Editor’s Notes

There are individuals who consider themselves “designers.” When they represent themselves to the public in this manner, it raises a number of questions. Are they implying they are licensed design professionals? If not, what is their role? What is the lawful scope of services they can provide?


An individual in Minnesota had never been a licensed architect, yet she used that term when offering services to the public. When cited for violating the state licensing statute, she replied that she had never used the term “architect” as a stand-alone title. She had described herself as a “design architect” or a “residential architect.”


An appellate court ruled that the licensing law prohibits the use of any title “tending to convey the impression that the person is an architect.” This individual was clearly in violation of the statute.


The other case in this issue involves a prime contractor’s defense to a subcontractor payment claim.

The contractor relied on prime contract language incorporated by reference into the subcontract. But a broad incorporation by reference clause imposes on the sub only prime contract provisions relating to the scope, quality, character and manner of the work to be performed by the subcontractor.





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