Our Attorneys hold the following licenses, bar admissions and registrations;
Licensed Architect, Michigan NCARB Multi-State Architectural License Certification Michigan Bar Association (admitted to practice before all Michigan Courts) United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan United States District Court, Western District of Michigan United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals United States Court of Federal Claims United States Supreme Court
In addition, our Attorneys are active with the American Arbitration Association, sitting on the national panel of construction arbitrators and the national panel of commercial arbitrators
Commitment to the Design and Construction Professions
Recognizing that our experiences are of value to the design professions and the construction industry, our staff makes a substantial professional service investment. Specific examples include;
AIA Michigan Government Affairs Committee This committee acts as a clearing house for all AIA Michigan legislative activity and functions in an advisory capacity to the AIA Michigan Board of Directors Co-Chair, 2004 - 2008
School Construction Legislation Task Force This task force was formed specifically to draft and lobby for the passage of a bill that would strengthen inspection requirements for school projects and that would remove the statutory requirement that the design professional who prepared construction documents for a school project was also require to "ensure" that the construction comported with the documents. That effort was successful and results are now found in a new statute, Michigan Compiled Laws, section(s) 388.851 and 388.852
2002 - 2003
Sole Negligence Legislation Task Force This task force was formed to draft and lobby for passage of a bill that would prevent the State of Michigan from including requirements in any design services contract that required a design professional to indemnify the State for anything more than damage the design professional caused. That effort was successful, resulting in a new statute that problematic practice, found at Michigan Compiled Laws, section 18.1237(c) Chair, 2003 - 2004
AIA National Risk Management Committee This committee acts as an advisor the AIA National Board of Directors on insurance and risk issues. Our principal Attorney, Frederick F. Butters, is current co-chair of that committee and will chair it in 2009
AIA National Licensing Committee This committee acts as an advisor the AIA National Board of Directors on licensing issues. Our Attorneys are currently serving a 3 year term on that committee
AIA National Board of Directors In addition to serving on the AIA Michigan Board of Directors Executive Committee, our principal Attorney, Frederick F. Butters is currently serving a 3 year term on the national board of directors as the director from the Michigan region.
Our principal Attorney, Frederick F. Butters, is a recognized leader in the Architectural Community. In recognition of his contributions to the profession, Mr. Butters was named the AIA Detroit young Architect of the Year in 2001, and was awarded the Lawrence Technological University School of Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003.
In 2006, The American Institute of Architects elevated him to its college of fellows. Founded in 1952, the college of fellows is comprised of members of the AIA elected by a jury of their peers. Membership in the college is the highest individual honor the Institute can bestow on a member. Elevation to the college of fellows is limited to those members who have demonstrated significant contributions to Architecture and to society on a national level.
Our Attorneys share their knowledge and experience as frequent speakers at trade events. Recent engagements include;
"Architectural Copyrights and Plan Room Service" International Builders Exchange Executives 2004 Annual Convention Anchorage, Alaska June 2004
"Behind the Green Roof - Liability Aspects of Green Design" AIA National Convention San Antonio, Texas May 2007
"Sustainable Design and Risk Management" DePaul University Real Estate Institute Conference February, 2008
"Liability aspects of Designing Green" Green Building Initiatives Webinar June, 2008
"Sustainable design Considerations for Architects and Engineers - the Greening of the Standard of Care" St. Paul / Traveler's Risk Control Webinar July, 2008
"Risk Management and Green Design - Balancing Contract Lanauge with the Evolving Standard of Care" ASHRAE Winter Meetings Chicago, Illinois January, 2009
"2007 AIA Documents v. 2007 Consent Documents - Major Similarities and Major Differences" Construction Specifications Institute - CONSTRUCT 2009 Indianapolis, Indiana June, 2009
"A Green Postcard from South of the Border - Liability Challenges for the Practicing Architect in a Green World" Pro-Demnity Insurance Company Ottawa, Ontario November, 2009
"A Green Postcard from South of the Border - Liability Challenges for the Practicing Architect in a Green World" Pro-Demnity Insurance Company Markham, Ontario November, 2009
"A Green Postcard from South of the Border - Liability Challenges for the Practicing Architect in a Green World" Pro-Demnity Insurance Company Toronto, Ontario November, 2009
Green Building Risk Management for the Corporate Practitioner - "Green Side Up" and other Green Concerns from the Architect's Perspective Wisconsin Bar Association Corporte Practice Institute Milwaukee, Wisconsin December, 2009
Reported cases represent an opportunity to participate in the development of the law. Our reported cases include;
Saveski v. Tiseo Architects, Inc., 261 Mich App 553, 682 NW 2d 542 (2004); In a case involving arbitration of claims against design professionals, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld an arbitration award exonerating an Architect and ordered the trial Court to confirm the award and enter judgment on it. The Court found that an Arbitrator is not under any legal obligation to explain his or her award. To the contrary, unless there are errors of law manifest on the face of the award, the Court may not inquire of the Arbitrator as to the basis of the award, but instead is obligated to confirm it and enter judgment on it as it is written.
Wold Architects v. Strat, 474 Mich 223, 713 NW 2d 750 (2006); In a dispute between 2 firms regarding the terms of a merger, the Michigan Supreme Court re-affirmed the existence of common law arbitration in Michigan. Therefore, in order to create enforceable and binding arbitration obligations, parties to a contract in Michigan must include express language that authorizes the court to enter judgment on the award in their agreement.
Ostroth v. Warren Regency LLP, 474 Mich 36, 709 NW 2d 589 (2006); In a case involving the application of the Michigan statute of limitations and statute of repose as they apply to design professionals, the Michigan Supreme Court cast aside well settled law and concluded that despite the relative differences in the respective statutes, the 6 year period set out in the statute of repose had limitations effect and that it must be read to the exclusion of the statute of limitations.
Tiseo Architects, Inc., v. B & B Pools & Supply Co., 495 F 3d 344 (6th Cir. 2007); In a copyright infringement case, the Court concluded that despite finding substantial similarity between copyrighted work product and a specific copy, it was nevertheless proper to entertain arguments to the effect that the work product was merely a consequence of an architect's response to a client's specific requirements, and that the work therefore effectively lost its copyright protection.
Frederick F. Butters, PLLC Attorney at Law 26677 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan 48034
(248) 357-0831 (248) 357-0832 (fax)
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