Column and Beam

A blog for design and construction professionals.

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Potential Claim? Give Your Insurer Notice ASAP.

Like all professionals, a significant expense in your annual budget is for professional liability insurance premiums.  Despite this, many firms often do not make good use of the coverage that they have purchased and paid for or –  even worse – jeopardize that coverage by failing to provide timely notice of potential claims.

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Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Design Professionals

Another new year is here, and if you are like me, you try to make it a better year than the last.  I have been lucky enough to interact with architects and engineers every day for many years now.  While I love helping design professionals, I want to help avoid the stress and expense of disputes.  I have ten ideas for 2018 resolutions that you might consider to make your 2018 a better year.

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Using Social Media to Evaluate Potential Employees

Let’s assume that you have an opening at your firm for an open position.  You have screened the resumes submitted and narrowed the field of potential candidates to six.  You can easily Google each candidate and see what information is available on the internet about each, which might help you further narrow the field.   A study from CareerBuilder shows that 70 percent of employers now use social media to screen job candidates before hiring, up from 60 percent a year ago and 11 percent in 2006.  Should you?

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What You Need to Know Choice of Law

You’ve seen it in many contracts, it is a contract clause that states something like:

This Contract is governed by South Carolina law.

You might have even debated with your client which state should be inserted into the clause.  Many architect, engineers, contractors – and even some attorneys  – do not understand the implication and importance of a choice of law clause. 

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Is Anyone Listening? Your Virtual Assistant is.

Virtual assistant are flooding the marketplace.  There is Amazon’s Alexa, the Amazon Echo, and Echo Dot.  There is also Google Home/Google, Siri, Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby.   Last week, we learned that Amazon and Microsoft have been working together to make Alexa and Cortana communicate with each other because they recognize the future importance of virtual assistants.

Voice-assisted technology makes life easier.  For example, Google Home can control thermostats, appliances, lights and security systems.  You could leave your office and command that all lights turn off and the temperature change.  Alexa can play music during the work day, accessing Prime, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Tunein.  Google Home can perform research through a Google search.  By using these devices, however, you are exposed to privacy risks because they are listening for voice data and transmitting it to third parties.

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