Real Estate Law Practice Tips

Tips from Jim Lobb
An Excerpt from BAR briefs MAGAZINE

Shareholder James T. Lobb (better known as Jim), was recently named Best Lawyers'® 2017 Louisville Real Estate "Lawyer of the Year."   Jim recently contributed real estate practice tips for the Louisville Bar Association's October 2016 BARbriefs Magazine.  In case you missed it, here is the excerpt:

Urge your client to let you review all surveyor and environmental consultant work contracts before your client signs them.

Most consultant work contracts limit the consultant's malpractice liability to the lessor of (i) a small, arbitrarily determined dollar amount or (ii) the amount that your client actually pays the consultant for the work. 

Reputable consultants should carry errors and omissions insurance.  If they don't, then your client shouldn't use them.  If they do, they should be willing to increase their potential malpractice liability to the lessor of (i) the actual harm caused by their negligent acts or (ii) the full amount of their errors and omissions policy (or at least a much higher, arbitrarily determined dollar amount).  Most consultants will make this change to their work contract if you ask.  If they won't, again, your client shouldn't use them.

Make sure the contract requires the consultant to give third-party reliance letters at a reasonable rate.

And make sure your client owns or has a license in the work product that requires the consultant to produce the most current completed version of its work product, and allows the client to use that version of the work product to finish the job, if the consultant and the client have a falling out.