On November 5, 2007, the California Supreme Court held that the State of California could not enter into a memorandum of understanding with an engineering union which restricted the State from hiring and retaining private engineering firms where such restrictions were barred by a recent amendment to the state constitution. (See Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California, Inc. v. Professional Engineers in California Government, 2007 Cal. LEXIS 12680.)

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New laws concerning the construction industry will go into effect in 2007, some of which are previewed below. These laws encompass a wide variety of issues including indemnification of design professionals, the ability of architects to practice as limited liability partnerships, “green” building construction, expansion of design-build procurement, revocation and suspension of contractors’ licenses, execution of public university contracts, and regulation of the conduct of architects. 
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The Governor signed a new law today which limits a public agency’s ability to impose indemnity obligations on design professionals.  AB 573 (Wolk) creates a new Civil Code section 2782.8 which makes indemnity clauses imposed by public agencies on design professionals (including architects, landscape architects, engineers and land surveyors) unenforceable except to the extent that they are based

On June 13th, in Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California, Inc. v. Professional Engineers in California Government, (2006) 2006 Cal. App. LEXIS 874, the Third District Court of Appeal struck down provisions of a union agreement between the state and civil service engineers limiting the state’s right to contract with private engineers, holding that the provisions conflict with Proposition 35 and are unconstitutional.


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