esq. is an owner in the Dallas, Texas law firm of Macdonald Devin where he has practiced for 22 years in civil trial law representing professionals and businesses throughout the US, including design firms. He specializes in defending architects and engineers in major construction cases and is licensed in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.  

James B. Atkins, FAIA, FKIA, is an architect and author who lives in Dallas, Texas and formerly a Principal/Owner of HKS Architects.


All information on this page is copyrighted by James B. Atkins and Greg N. Ziegler. A license is granted to the AIA Trust and to members of the American Institute of Architects to use the same with permission. The authors and the AIA Trust assume no liability for the use of this information by AIA members or by others who by clicking on any of the links above agree to use the same at their sole risk. Any other reproduction or use is strictly prohibited.

This information is provided as a member service and neither the Authors nor the AIA Trust is rendering legal advice. Laws vary by state and members should seek legal counsel or professional advice to evaluate these suggestions and to advise the member on proper risk management tools for each project.

You may also be interested in:

Bridging the gap: Navigating the risks and mitigating claims in construction contract administration services

Introduction In recent years, the design industry has experienced a significant disparity in experience levels among the workforce in the field of construction contract administration (CCA) services. With a visible gap between junior staff (1-5 years of experience) and senior staff (10+ years of experience), many firms are finding themselves in a conundrum, compelling less-experienced…

ESOPs Fable: an overview of what an ESOP is and what should be considered

The Fable A sheepdog getting to the end of her prime working years, was told by the farmer that her final task was to select an appropriate replacement. So, early the next morning, she began her search of the farm for a suitable heir to her position.