Legal counsel - practice exam 2

I can’t make a clear point of why the following answers are correct and incorrect. Some additional thoughts would definitely help.

For which reasons should an architect seek legal counsel?

  1. A portion of the ceiling has collapsed, seriously injuring a worker. The collapse is likely due to inadequate support.
    Correct. A serious injury on a jobsite that appears to be caused by a design error is reason to notify your attorney.

Isn’t inadequate support an indicator of means and methods? Is the architect looking for legal counsel to prepare in advance in case the provided service would be at fault?

  1. A former client calls and reports an unsightly white, powdery substance on his or her brick walls.
    Incorrect. Make a note of it. This sounds like efflorescence, which can be cleaned off.

In my perspective, the powdery substance could harm the public health and could be a matter of calling out a defective/ inadequate mortar or bricks. Is it, in fact, a matter of experience and a common degradation for brick construction, that the issues can be easily identified as no health risk for tenants? Therefore no reason to seek legal advice?

1 Like

Hey Oana,

Another great question, and thank you for posting it!

@heatherrivera are you able to help us out with this question?

The new year isn’t slowing @Oana down with the thoughtful questions!

Support should be covered in the construction documents. Whether it’s framing for a hard lid ceiling or a grid with ties shown for an ACT, it’s the architect’s job to cover this. If the architect did give a design and the GC took it upon himself to allow means and methods to prevail, and the ceiling failed, that would certainly be on the contractor. If the architect didn’t cover it in the original scope, this was an omission.

Efflorescence is the seeping of salt to the surface of a porous material. When water dries or evaporates from concrete, brick, stucco and even stone, you will very often see this deposit. This is very common and not directly indicative of an issue. By taking note you’re agreeing to monitor it. Usually it’s just a cosmetic issue. If it bothers the owner, it can be washed off with a solution proper for that material. If you start to notice it getting worse or if actual water is present, this could be a sign of a bigger problem.

Keep it up!