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Paul Zimmerman
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Showing 8 posts by T. Darren Barker.

Darren Barker Identifies Key Aspects of Beacon v. Skidmore

Darren Barker discussed the Beacon v. Skidmore case at the Orange County Bar Association’s Construction Law Section Meeting on April 1, 2015 in Newport Beach. This case will continue to have major repercussions for design professionals working in California for years to come. In this segment, he stresses the importance of reporting construction defects to licensing boards before filing a lawsuit.

Click here to view other videos of Darren discussing this case. 

Attorney Darren Barker Discusses the Importance of Taking Timely Notes During Construction Conflicts

Darren Barker spoke on the “CA Supreme Court Decision Increases Litigation Exposure of Architects” panel at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orange County chapter’s January meeting, held January 14, 2015. The presentation focused on how the California Supreme Court decision in “Beacon Residential v SOM” expands an architect’s duty of care to future residential property owners, where there is no contractual relationship. In this segment, he stresses the importance of writing down the details of construction conflicts soon after they occur in order to help build a strong case down road in the event that litigation ensues.

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Andreas Karelias  © 123RF.com

Decision in Beacon May Adversely Impact Builders and Developers

The most populous state in the U.S., California has spent the past 25 years mired in construction defect litigation. This can largely be attributed to the proliferation of widespread residential development projects initiated to meet growing housing demands. It’s no surprise, then, that the Golden State has emerged as a trendsetter in the areas of construction insurance, liability analysis, and right to repair laws, as they relate to design professionals, contractors, builders and developers.

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rangizzz © 123RF.com

Third-Party Negligence Litigation: California High Court Shines Beacon on California Architects

Watch out California architects and other design professionals. The California Supreme Court recently held that persons who plan, design and oversee the construction of residential buildings owe a duty of care to future third-party homeowners, even though no identifiable contractual relationship exists between the parties. Design professionals have traditionally been immune from third-party negligence litigation, but the Supreme Court’s decision makes it clear that future homeowners can pursue a negligence cause of action against architects for providing faulty plans/designs.  (View Full Article)

Darren Barker Discusses the California Supreme Court Ruling on Beacon v. Skidmore

Darren Barker discusses the unanimous California Supreme Court decision to uphold the lower court’s ruling in Beacon v. Skidmore, which holds design professionals liable to third parties in construction negligence cases. He describes how the court arrived at this decision and notes that the ruling can be applied to both residential and commercial construction projects. Additionally, he addresses steps design professionals can take to protect themselves going forward. Read Darren Barker's article "Design Professionals Duty of Care" for more on this subject.

How Legal Counsel Can Help During Contractors State Licensing Board Investigations

Darren Barker and Eric Rans discuss the importance of bringing on legal counsel when under investigation by the Contractors State Licensing Board, which has the power to issue citations, and suspend or revoke a contractor’s license. Compiling documentation, revisiting the property site to survey any changes in appearance, and remaining proactive with discovering hearing dates are just some of the ways Darren and Eric explain that attorneys can help build a case on behalf of contractors.

Darren Barker Discusses How Beacon v. Skidmore Will Affect Design Professionals

Darren Barker explains the importance of Beacon v. Skidmore, which exposes design professionals to potential liability to third parties in negligence cases. This case allows home owners to hold design professionals (architects, engineers, surveyors, etc.) accountable for negligence in instances where the work was performed under an agreement with a general contractor. Currently, the case is under appeal with the California Supreme Court with a decision pending in 2014.

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FERNANDO BLANCO CALZADA © 123RF.com

Design Professionals' Duty of Care Potentially Expanded with Beacon

Design professionals (architects, engineers) have largely been immune from third party negligence litigation.  The standard AIA contract has limited liability to the direct contracting parties, and has not historically recognized a duty to third party homeowners.  Since the design professionals have not been in direct contract with third party purchasers, generally no duty has been owed. (Read More)