PART I – Questions on Introduction to Law


1.   Chapter 1 – Evolution of Engineering and Law

1.1.     Define “law.”

1.2.     Briefly define each of these terms: (a) municipal law, (b) substantive law, (c) constitutional law, (d) international law, (e) criminal law, (f) administrative law, (g) maritime law, (h) commercial law.

1.3.     Under what circumstances may an engineer or architect have occasion to deal with lawyers?

1.4.     In what kinds of legal proceedings might an engineer be involved?

2.   Chapter 2 – Legal Systems in the United States and the World

2.1.     Define and illustrate “statute law.”

2.2.     Define and illustrate “common law.”

2.3.     What constitutes the written law of the United States?

2.4.     What is the United States Code?

2.5.     Explain the effect of court decisions upon both statute law and common law.

2.6.     Can statute law change a common-law principle?

2.7.     Define “equity.”

2.8.     List several of the remedies available in equity.

2.9.     What is the supreme law of the land?

2.10. Is the common law uniform throughout the United States? Explain.

3.   Chapter 3 – Substantive and Procedural Law

3.1.     What is the purpose of evidence?

3.2.     Explain direct evidence.

3.3.     What is circumstantial evidence? When may it be necessary? What are the weaknesses and dangers connected therewith?

3.4.     Explain (a) how evidence may be relevant, (b) how it may be irrelevant.

3.5.     What is the meaning of “weight” of evidence?

3.6.     What qualities of a witness should be examined when judging his testimony?

3.7.     What is “opinion” evidence? Under what circumstances is it admissible?

3.8.     Who determines the weight, or credibility, of evidence?

3.9.     What is meant by the “best” evidence? What part does the best-evidence rule play in a trial?

3.10. What is “secondary” evidence? Illustrate.

3.11. Compare written with oral (parol) evidence as respects the value of each and the role each fills.

3.12. What is meant by “burden of proof”? Which party assumes it?

3.13. What is “hearsay” evidence? When is it admissible?

3.14. What is meant by “competency” of evidence?

3.15. What is meant by “material” evidence?

3.16. Define “testimonial” evidence.

3.17. What is “real” evidence? Illustrate.

3.18. What is “documentary” evidence? Illustrate.

3.19. May a computer simulation of an event be offered as evidence?

3.20. What is the standard for admission of technical or scientific evidence?

3.21. Differentiate between the functions of a judge and a jury.

3.22. What is the judge’s “charge” to the jury?

3.23. What is meant by “judicial notice”? Illustrate.

3.24. Who determines the “credibility” of a witness?

3.25. What is the significance of a “conclusive” presumption? How does it operate?

3.26. What is “rebuttal”? Illustrate.

3.27. Who passes upon the competency of a prospective witness?

3.28. What are “privileged communications”? Can the privileged party be forced to divulge such communications in court? May he do so voluntarily?

3.29. What factors might make a prospective witness incompetent?

3.30. List several exceptions to the hearsay rule.

3.31. Explain “declarations against interest” and comment on their admissibility.

3.32. Illustrate a situation in which a “book entry” would constitute proper evidence.

3.33. What purpose may admissions and confessions serve in a court case?

3.34. Indicate the circumstances under which an expert may testify (a) as to facts, (b) as to conclusions.

3.35. A witness said: “Mrs. Jones told me that her husband had willed all of his property to her.” Do you think that such a statement is admissible as evidence in a suit by other relatives who claimed a share in the estate, since no will made by Mr. Jones was found?

4.   Chapter 4 – Systems of Courts

4.1.     Describe the setup and general operation of the federal courts and of state courts.

4.2.     Define “owner,” “engineer,” and “contractor” as used in contract documents.

4.3.     What are the engineer’s responsibilities in handling contract work for the owner?

4.4.     Why may some knowledge of the law be helpful to an engineer?


PART II – Questions on Law of Contracts

5.      Chapter 5 – Types of Contracts

5.1.   Why may one wish to have work done under a contract rather than hire laborers to perform the work?

5.2.   Distinguish between (a) “formal” and “informal” contracts, (b) “implied” and “express” contracts, (c) “executory” and “executed” contracts.

5.3.   What are some essential elements of a valid contract?

5.4.   What is a “quasi contract”?

5.5.   Define “unilateral contract” and “bilateral contract.” Illustrate each.

5.6.   Distinguish between “joint” and “several” contracts.

5.7.   Distinguish between an “entire” contract and a “severable” contract.

5.8.   When is a contract voidable? When is it void?

5.9.   Under what circumstances may a contract be unenforceable?

5.10.                    What is a subcontract? Illustrate.       

6.      Chapter 6 – Formation of Contracts

6.1.   How many parties constitute the minimum needed to form a contract? Why?

6.2.     What feature distinguishes a “minor”?

6.3.     Under what conditions can a minor be released from his or her contract?

6.4.     If a 50-year-old business person contracts to sell an automobile to a minor, can the promise of the former be subsequently avoided? Can the minor avoid his or her part of the bargain? Why?

6.5.     In contract law, what significance has (a) mental weakness of one of the contracting parties? (b) actual mental incompetence of one of the parties?

6.6.     Under what conditions will a person be bound by a promise which was made when intoxicated?

6.7.     Illustrate a case in which the subject matter or promise would be illegal or against public policy and therefore would void a contract involving same. 

6.8.     A agreed to pay B $5,000 for certain diamonds which B was to smuggle into the country. When B delivered the jewels, A refused to accept them. What can B do about it? Why?

6.9.     A called a builder, B describing in considerable detail an additional room which she planned to build on her house, and she asked B how much he would charge to build it. After lengthy discussion, B said, “I think it will cost you $3,000.”  A said, “That will be satisfactory.” The next day B called A and said that, after making a careful estimate of the job, he found the addition would cost $3,400. A claimed that B had already contracted to do the work for $3,000. Is A correct? Why?

6.10. X sent Y the plans and specifications for the complete electric lighting system for a new factory. Y replied that she would do the work for $4,500. X announced that he “hereby” awarded the contract to Y but that certain fixtures were to be changed and relocated and other revisions made in the plans. Is Y bound to go through with the project?

6.11. Black told White that she would sell all her “do-it-yourself” tools for $300. White replied: “Unless you hear otherwise from me before April 15, I shall accept your offer.” On April 12 White wrote Black that she could not afford to purchase the tools, and she gave the letter to Jones to mail. Jones forgot to do so until April 16, whereupon she posted the letter. Is White obliged to purchase the tools? Explain.

6.12. X sold his automobile to Y with the statement that all four tires were practically new. Y discovered next day (before paying for the car) that all tires were retreads. Can Y rescind the contract and avoid any payment whatever? If not, what recourse does Y have?

6.13. A had a nephew, B, to whom, when B was seventeen years and two months old, A loaned $2,000 for his educational expenses. In return B gave A a promissory note calling for repayment (without interest) two years from the date of the note. One year later, B quit school and joined the army. Two months after B’s nineteenth birthday, on the due date, A demanded payment. B refused. Can A collect? Explain.

6.14. Murray wrote to Giegler stating that he would install a completely new heating system in Giegler’s house, in accordance with the latter’s specifications, for $1,200. Giegler was away on vacation when the letter arrived at his home, and he had left no forwarding address. The next day, Murray discovered that he had made an error in his estimate. He therefore wrote Giegler another letter, repudiating the first one, and stating that the cost would be $1,400. Giegler received both letters simultaneously upon his return home. Can Giegler hold Murray to the latter’s first quotation? Explain.

6.15. Mrs. S was hit by a car, and her ankle was broken. Three days later, a paper was mailed to her by the representative of the insurance company who asked her to sign and return it. She did so without reading the paper carefully, believing it to be an initial payment of $500. Later, she discovered that the paper was a release of the company from all liability upon payment of $500. What can she do about the matter?

6.16. Explain the effect of duress or undue influence upon contractual relationships.

6.17. Carlson, a builder, promised Pratt that she would engage the latter to install all the hot-air furnaces in houses to be built by Carlson during the year 1984. Pratt ultimately sued Carlson for loss of anticipated profits because Carlson changed all of her house plans and installed hot-water heating systems instead of hot air. Can Pratt collect? Explain.

6.18. What is the meaning of “consideration” as the term is used in contract law?

6.19. A told B that, if the latter would take him along on a ten-day fishing trip in Maine, he would take care of B’s yard and flower beds all summer free of charge. B accepted the offer. Is there a binding contract? Explain.

6.20. Can an agreement not to do something be a proper consideration for a return promise?

6.21. Brown was interested in buying Gray’s secondhand truck and happened to tell his (Brown’s) daughter that he was willing to pay $1,000 for it. Gray called at Brown’s house when the latter was away, and Gray told Brown’s daughter that he would sell the truck for $1,000, whereupon the daughter accepted the offer and arranged for delivery next day. Is Brown obligated to pay? Why?

6.22. A had agreed to sell his house to B for $20,000 and stated that he would confirm his offer by letter the next day. When A wrote the letter, he made a typographical error, stating that the selling price was $2,000. What are the rights of the parties?

6.23. Black agreed to sell certain secondhand machinery to Green for $20,000, and Green accepted the offer. The following week Black learned that the machinery was actually worth $40,000 and thereupon refused to sell at the lower figure. Was Black’s position sound? What can Green do?

6.24. X told Y that he would buy Y’s old tractor at a “proper” figure as soon as Y received delivery of a new machine which was on order. Have the parties made a contract? Elaborate.

6.25. X owed Y $500 but was unable to pay on the due date. He told Y that he could pay only $300 in cash but that he would let Y have two pointer pups in addition if I would “call it square.” If Y accepts, what is the status of the $500 debt?

6.26. X promised to buy Y’s house and lot for $25,000 and made a deposit of $1,000 to bind the bargain. She was to receive transfer of title on August 10. On August 6 the house burned down. What happens to the contract? What happens to the $1,000 deposit?

7.      Chapter 7 – Procedural Issues in Formation of Contracts

7.1.     An expert sculptor contracted to make a bust of a movie star. She tried to sublet the job to another sculptor, but the actor refused to permit this. Did the latter have this right? Why?

7.2.     Can X who has a contract with Y assign his rights under the contract to Z? His duties? Is Y’s approval of the assignee (Z) necessary?

8.   Chapter 8 – Terms and Conditions

8.1.     Define and illustrate (a) an express condition in a contract, (b) a condition precedent, (c) a condition concurrent, (d) a condition subsequent.

8.2.     Sullivan, an architect, contracted to make the plans for Russell’s new warehouse in accordance with the latter’s wishes and to meet with the latter’s approval. When the plans were finished, Russell did not like them. Sullivan refused to revise the plans unless paid extra for doing so. Can Russell compel her to make the revisions without extra payment? Explain.

8.3.     On April 2, Conners contracted to deliver 50 cubic yards of topsoil to Buck for grading the latter’s lawn. In spite of Buck’s telephoned requests, Conners had not delivered the soil by May 15, whereupon Buck purchased the topsoil from Perkins (without notifying Conners) and had the job finished by May 21. A week later Conners started delivery and insisted that Buck go through with the bargain. If litigation ensues, what result can be expected?

8.4.     A promised B to build a small bridge for $48,000, constructing and maintaining in the meantime a detour that would be satisfactory to the state highway department. Later on, A discovered that the detour would cost her so much that she would lose heavily on the job. She therefore tried to annul the contract on the ground of inadequate consideration. What are her chances of success?

8.5.     Brown, a consulting engineer, agreed to sublet the making of the design drawings for bridge approaches to Black—provided that Brown secured the contract for designing this certain large bridge project. Assuming that Brown would get the job, Black contracted to employ White at a salary of $800 per month for one year. Brown failed to get the award. Is Black nonetheless obligated to hire White?

8.6.     A sent a check to B in payment for a certain list of lumber but gave B no instructions as to time for delivery. What time for delivery can A demand? Why?

8.7.     On October 3 Smith sent a check to Jones in payment for a TV set to be delivered to his son on December 24 as a Christmas present. He told his son about the arrangement. On November 15, Smith was killed in an auto accident. What action can Smith’s son take if Jones fails to deliver the TV set? Explain.

9.   Chapter 9 – Privity and Third Party Benefits

9.1.     What is the meaning of “privity of contract”?

9.2.     Ferris bought a secondhand motor boat from Lewis, to be delivered to Ferris’s son on June 1 in return for $500. Just prior to June 1, the elder Ferris died. Can the son force Lewis to deliver the boat for the stated sum?

9.3.     Does a third-party beneficiary of a contract have the right to demand enforcement of the contract? Explain.

9.4.     Differentiate intended beneficiary from incidental beneficiary.

10.    Chapter 10 – Construction and Interpretation

10.1. X claimed to be in the business of mowing lawns for suburbanites. X contracted with Y to mow the latter’s lawn for $50 for the season. When X appeared at Y’s place, he claimed that Y had to furnish the power mower to perform the work. Discuss Y’s possible course of action.

10.2. Will vague terms in a contract be construed against the one who composed them? Elaborate.

10.3. A contracted to deliver “200 pairs of Firestone tires of assorted sizes” to B by January 1. B intended to send A a list of the desired sizes but did not make this fact clear. A promptly shipped 200 pairs of tires, determining on his own the several sizes and the number of pairs of each. B refused to pay, and A brought suit. Will B have to accept and pay for the tires in the assortment tendered?

10.4. Distinguish between “written” and “printed” information.

11.    Chapter 11- Discharge of Obligations

11.1. What is a tender of performance?

11.2. Impossibility may be an effective excuse for nonperformance; inconvenience is not. Explain.

11.3. Distinguish between subjective and objective impossibility of performance.

11.4. What is meant by “act of God?” What effect may such an occurrence have upon a contract? Under what conditions may it fail to relieve the contractor of the obligation to perform?

11.5. If an act of God makes completion of a contract impossible after part of the work has been done, what arrangements should perhaps be made regarding compensation to the contractor?

11.6. X contracted to do personally certain engineering work for Y for the sum of $2,000. When the job was 25 percent completed, X fell seriously ill. Can X avoid her contract? Can she have someone else finish the work?

11.7. Farmer Clark contracted with Pillsbury to furnish 10,000 bushels of wheat to the latter on September 1. Lack of rain caused a poor crop and Clark was able to raise only 7,000 bushels. Can Pillsbury collect damages from Clark for the shortage of 3,000 bushels? Explain.

11.8. Douglas contracted to drive a well for Tucker for the sum of $500 and to furnish potable water at a flow of 5 gallons per minute. After spending $800 on the work, Douglas was unsuccessful and quit the job. What payment, if any, is Tucker obligated to make?

11.9. In what ways may a contract be terminated?

11.10.                   A contracted to paint B’s house for $600. A tried twice to make arrangements to start the job, but B kept stalling. Then A secured another job, and when B finally wanted her to start painting, A refused, saying that she was already “tied up.” Is A’s position defensible?

11.11.                   What are the differences among the following terms as used in referring to a contract: (a) abrogated, (b) avoided, (c) terminated, (d) discharged, (e) rescinded?

11.12.                   What are the essential elements of “novation”?

11.13.                   What is the meaning of “rescission” of a contract?

12.    Chapter 12 – Issues with Discharge by Performance

12.2. Lewis contracted with the government to dredge 2 million cubic yards of silt from the ship channel in New Haven Harbor. After excavating 1.5 million cubic yards, he quit the job. Should he be paid anything for partial performance?

12.3. A particular contract stated that “time is of the essence.” What legal significance is there in the quoted wording?

12.4. Illustrate a contract in which personal taste would determine what constitutes satisfactory performance.

12.5. What interpretation and effect should be given to a clause stating that all work is to secure the approval of the engineer?

12.6. B ordered a 5-ton truck “on approval” from C. When the truck was delivered, B objected to the color of the paint and refused to accept the vehicle. Did B have a right of refusal?

12.7. Who has the right to waive imperfections in the quality of performance? What does “waiver” mean?

13.    Chapter 13 – Remedies for Breach of Contract

13.1. Illustrate the difference between specific performance and substantial performance.

13.2. A ordered 100 pieces of hemlock two-by-fours 16 feet long. B had only seventy-six such pieces so she sent them and included thirty-two pieces 12 feet long, giving the same total length. What may A do about it?

13.3. A contracted to furnish certain bridge steelwork “complete and delivered to the site” for $30,000. He fabricated all the steel members properly and deposited them at the designated location, but he refused to erect the structure. Was he obligated to erect it? Explain.

13.4. Black contracted to deliver to storekeeper Brown three hogs per month for twelve months at a stated sum per pound; that was all the contract stipulated. Black delivered the first two months’ allotments dressed, and Brown paid for them. Then Black brought the next three hogs butchered but not dressed and claimed payment based on their “live” weight. Was Brown correct in refusing to pay for more than the dressed weight?

13.5. In quoting her price on some concrete construction, A listed the proposal as follows: “500 cubic yards at ninety-eight dollars ($98.00) per cubic yard.” How is A’s bid price to be determined?

13.6. A plumbing contract called for certain “Crane” fixtures, but the contractor installed “standard” fixtures, which she claimed were equivalent to the stipulated type. The owner claimed a deduction because of the substitution. Was he justified in so doing?

13.7. Explain what is meant by “breach of contract.”

13.8. Name several ways in which a contract may be breached.

13.9. Can one part of a severable contract be breached without breaching the whole contract? Explain.

13.10.                   Define each of the following types of damages: (a) nominal, (b) compensatory, (c) punitive, (d) liquidated.

13.11.                   What is meant by “restitution”? Under what contract circumstances does this concept enter the picture?

13.12.                   How does interference on the part of the owner affect the question of liquidated damages where the contractor does not finish the job on time because of such interference?

13.13.                   What is meant by a “latent defect” in speaking of a contracting party’s performance?

13.14.                   B was constructing a shopping center for C. In the midst of the job, C was threatened with bankruptcy. Is B obliged to continue with his undertaking?

13.15.                   Fulton contracted to furnish Mortimer 50 bushels of apples per week during October and November. She did so the first week of October, then failed the following week. Mortimer then contracted with Evans for the needed apples to December 1, notifying Fulton that the latter had broken her contract. Fulton stated that she was sick in bed during the second week of October, that this circumstance excused her failure, and that her contract with Mortimer remained in full force and effect. What are the rights of the parties?

13.16.                   Under what circumstances may the right to cancel a contract unilaterally be properly reserved to the owner?

13.17.                   Cox had contracted to build an addition to Bollard’s factory. A sudden flood virtually destroyed the factory before any work was started. What can Bollard do about the commitment?

13.18.                   C agreed to purchase from D 100 tons of steel sheet piling. Later on, C found some secondhand piling that he could buy more cheaply. What can C do about the situation?

13.19.                   In the preceding case, would D have the right to let C substitute a contract to purchase 100 tons of reinforcing bars from D?

13.20.                   X made a contract with Y for the benefit of a third party, Z. Under what conditions can either of the contracting parties release the other?

13.21.                   As the term is used in contractual relations, what is the meaning of “accord and satisfaction”?

13.22.                   Under what conditions might a contractor have the right to cancel a contract with a subcontractor?

13.23.                   Evans contracted to buy 10 acres of Olsen’s land for a factory site. Thereafter, the zoning board rezoned the area that included the property site into a “commercial,” or business, section. Is Evans nevertheless obliged to go through with the purchase or answer in damages?

13.24.                   Brown contracted to build a house for Gray for $32,000, starting May 10. On May 9, Brown brought his equipment for excavating the basement. Gray told him that she had decided to postpone his project for one year, and that Brown should build the house then at the same price. Is Brown under any legal obligation so to do?

13.25.                   Abbott contracted to deliver to Olcott 2,000 cubic yards of fill for grading a low area in the latter’s property. In return therefore, Olcott was to deliver to Abbott 25 tons of 3/4-inch reinforcing bars. Abbot delivered 500 cubic yards of fill, and that was all. What is Olcott’s obligation?

13.26.                   When and how may it be desirable to have in the master contract a clause empowering the prime contractor to sublet only a limited portion of the work involved in the contract?

13.27.                   Where a contract is rescinded by mutual agreement, the concept of “restitution” is often in the picture. What does it involve?

13.28.                   Assume that Long contracted to design the superstructure and building foundations for Short’s new factory for a stated percentage of the contract price. After the contract was let, Short asked Long to augment their agreement so as to include thereunder (at 0.5 percent remuneration) all foundations for the machines. Can Long decline and enforce the contract as originally constituted?

13.29.                   B had a contract with A whereby the latter was to furnish B’s restaurant with all the baked goods needed for one year at stipulated unit prices. During the year, B sold her restaurant to C. Does A have to fulfill the remainder of her contract with B, and does B have to complete her contract with A? What if C agrees to assume B’s obligation but A does not want any part of the substitution?

13.30.                   Moore contracted to sell 100,000 board feet of 3/4-inch oak flooring to Ralston at a stipulated price and to make delivery not later than April 15. Moore actually delivered the lumber on April 3, and Ralston paid for it on April 10. What is the status of the contract on April 15?

13.31.                   Norton, aged seventeen, contracted to buy a sports car from Jones but failed to get the approval of her father for this expenditure. What can Jones do about the matter?

13.32.                   C contracted with architect D to design the structural work of the latter’s school project. However, the job was delayed by the city because of financing. The project was finally cleared, but before C started any of D’s work, C obtained two other large jobs. He telephoned D and explained that he now had all the work that he could handle, and he asked D to get someone else. Can D hold C to his bargain?


PART III – Questions on Law of Relationships

14.    Chapter 14 – Agency

14.1. Describe the agency relationship and how it is created.

14.2. What are the duties, rights, and obligations of (a) an agent? (b) a principal?

14.3. Distinguish between “agency,” on the one hand, and “employer and employee” (or “master and servant”) on the other.

14.4. Explain the differences between an agent and an independent contractor.

14.5. Distinguish between an “agent” and a “trustee.”

14.6. Distinguish between the rights and duties of (a) a “general agent” and (b) a “special agent.” Illustrate both types of agency.

14.7. What are implied powers in connection with an agency? Illustrate.

14.8. List several purposes for which an agency may be created.

14.9. When and how may an agency be terminated? Give illustrations.

14.10.                   May an employer discharge his employee when he wishes to do so? May a principal do likewise with his agent?

14.11.                   Does an agent have authority to use his own discretion?

14.12.                   Can a servant or employee make contracts on behalf of his employer?

14.13.                   Can a person be an employee and at the same time be appointed to act as agent?

14.14.                   How may one determine whether a given person acting for another is an employee, agent, or independent contractor?

14.15.                   In the usual case, which has more in the way of discretionary powers, an agent or a trustee?

14.16.                   Can an agency be created by implication as well as by express contract? Explain.

14.17.                   Must an agency always be created by means of a writing? Elaborate.

14.18.                   Explain and illustrate how an agency may be established through estoppel.

14.19.                   An agent does something beyond his authority. Has the principal the power to ratify the unauthorized action? If so, what would be the effect of ratification?

14.20.                   Distinguish between the principal’s being bound by “estoppel” and his being bound by “ratification.”

14.21.                   Explain and illustrate “agency of necessity.”

14.22.                   Is the principal as much bound by acts of a general agent as he is by those of a special agent?

14.23.                   Under what conditions may an agency be irrevocable?

14.24.                   Whipple is an engineer in private practice. She appoints Monroe to act as her agent in securing business. Has Whipple this right? Can Monroe properly hire Appleton to assist? May Monroe appoint Appleton to represent Whipple as Monroe’s agent? As Whipple’s agent? Explain.

14.25.                   A is an agent for B, a realtor. A agrees to sell C’s house but, unknown to B, for a “bargain-rate” commission of $4000. After the house is sold, B demands that C pay the standard commission—$5000. Must C pay the extra $1000? Give reasons.

14.26.                   Perkins, an agent for Quade, agreed that his principal would design a large store for Dunford for the sum of $20000. It soon became obvious that the job could not be done properly for anything like this figure. Is Quade bound by the arrangement made for him by Perkins? Explain.

14.27.                   If Carter has some very hazardous blasting to do, can she, by letting a contract for this work to Dawson, shift to the contractor all responsibility for possible damages to persons and property? Explain fully.

14.28.                   Suppose the agent, exceeding his authority, has made certain contracts on behalf of the principal which the latter declines to accept. Has the third party any recourse against (a) the principal, (b) the agent?

14.29.                   Blodgett is on a trip for her principal, Franklin. Just before Blodgett, as agent, signs an agreement with Gordon regarding the purchase of 20,000 tons of coal, Franklin dies. What is the legal situation; that is, is there a binding contract?

14.30.                   If an agent quits without cause and before expiration of the contract of agency, can the principal (a) compel specific performance; (b) collect damages?

15.  Chapter 15 - Partnerships 

15.1. What are the fundamental rights and privileges and the potential liability of ordinary partners?

15.2. Explain the difference between a general partnership and a partnership. Illustrate.

15.3. What are the rights and obligations of an underage partner?

15.4. Are partnerships subject to the same governmental supervision as corporations?

15.5. How can the existence of a true partnership arrangement be proved or disproved?

15.6. List the several points that should be covered in the average partnership agreement.

15.7. What is the usual procedure for bringing new partners into a firm?

15.8. How and for what reasons may a partnership be terminated?

15.9. If a partnership is liquidated, how are its assets disposed of? What are the respective priorities of creditors of the firm and of creditors of an individual partner?

15.10.                   What are the powers, rights, and liabilities of (a) a general partner? (b) a limited partner? (c) a subpartner?

15.11.                   When several persons are contemplating formation of a partnership, how important is it for each to consider the character and personality of his prospective associates?

15.12.                   If one has entered into a partnership, is he bound by the acts of his copartners?

15.13.                   What is the purpose of the Uniform Partnership Act?

15.14.                   Is a partner an agent for his copartners?

15.15.                   Why is it desirable to have written articles of partnership?

15.16.                   What is the procedure in connection with a partner’s retirement?

15.17.                   What is a subpartner, and what in general are the rights and obligations that go along with that role?

15.18.                   What are the advantages of a limited liability partnership? How does one differ from a limited partnership?

15.19.                   Black, Brown, and White were partners and carried on a small business manufacturing precast-concrete products, cinder blocks, and such. Black, without the knowledge of her partners, agreed to sell the business to Gray. Can Brown and White block the sale, and why? If Black’s deal were to sell Gray $10,000 worth of blocks for $8,000, what could Brown and White do about the matter?

15.20.                   The partnership of Duncan, Howard, and Kearny was in debt for $100,000. What courses of action could the creditors pursue? With firm assets insufficient, can individual assets of the several partners be moved against?

15.21.                   A, B, and C formed a partnership to conduct certain business for five years. What steps, if any, are necessary to continue the relationship beyond the period originally stipulated?

16.  Chapter 16 - Corporations

16.1. What are (a) the distinctive features of the corporate form of business organization? (b) its advantages? (c) its powers?

16.2. How and by whom is a corporation (a) authorized? (b) organized? (c) controlled?

16.3. Who “owns” the corporation? Who runs it?

16.4. What is a corporate charter? What is its function? When may a corporation be “defective”?

16.5. How can the ownership of a corporation be revised? How can its management personnel be changed?

16.6. What is a “proxy”? How does it operate?

16.7. How does a public corporation differ from other business corporations? Illustrate.

16.8. What is a subsidiary corporation? May this type of organization prove more advantageous than having a branch of the parent organization? Explain.

16.9. How can a corporation be dissolved? Can it be reorganized?

16.10.                   If a corporation is chartered in New York, can it do business in New Jersey?

16.11.                   Differentiate between a de jure corporation and a de facto corporation.

16.12.                   What is meant by “foreign” corporation?

16.13.                   Explain the income tax status of a corporation and of its stockholders.

16.14.                   Can a corporation be sued (a) by an outsider? (b) by one of its stockholders?

16.15.                   How can a corporation borrow money? On what security?

16.16.                   Discuss the ultra vires concept as it relates to corporate affairs.

16.17.                   Can ultra vires actions be ratified? By whom?

16.18.                   Can a corporation increase the number of shares above that authorized by its charter? If so, how?

16.19.                   Does a corporation pay dividends out of earnings or out of surplus?

16.20.                   Define directors of a corporation. What are their duties, fees, powers, responsibilities?

16.21.                   What are the duties and powers of the officers of a corporation?

16.22.                   What rights does a common stockholder have? What is cumulative voting?

16.23.                   May a director also be a stockholder of the corporation? Discuss.

16.24.                   May professionals incorporate?

16.25.                   What benefits may accrue from professional incorporation? What detriments?

16.26.                   Discuss the rights and privileges of bondholders of a corporation

16.27.                   May a corporation be convicted of a criminal offense?

16.28.                   A corporation decided to go out of business. After paying off its creditors and bondholders, the firm still had assets totaling $2 million. There were 10,000 shares of preferred stock of $50 par value and 50,000 shares of common stock (no par value) outstanding. How much per share will each common stockholder receive as a liquidating payment?

16.29.                   The directors of a corporation voted to buy all its steel for a given year from the XYZ Steel Company. Can the stockholders do anything to reverse the decision? If the directors voted to sell the business outright, would the stockholders have any voice in the matter? Explain.

16.30.                   The XYZ Corporation went into bankruptcy. Jones owned 100 shares of the firm’s common stock. Can the corporation creditors collect anything from Jones? Explain.

16.31.                   Smith owned 100 shares of General Motors Corporation common stock. What effect would Smith’s death have upon (a) operation of the corporation and (b) the shares outstanding in the decedent’s name?

16.32.                   Corporation A was chartered for the sole purpose of operating a fleet of oil tankers. Without charter amendment, can it legitimately go into the business of building tankers?

16.33.                   The president of ABC corporation died. Must the corporation be reorganized and, if so, what steps are necessary?

17.  Chapter 17 - Insurance

17.1. Differentiate between insurance contracts and bonds.

17.2. Explain the general nature of insurance.

17.3. How does the law of averages enter the picture in the case of insurance?

17.4. Define “insurable interest.”

17.5. Explain how an insurance policy is a contract.

17.6. Discuss regulation of insurance by government.

17.7. Explain the basic difference between life insurance and property insurance.

17.8. Define and illustrate annuities (fixed and variable).

17.9. Define and illustrate accident and sickness insurance.

17.10.                   Discuss insurance against legal liability.

17.11.                   What is subrogation?

17.12.                   What is worker’s compensation insurance and how does it function?

17.13.                   What is meant by “reinsurance”? When may it be utilized?

17.14.                   Discuss professional liability insurance for an architect or engineer. What may be protected? What might be excluded?

17.15.                   What might be the claimed effect of lack of conservatism in a design for a structure?

17.16.                   In liability insurance, what is meant by “accident”?

17.17.                   Discuss accident to a person versus damage to a structure as far as insurance is concerned.

17.18.                   Describe “owners’ protective liability insurance” and what it might cover.

17.19.                   Describe “contractors’ liability insurance” and what it might cover.

17.20.                   Illustrate damages to a structure that might not be termed an “accident.”

17.21.                   Define and illustrate “builders’ risk policy.”

18.    Chapter 18 – Bonds and Suretyship

18.1. Define and illustrate “fidelity bonds.”

18.2. Define and illustrate “surety bonds.”

18.3. What is the difference between common-law and statutory bonds?

18.4. In connection with bonds, define “obligee,” “principal,” and “surety.”

18.5. Define and illustrate “contract bonds.”

18.6. What types of surety bonds are in common use in the construction industry?

18.7. Explain the function of a bid bond. Illustrate.

18.8. How is the size of a bid bond determined? When does it cease to be effective?

18.9. A contract required submission of a bid bond for $10,000 for each proposal. The lowest bid was $500,000 and was made by Morse. The next lowest bid was $520,000 and was made by Whipple. Morse later refused to sign the contract. The owner then accepted Whipple’s proposal and awarded the contract to the latter. (a) What is the obligation of Morse’s surety? (b) What does the owner gain or lose? Explain.

18.10.                   Explain the function of a performance bond. Whom is it designed to protect?

18.11.                   Who usually determines the size of a performance bond? On what do they base this determination?

18.12.                   Does a performance bond guarantee personal performance by the contractor? Explain.

18.13.                   Why should the surety have the right to object if major revisions of the contract are made?

18.14.                   What happens to the performance bond when the contract has been completed satisfactorily?

18.15.                   Should a performance bond be oral or written? Why?

18.16.                   Should a performance bond be made to cover 100 percent of the contract price? Can it do so?

18.17.                   A clause stating that the contractor is to furnish a performance bond for $50,000 specifies the required surety by name. Is this customary? Why? Should the owner have the right to approve or reject the surety?

18.18.                   A contractor furnished a performance bond having a face value of $100,000. The contract price was a lump sum of $1 million. The contractor had completed over 60 percent of the work and had been paid $540,000 by the owner. Then the contractor defaulted, leaving unpaid bills of $100,000. The owner had withheld $60,000 of partial payments due the contractor for work done prior to the default. The owner engaged another contractor to finish the job for $475,000. Does the surety for the performance and payment bonds have to pay? If so, how much? Explain.

18.19.                   When and why might the engineer require multiple sureties?

18.20.                   Who ultimately pays the fee for a surety bond? Explain.

18.21.                   Kiley performed part of the work required by his contract with Daniels, then defaulted. Kiley’s work was, in part, very unsatisfactory. By agreement with the surety, Daniels had another contractor finish the job for $15,000 additional cost, and she also had this contractor replace Kiley’s defective work for $8,000. The face value of the performance bond was $25,000, and it promised “satisfactory performance by the principal.” Daniels presented the surety with a bill for $23,000. Can Daniels collect this sum? Explain.

18.22.                   Is the owner expected to obtain a profit by resort to a performance bond? Why?

18.23.                   If the contract calls for multiple sureties, can one surety take over the complete obligation?

18.24.                   Does the surety take over when the contractors get into difficulties or only when they quit?

18.25.                   A surety posted a performance bond for $30,000 for a contractor who was to strengthen and repave an old bridge. A hurricane and flood carried away the bridge a week after the contractor started work. What do you think is the obligation of the surety? Explain.

18.26.                   If the lowest responsible bidder refuses to sign the contract and furnished a bid bond of $10,000 with her bid of $102,000 on the job, and if the lowest bid was $105,000, what must the first bidder’s surety pay?

18.27.                   What happens to the performance bond if the owner cancels the contract?

18.28.                   Under what conditions may a surety be released?

18.29.                   What is a “labor and materials bond” and how does it function in a construction contract?

18.30.                   Define and illustrate a “maintenance bond.”

19.  Chapter 19 – Federal Statutes and Regulations

19.1. What is the primary source of congressional power in the U.S. Constitution? Discuss its scope.

19.2. Is Congress’s power subject to any limits? If so, discuss them.

19.3. Discuss the relationship between federal and state law.

19.4. What aspects of labor relations are governed by federal statute? Are engineers covered by the National Labor Relations Act? Architects? How about the Fair Labor Standards Act?

19.5. What are the functions of labor unions and the National Labor Relations Board?

19.6. Give an example of an unfair labor practice.

19.7. Discuss whether OSHA might be improved through the use of performance standards. Does OSHA treat willful violations differently?

19.8. Is there any circumstance in which an employer may legally refuse to hire or terminate a potential employee because she is a female over or under a certain age?

19.9. How does federal law protect against sexual harassment?

19.10.                   What concerns or opportunities may arise for design professionals as a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

PART IV – Questions on Law of Torts

20.    Chapter 20 –  Definition and Scope of Torts

20.1. Define “tort”; differentiate between tort and crime.

20.2. Distinguish “contract liability” from “tort liability.”

20.3. What is the liability status of governmental officials in respect to their negligence? Of government itself? What is the trend of the law in this regard?

20.4. Explain the doctrine of respondeat superior.

20.5. Can torts stem on occasion from inaction as well as from improper action?

20.6. Can there be several wrongdoers involved in a single tort? Can plaintiff bring action against one, or must he include all?

21.  Chapter 21 – Torts Based Upon Intentional Action

21.1.                    What is (a) a “public nuisance”? (b) a “private nuisance”?

21.2. What is the difference between “libel” and “slander”? What elements would support a suit for defamation? What defense is often presented? What if the plaintiff is a public official or well-known personality?

21.3. What is the tort of “conversion”?

21.4. In what circumstances may recovery be had for emotional distress?

21.5. On Tuesday, Farmer Jones bought three of Holley’s cows and delivery was made that afternoon. A week later, Jones discovered that one cow had a serious growth which later caused its death. Jones claimed that Holley had defrauded him. What would plaintiff Jones have to prove in order to substantiate his charge?

22.  Chapter 22 – Torts Based Upon Negligent Action

22.1. Define and illustrate “negligence.”

22.2. Define and illustrate “contributory negligence.”

22.3. Define and illustrate “comparative negligence.”

22.4. What is the meaning of (a) the “standard of care”? (b) the “normally prudent man”?

22.5. Define and illustrate “proximate cause.”

22.6. Distinguish among “negligence,” “gross negligence,” “assumption of risk,” and “last clear chance.”

22.7. Explain and illustrate the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.

22.8. In general, are minors and mentally retarded persons legally responsible for their negligent actions? Elaborate.

22.9. What is “worker’s compensation”? How does the system operate?

22.10.                   Varney operated one of two 5-ton cranes in a factory. Both cranes were to act simultaneously in lifting a 9-ton machine. The other operator was busy elsewhere, so Varney, who was in a hurry, tried to lift the machine with his crane alone. The cable broke after the load was 10 feet above the floor, and a worker who happened to be walking under the crane but who had nothing to do with the operation was injured. Has the worker a valid cause of action against Varney?

22.11.                   Perkins was about to make a contract with Green. Murray persuaded him not to do so, but to engage Black. Green brought action against Murray. What do you think of Green’s prospects in court?

22.12.                   X was shingling the roof of Y’s house under a contract. X accidentally dropped his hammer. It rolled down the roof and injured a neighbor’s child who was playing nearby. Is X legally responsible? How about Y?

22.13.                   Horton’s manager, Garnett, was guilty of negligence in connection with certain behavior that endangered Horton’s property. Fortunately, the trouble was detected before Horton suffered actual injury. Do you think that Horton could sue and expect to collect anything? Explain.

22.14.                   In the preceding case, assume that Garnett’s negligent act caused a fire that damaged $5,000 worth of Horton’s property, and that the latter brought suit. Upon whom does the burden of proof fall?

22.15.                   Jackson was driving a loaded truck, gross weight 15 tons. He was on his way from his sand pit in the country to the neighboring city. He started to cross an old bridge that was posted “10 tons maximum,” and he had been over this structure many times with excess loads. However, this time the bridge collapsed. The town authorities sued Jackson for damages. What will be the probable result?

22.16.                   A rented a suburban house and lot from B. Having no garage, A customarily parked her automobile under a large tree (on B’s property) bordering the driveway. During a severe ice storm, a large branch broke off the tree and fell on A’s car, causing $3000 worth of damages. A tried to collect from B. What do you think of A’s case?

22.17.                   Vines, a plumbing contractor, sold Wilson a 40-gallon hot-water tank and installed it in Wilson’s basement. Four days later the tank burst, flooding the basement and ruining some goods that Wilson had stored there. Can Wilson collect for the cost of replacing the goods as well as of replacing the tank?

23.  Chapter 23 – Torts without Fault

23.1. Name one circumstance that might result in tort liability for (a) a landowner, (b) a lessor of land, (c) a lessee of land.

23.2. Differentiate among “trespasser,” “licensee,” and “invitee.” What degree of care does the landowner owe to each?

23.3. What duties may there be that a property owner cannot with impunity delegate to an independent contractor who is doing some work for the former?

23.4. Hart had a dog that was known to be vicious, and Hart was ordered to keep him on a leash. One day the dog broke away and bit the mail carrier, who had come to make her customary delivery. Can the latter expect to collect damages from Hart?

23.5. Has a vendor of goods any special tort liability? Explain.

24.  Chapter 24 – Procedural Issues Relating to Torts

24.1.                     --- <<< add new questions here

25.  Chapter 25 – Professional Liability for Architects and Engineers

25.1. Explain why both architects and engineers are concerned with the matter of professional liability.

25.2. List the customary duties of an architect or engineer in connection with a construction project.

25.3. Discuss the normal inspection duties of architects and engineers in connection with construction operations in the field.

25.4. Discuss the normal responsibility of architects and engineers in connection with their designs.

25.5. What is meant by “requisite degree of skill”? Is the architect or engineer to be infallible?

25.6. What duty does the architect or engineer owe to the owner or employer?

25.7. Upon what grounds might an owner or employer make claims against an architect or engineer?

25.8. Discuss two customary measures of damages in cases of negligence associated with structural failures or deficiencies.

25.9. May architects or engineers be liable for damages to third persons in case of negligence? Illustrate.

25.10.                   Does liability for negligence necessarily cease after completion of a contract?

25.11.                   In case of injury claimed to be due to negligence, why may the injured party sue the owner, architect, engineer, and contractor? What can the architect and engineer do? Who must prove the negligence?

25.12.                   Can an architect or engineer shift responsibility for his design if he hires someone else to help and uses the latter’s designs in his own drawings?

25.13.                   What is meant by “nondelegable” duty?

25.14.                   If a designer adheres to an applicable building code, has he done all that is essential to avoid liability for his design?

25.15.                   Discuss the meaning of a “reasonably prudent” architect or engineer.

25.16.                   Discuss the idea of claiming an “act of God” in defending against claims of negligence relating to a structural failure.

25.17.                   Discuss possible claims in which the “privity of contract” is a prerequisite to liability.

25.18.                   What may be the result of a breach of a statute or ordinance by a design professional?

25.19.                   What are the elements of damage for personal injury?

25.20.                   Discuss the trend toward liability without fault.

25.21.                   What is the applicability of implied warranty to construction defects?

25.22.                   When does a statute of limitations begin to run?

25.23.                   Discuss “defective plans” versus “defective construction.”

25.24.                   Discuss “contributory negligence” and “assumption of risk” as defenses for the architect and engineer against claims by third parties.

25.25.                   Should the designer be responsible for methods of construction used by the contractor? Explain.

25.26.                   Discuss “active wrongdoing” versus “failure upon inspection to detect the contractor’s error.”

25.27.                   Discuss “passive fault” versus “active negligence.”

25.28.                   If the designer is to supervise field operations, (a) what duties may this involve? (b) what authority? (c) what liability?

25.29.                   If the designer is to be responsible for safety of fieldwork, should he or she be paid extra for such responsibility? Discuss this matter.

25.30.                   Referring to the case described in Chapter 25.12, discuss the situation of the architect and the possible expenses to be met by him.

25.31.                   Discuss the possible use of indemnification clauses. Illustrate.


PART V – Questions on Law of Property

26. Chapter 26 – Real and Personal Property

26.1. Define real property; differentiate it from personal property.

26.2. What is a condominium? A cooperative?

26.3. What general limitations are there upon one’s use of his own land?

26.4. Do water and mineral rights usually accompany the transfer of title to land?

26.5. What aspects of the property should one investigate before buying a given piece of real estate? Explain fully.

26.6. ---

26.7. If a person buys some land, what rights, broadly speaking, does he acquire regarding such land?

26.8. Can two or more persons own a given piece of land? If so, on what basis?

26.9. If two persons own a given piece of land, can one sell it despite objections by the other? Explain.

26.10.                   What is a “life estate” in real property? If a person has a life estate in land, can he sell the property itself? Why?

26.11.                   Can ownership of real property be conveyed orally? Why?

26.12.                   Under what conditions is real property transferred without the “approval” of the owner, and very likely against his wishes?

26.13.                ---

26.14.                   How may realty be conveyed?

26.15.                   Explain the steps to be taken in selling a piece of realty.

26.16.                   What is an “abstract of title”?

26.17.                   What points are generally covered in a bond for deed?

26.18.                   Explain what steps are involved at the “closing” of a real estate sale.

26.19.                   What is a quitclaim deed? A warranty deed?

26.20.                   If a person buys some land and the deed states “in fee simple,” what does this mean for the purchaser?

26.21.                   What are the essentials in a deed?

26.22.                   What is a title search? Why is one made?

26.23.                   Explain the function and operation of eminent domain.

26.24.                   What is a mortgage on real property?

26.25.                   Can a mortgage be assigned? Can a lease be assigned?

26.26.                   Explain the proper steps to take if one is (a) to mortgage his real property, (b) to pay off a mortgage.

26.27.                   If a piece of real estate is sold, what of the existing mortgage thereon? Does the mortgagee have any effective objection to the sale or to the identity of the purchaser?

26.28.                   Why does a mortgagee generally require the mortgagor to sign a bond or a promissory note as well as the mortgage itself?

26.29.                ---

26.30.                   What is a lease? What restrictions are normally imposed upon the use of leased property?

26.31.                   As regards realty, distinguish between sale and lease.

26.32.                ---

26.33.                   What is meant by an “encumbrance” in regard to real property? Give several illustrations.

26.34.                   What is an easement? By what means is one obtained? Can the easement be (a) sold, or (b) relinquished?

26.35.                   What is a license for the use of land? How is it obtained? How is it terminated?

26.36.                   Distinguish between lease and license. Illustrate.

26.37.                   What is the meaning of “profit a prendre”?


26.39.                   On what basis is the state able to take land (needed, for example, for a new highway) regardless of the wishes of the property owners involved? What is the justification?

26.40.                   What is an “implied easement”?

26.41.                   What is the “right of lateral support”? Illustrate.

26.42.                   Distinguish between “statutory” and “common-law” dedication.

26.43.                   What is the purpose of zoning?

26.44.                   Distinguish between zoning and planning as related to land use.

26.45.                   Brown owned 25 acres of woodland situated off the highway behind Sullivan’s property, and she had an easement across the latter’s land for access to the woodland. Thompson offered Sullivan a handsome price for his property, intending to construct a housing development thereon. Can Sullivan (or Thompson, after the sale is consummated) terminate Brown’s easement without her consent? Elaborate.

26.46.                   What is the mortgagee’s situation if the mortgagor fails to pay the taxes, a sewer assessment, and insurance on the property? Explain. What steps can the mortgagee take to enforce his rights?

26.47.                   What is a “covenant” as the term is employed in the law of real property? Illustrate.

26.48.                   What remedies are available for breach of a covenant?

26.49.                ---

26.50.                   Where should the instrument evidencing the conveyance of real property be recorded? Why the recording?

26.51.                   How are boundaries generally recorded?

26.52.                What are metes and bounds?

27.  Chapter 27 – Above and Below

27.1. Define (a) “riparian rights,” (b) “riparian lands,” (c) “riparian owner (or proprietor).”

27.2. Define (a) “watercourse,” (b) “surface waters,” (c) “percolating waters.”

27.3. What is meant by “reasonable use” of water as applied in matters relating to riparian (or water) rights?

27.4. How may the riparian rights of neighboring landowners vary? Explain.

27.5. What are the common-law principles of riparian rights? What uses of water do these common-law principles allow?

27.6. What is “reasonable” use as respects riparian rights?

27.7. What is meant by the right of use of water through “prescription”; through “prior appropriation”?

27.8. List (in order of probable priority) the various uses of water that may be involved in questions of riparian rights.

27.9. Who is likely to own the land constituting the bed (a) of a small creek? (b) of a navigable stream?

27.10.                   Is there any “legal” limit to the amount of water that a farmer may take from a watercourse adjoining his land for use in the irrigation of his land? Explain.

27.11.                   Does the owner of a hydroelectric power site have exclusive right to develop the water power at that site as he pleases?

27.12.                   What is the difference between percolating water and artesian water?

27.13.                   Who ordinarily has the right to the use of percolating waters? Within what limits?

27.14.                   Who may set up and enforce (a) a water code, (b) regulations affecting navigable waterways, (c) rules regarding prevention of pollution of streams?

27.15.                   What is meant by “floodwater”? Who can use it or guard against it?

27.16.                   What is meant by “flood control”? Who has charge of this (a) in major rivers? (b) in small streams?

27.17.                   What is the difference between a reservoir and an ordinary lake? What should the planners of the former consider regarding persons living downstream?

27.18.                   If a riparian owner possesses a site that is suitable for the development of hydroelectric power, can she sell the “power rights” without selling the land, or vice versa?

27.19.                   Carter bought some low and partially swampy land for a housing development. She filled in the land to raise the elevation of the surface approximately 5 feet. This caused the level of the groundwater to rise upgrade from Carter’s land, and this rise in the water level turned Smith’s meadow into a swamp. What can Smith do about the matter?

27.20.                   Turner, a farmer, cut drainage ditches to drain a swampy pond in his pasture. Bradley, a neighboring farmer, then found that his spring for watering his stock dried up. What can Bradley do about his former spring?

27.21.                   Assume that the city of Southford plans to build a reservoir on Oak Creek, using most of the water available and designing the spillway so as to divert the excess water to Roaring Brook. (a) Has the city the right to do this? (b) What steps should be taken by the city in clearing the way for construction of the reservoir? (c) What steps may be taken by riparian owners downstream along Oak Creek to protect their rights?

27.22.                   Clark built a dam in Rice Brook (entirely on his own land) and, during the months of July and August, piped all the water to his new irrigation system. Dawson, who owned a farm downstream, tried to get an injunction to require Clark to permit part of the water to reach Dawson’s property. Do you think that Dawson will be successful? Explain.

27.23.                   Alton built a small dam on his own property to create a small fishpond. The overflow from the pond continued downstream in the same channel as before, crossing Braxton’s land. Has Alton damaged Braxton? Explain.

27.24.                   The X-Y Power Co. built a power dam on Hoton River. The company agreed to limit the level of the impounded water to elevation + 520 feet. During an unusual spring thaw and rain, the spillway jammed with ice, and the water rose to elevation + 529 feet, flooding several cottages. The owners of these cottages sued the company for damages caused by this flooding. What do you think of their rights in this situation?

28.  Chapter 28 – Intellectual Property

28.1. What is the principal objective of the U.S. patent system?

28.2. On what authority is the U.S. patent system based? When was this system inaugurated?

28.3. What is a patent? What is its “life”?

28.4. What is a design patent: May plants be patented? Bacteria?

28.5. Are current patent laws adequate to cope with biotechnology advances? Mathematical algorithms?

28.6. Is a patent a contract? If so, what are the rights and obligations of the parties?

28.7. Who administers the patent laws of the United States?

28.8. What are the limits of the areas in which the U.S. patent laws are effective?

28.9. Does the Patent Office try to advise the patentee whether or not a patent will be a financial success?

28.10.                   List the elements that are generally necessary for patentability of an invention.

28.11.                   Describe the procedure to be followed in applying for a patent.

28.12.                   What is the meaning of the word “specifications” when referring to patent matters?

28.13.                   What is the meaning of the phrase “statement of invention” when referring to patent matters?

28.14.                   Referring to patent matters, what is (a) an “infringement”? (b) an “interference” proceeding?

28.15.                   When and why may drawings be required in an application for a patent?

28.16.                   What are the “claims” made in connection with an application for a patent? Why are they important?

28.17.                   What is meant by “complete disclosure”?

28.18.                   Differentiate between (a) a “sole” and (b) a “joint” invention.

28.19.                   Define the words “copyright” and “trademark.” Illustrate how they are applied.

28.20.                   What is “fair use” of copyrighted material?

28.21.                   May computer programs be copyrighted? Patented? 

28.22.                   May architectural plans be copyrighted? May ideas and concepts?

28.23.                   Of what significance is the “date of conception” of an invention?

28.24.                   What are the meaning and importance of the “date of disclosure” referring to inventions?

28.25.                   What is meant by “diligence” in matters of invention?

28.26.                   Referring to inventions, what is meant by “reduction to practice”?

28.27.                   What procedure should be followed by an inventor when developing an invention?

28.28.                   What precautions should be taken by both parties when dealing with the possible disclosure of secret information?

28.29.                   Explain and illustrate the licensing of a party to use a patent.

28.30.                   What is (a) a “grant” of patent rights to a party? (b) an “assignment”?

28.31.                   What is meant (a) by “patent pooling”? (b) by “cross-licensing” of patents?

28.32.                   What time limit is there on the life of a patent? Can this life be extended?

28.33.                   Can the Patent Office prevent the disclosure of patent data? When?

28.34.                   Why may a manufacturer stamp on an article (produced by him) the words “Patent applied for”?

28.35.                   In case of a grant of patent rights on a royalty basis, has the grantee any implied obligations with respect to the grantor?

28.36.                   If claims in an application for a patent are made extremely narrow, what may happen? If claims are extremely broad, what may happen?

28.37.                   If a patent application contains six claims and the Patent Office finds that two are invalid before issue, must the application be thrown out? What can be done?

28.38.                   Kimball was a mechanical engineer with an electric power company. Assume that she devised and built an apparatus for the disposal of coal ashes from the boilers of one of the company’s plants. Two years afterward, she applied for a patent on this equipment. Do you think she could get the patent? Explain.

28.39.                   X was trying to develop and patent a new device for dust-collecting equipment. He had Y, who was in his office, assist him in perfecting the invention, and the latter showed that certain improvements, which he suggested, were vital to the successful operation of the equipment. X patented the invention using Y’s suggestions, but Y claimed that it was a joint invention. Is Y justified in his claim? Explain.

28.40.                   Jones, a machinist, made and used a clever improvement in an automatic lathe, but he did not think that the device was patentable. Two years after the device was installed at the shop where Jones was employed, a visiting sales engineer saw it, had the apparatus installed on the lathes that his company manufactured, and applied for a patent on the device. Jones heard about the patent application. Could Jones attack the patent that might be issued on the device? Explain.

28.41.                   Long developed a special formula for a cough syrup, and she kept it a secret even though she manufactured and sold the medicine. Short discovered the secret formula and produced and marketed the same medicine under a different name. (a) Can Short patent the formula? (b) Can Long stop Short from making the competitive product? Explain.

28.42.                   X patented a special fountain pen. Y copied it and started manufacturing and selling the same pen. X appealed to the Patent Office to stop Y’s activities. Will the Patent Office do this? Why?

28.43.                   What money damages can X in the preceding case collect from Y for goods produced before X learned about Y’s activities? How can X stop Y’s production?

28.44.                   Brown invented and patented a toy airplane. He later made a certain improvement in the toy and continued manufacture of the modified toy under the original patent. Is his improved device properly protected? Explain.

28.45.                   If a chemical product is made by a certain patented process, can someone else produce and sell the same material if he can manufacture the chemical by a different process?


PART VI – Questions on Application to Engineering and Construction Projects

29.    Chapter 29 Contracts for Construction Projects

29.1. Is it desirable to have construction work done under a contract? Why?

29.2. What party or parties are obligated by a construction contract? Explain.

29.3. Who prepares the contract documents for a construction project? What is the objective?

29.4. Who may suffer if a contract is poorly or unwisely prepared? Explain.

29.5. For what services does the owner have to depend upon the engineer and architect? The contractor?

29.6. Define the following as applied to the preparation of construction projects: (a) planning, (b) design.

29.7. Explain the principal difference between “public work” and “private work.”

29.8. What legal problems arise from the use of fee schedules?

29.9. Why should carefully prepared definitions be included early in the contract documents? Illustrate one likely definition.

29.10.                   It is the purpose of the engineer to prepare the contract so that the work will be done properly, expeditiously, and amicably. Discuss this idea and its application in practice.

29.11.                   How is a court likely to interpret an ambiguous clause in the contract documents? Explain.

29.12.                   If the requirements of the drawings and the specifications differ, what should be done about it?

29.13.                   Discuss the implications of a “reasonable interpretation” of the contract documents in case some statements in the papers are ambiguous.

29.14.                   On what basis is it customary to make contracts for engineering and architectural services?

29.15.                   What safeguards should be provided if you are planning to contract for rendering your own personal services as an engineer or architect?

29.16.                   Explain some reasons that it may be difficult for an engineer to predict accurately the cost of engineering planning and the preparation of contracts.

29.17.                   Explain the basic features and advantages of the following types of contract: (a) lump-sum, (b) unit-price, (c) cost-plus-percentage, (d) cost-plus-fixed-fee.

29.18.                   What sort of contracts are unsuited to lump-sum bidding?

29.19.                   Why is it sometimes desirable to have certain items of a unit-price contract bid on a lump-sum basis? Explain. Illustrate possible advantages of this system.

29.20.                   Under what circumstances might an owner prefer to have a project built under a lump-sum contract instead of under a unit-price contract?

29.21.                   Is the contractor likely to make more profit on a unit-price contract than on a lump-sum contract or a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract? Elaborate.

29.22.                   Does a unit-price contract generally have a separate payment item listed for every different kind of material and every bit of work required in such contract? Explain.

29.23.                   How is the total payment under a unit-price contract determined? Is such a contract likely to be more economical for the owner than a lump-sum contract? For the contractor? Explain.

29.24.                   What are the advantages and disadvantages of cost-plus-fixed-fee contracts from the standpoint of the several parties concerned?

29.25.                   When a unit-price contract requires certain minor work to be done and material items to be furnished for which there is no stated payment item in the contract, what will the bidder probably do to obtain compensation therefore? Illustrate.

29.26.                   Illustrate a situation in which the subdivision of work into several contracts may be preferable to having the entire project performed under one general construction contract.

29.27.                   How does the owner-engineer relationship differ from that of engineer-contractor?

29.28.                   What are the pros and cons in the debate regarding (a) engineers bidding for engineering work on the basis of price; (b) engineers advertising for receipt of bids for engineering services by other engineers on a price basis?

29.29.                   Can an owner have the contract documents prepared by engineer A reviewed by engineer B? Explain the proper steps to be taken by the parties concerned. If B discovers errors in the documents prepared by A, what should B do? Explain.

29.30.                   An engineer who was engaged to design a large building made studies of the soil conditions. As a result, he decided to use piles to support the structure. The owner, without notifying the engineer, called in Ms. Doe, a fellow engineer, and asked the latter to make a Separate and secret study of the problem to see if the piles could be eliminated. What should Doe do about it when receiving this request?

29.31.                   Upon what logical basis might a contractor determine the percentage to charge in case of a cost-plus-percentage contract?

29.32.                   Upon what logical basis might a contractor determine the fee to charge in case of a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract?

29.33.                   When and why may it be advantageous for an engineer to have charge of the inspection of work to be performed under contracts that he has prepared?

29.34.                   What is an addendum? When and why may one be used?

30.  Chapter 30 – Drawings

30.1. What kinds of information are best given by way of contract drawings?

30.2. Is any particular size essential for contract drawings?

30.3. Which are more important, the line drawings or the accompanying notes?

30.4. What is a “record set” of contract drawings? What is its purpose? Where should it be kept?

30.5. Can contract drawings be supplemented by (a) the contractor? (b) the engineer?

30.6. After preparation of the drawings and specifications and issuance of all contract documents to the bidders, but before receipt of any proposals, the engineer discovered that one of the drawings contained a serious error. What should he do about the matter?

30.7. Why should the engineer state in the contract documents that he has the right to revise and to supplement the contract drawings? If he fails to make such a statement in these documents, will he be unable to revise or supplement the drawings?

30.8. What relation have “shop drawings” to “contract drawings”?

30.9. A dimension on a drawing showed the desired length of a truss to be 75 feet, but according to the scale of the drawing, the truss measured only 70 feet. Which (if either) can the contractor assume to be correct?

30.10.                   The drawing of a basement showed no drain around the outside, but a note in one corner of the drawing said: “Provide 4-inch drain and discharge line around foundation.” Is the contractor obliged to install such a drain?

30.11.                   Why might an engineer want to have in his files a copy of each of the contract drawings for a factory that he has designed?

30.12.                   What is meant by “incorporation by reference”?

30.13.                   Why is it desirable to list the contract drawings in the specifications or in some other part of the contract documents? How should the listing be done?

30.14.                   After preparation of the specifications is completed but before the contract documents are issued to the bidders, the engineer decides to add two more drawings to the list of design drawings. Can he do so? Explain how.

30.15.                   What are “preliminary drawings,” and how may they be used in connection with actual construction projects?

30.16.                   Differentiate between “design drawings” and “contract drawings.”

30.17.                   Does the contractor generally prepare the “shop (or detail) drawings”? Can the engineer do so if he wishes to? Explain when and why the engineer might prefer to make them.

30.18.                   When the engineer revises the contract drawings, does he have to secure the contractor’s approval?

30.19.                   Jones sent a freehand pencil sketch to Smith, a builder, showing the dimensions and other pertinent data for a garage that Jones wanted to have built. Smith quoted Jones a figure of $1500 for the complete job. Jones accepted the offer. Does the free-hand sketch constitute a contract drawing in this case? Explain.

30.20.                   In what way has computer-aided drafting and design changed the substantive rules, as opposed to the mechanics, of contract drawings?

30.21.                   Should CAD-produced drawings be saved on diskettes or printed?

30.22.                   How does the advent of CAD affect the rules regarding changes in drawings?

31.  Chapter 31 – Specifications

        31.1. Discuss the difference between a “performance specification” and a “prescriptive specification.”

        31.2. What is the Spearin doctrine? How may it apply to engineering design?

        31.3. What is an addendum? When and why may one be used?

32.  Chapter 32 – Specifications for Workmanship

32.1. What is meant by “independent contractor”?

32.2. Illustrate a situation in which an independent contractor is not actually independent.

32.3. What is the danger of itemizing in the specifications the procedures that the contractor is to follow in order to attain the required results?

32.4. When may the expression “as directed by the engineer” be helpful if used in the specifications? Illustrate.

32.5. A specification stated: “All work is to be done to the satisfaction of the engineer.” (a) What does this statement mean? (b) How does the bidder know what will be required? (c) When is such a statement in the specifications useful?

32.6. What direct control should the engineer have over the method of construction adopted by the contractor? Under what conditions might he advise the contractor?

32.7. If the contractor follows specified procedures in the field, who is responsible for the results?

32.8. Illustrate a particular case in which it may be necessary for the engineer to specify procedures to be followed in the field.

32.9. The specifications stated that all joints of a steel oil tank were to be scarred and butt welded, and that the tank was “not to leak.” Is this a satisfactory specification? Explain.

32.10.                   A contract for certain machines specified that all bearings should be finished to a tolerance of 0.01 inch. Is this a proper specification?

32.11.                   A contract specified that the parts of a certain large rectangular steel box should be connected by means of 1/4 inch fillet welds. When the contractor finished the job, the box was found to be badly distorted (out of shape). The contractor claimed that this result was entirely due to the required welding. What defense can be made by each party?

32.12.                   The drawings showed the positions and details of the anchor bolts for a machine but nothing was said in the specifications about how these bolts were to be erected. During pouring of the concrete, the bolts were displaced so that they were one inch too far apart. Can the engineer do anything about the situation? Would it have been proper if the specifications had required that the bolts be held by metal templates during erection? Explain.

32.13.                   Do the statements “as directed by the engineer” and “as approved by the engineer” mean the same thing? Illustrate.

32.14.                   The specifications stated that certain long girders for a bridge were to be braced laterally during erection. The contractor proposed using cables attached to the girders and to large stakes driven into the ground. If the engineer approved the idea, who should be held responsible in case the girders buckle sideways during the erection of the bridge?

32.15.                   The drawings called for sheet piling to be driven 35 feet into the ground to form a cofferdam around a deep excavation. It proved to be impossible to drive the sheet piling to the required depth. Who should pay the expense of the attempts to do so? Whose responsibility is it to devise some other method to make the excavation possible?

32.16.                   A large fan was to be supported upon steel beams in the top of a power plant. The contractor performed the work as intended. When operated, the fan caused annoying vibrations. Who is responsible for the unsatisfactory results?

32.17.                   Concrete pavement for a pier was to be screeded level and then broomed. When the work was partly done, a violent thunderstorm occurred, spoiling the finish of the completed portion. The engineer discovered the situation the next day. What possible courses of action can the engineer take?

32.18.                   A specification states that the contractor is to “carry out the intent of the plans and specifications.” (a) When and why may such a statement be useful? (b) When is it not useful? (c) Does it make any difference whether the contract is lump-sum or unit-price?

32.19.                   What does the statement that “all work is to be of approved quality” mean?

32.20.                   What is the meaning of “best quality workmanship”? What value has this statement in a set of specifications?

32.21.                   Name some standard specifications for workmanship. Illustrate their use and explain the advantages of employing them.

32.22.                   Is it proper to specify that “the roofing is to be applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations”? Explain.

32.23.                   If standard specifications, like those of the AISC, are used as reference, can any deviation from them be specified? Explain.

32.24.                   How is a court likely to determine the intent of the plans and specifications relating to workmanship?

32.25.                A specification states that all work “shall conform to the best modern practice.” Is this of value? Why? Illustrate

33.  Chapter 33 – Specifications for Materials

33.1. What are the basic requirements of proper specifications?

33.2. Discuss the difference in the kind of information shown in the drawings and that given in the specifications.

33.3. What are standard specifications? Illustrate what use can be made of them.

33.4. What is the special function of material specifications? Do they in any way protect the contractor?

33.5. When and why may one use copies of previous specifications when composing a set of contract documents? Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure.

33.6. What is the ASTM? How can its work product be utilized? What advantages are there for the engineer in using such available material?

33.7. What is a “performance” or “service” type of specification? Illustrate its use. Who is responsible for results where this type is employed?

33.8. When and how can the specifications use to an advantage a reference to a standard product of a particular manufacturer?

33.9. Why specify “or approved equivalent”? Who does the approving?

33.10.                   The drawings showed that a steel structure was to be field-bolted, but the specifications stated that it was to be field-welded. The contractor bid on the bolted work. Was he justified in so doing? What can the engineer do about the situation?

33.11.                   The specifications called for the coating with linseed oil of all “finished” surfaces of machinery. The drawings did not indicate any coating. What should the inspector require of the contractor? Explain.

33.12.                   A specification stated: “The insulation shall be 2 in. thick and of an approved type.” Is this a satisfactory way to put it? Why?

33.13.                   Why is it desirable to include in the contract documents a description of the project?

33.14.                   A specification stated: “Substitutions may be submitted for the approval of the engineer.” Is this a satisfactory statement? Elaborate.

33.15.                   Why is it generally inadvisable to allow bidders to make substitutions (in their proposals) for specified structural materials? Is such substitution satisfactory in the case of certain equipment?

33.16.                   Has the engineer the right to specify what he wants regardless of the opinions of the contractors?

33.17.                   Does an engineer act properly when he seeks the advice of contractors and manufacturers before preparing his specifications for some article or process? Why?

33.18.                   A specification states: “Suitable pumps shall be installed to prevent flooding of the excavation.” Has the engineer control over what pumps are to be provided? If flooding occurs, who is responsible?

33.19.                   What are the advantages and disadvantages of specifying products by name and catalog number?

33.20.                   What is the purpose of public works regulations that require that at least three proposals be sought?

33.21.                   What advantages and disadvantages may there be in specifying a list of acceptable alternatives for a given purpose?

33.22.                   Under what conditions might it be desirable for the engineer to specify one and only one named product?

33.23.                   An engineer specified that a bridge crane should “have a capacity of 50 tons, with a 10-ton auxiliary, a span of 75 feet, an acceptable speed of travel, and be driven by 440-volt, 60-cycle power.” Is this specification satisfactory under ordinary circumstances? Why?

33.24.                   Can a contractor propose substitutions for specified products (a) before the bids are received? (b) after the contract is awarded?

33.25.                   Can an engineer specify a material having different properties than those given in the ASTM specifications? Why?

33.26.                   Does the ASTM specify how and when a particular material (like Portland Cement, Type II) is to be used? Why?

33.27.                   As references, are standard specifications always to be used? If standard specifications are thus employed, can the engineer specify anything that differs from them?

34.  Chapter 34 – General Conditions

34.1. Explain the principal powers of the engineer in connection with the conduct of work in the field. What is his responsibility in case of an emergency?

34.2. Who should be responsible for coordination of work done (a) by the contractor and subcontractors? (b) by two different contractors? (c) partly by the owner and partly by the contractor? Explain.

34.3. Why should the engineer specify that he is to approve all the contractor’s (a) drawings, and (b) equipment?

34.4. Should the contractor check the engineer’s plans? Why? What should the contractor do if he happens to discover an error in the contract drawings?

34.5. What sort of things are supposed to be covered (a) by a contractor’s warranties? (b) by his guarantees? Why should the engineer require him to warrant and to guarantee these things?

34.6. Who is responsible for the expense resulting from the correcting of defective work?

34.7. Ordinarily, who should establish the order in which the contractor is to perform various major portions of a large construction project? Explain.

34.8. Why is it desirable for the contract documents to contain a clause that requires each bidder to visit (or to have one of his men visit) the site of a construction job before submitting a proposal on the project?

34.9. A contractor was building a highway underpass in an urban area. The contract stated that she was to maintain traffic and to maintain and relocate all utilities. She encountered an old sewer that was not shown on the plans or mentioned in the specifications. (a) Is maintenance and relocation of this sewer her responsibility even though she had visited the site before bidding, as required by the specifications? (b) Can she properly claim extra compensation for this work? Explain.

34.10.                   A contract states that the work is to be completed in 30 days. What does this mean? Is the statement proper?

34.11.                   A contract states that the work is to be completed promptly. What does this mean legally?

34.12.                   If the contractor guarantees a structure for one year, (a) what is the usual starting time of the guarantee? (b) What sort of things would the guarantee usually cover?

34.13.                   What is the significance of “substantial performance” in construction contracts?

34.14.                   What control (if any) should the engineer have (a) over the conduct of a contractor with respect to other contractors engaged in the same major project? (b) over subcontractors?

34.15.                   The contractor designed the falsework for a large bridge, and the engineer approved the drawing. Subsequently one erection bent collapsed. Who is responsible for the resulting damages? Elaborate.

34.16.                   A contract called for the building of a large oil tank on silty soil near a wharf—all in accordance with the design. Under one edge of the area to be occupied by the tank the contractor unexpectedly encountered a group of old wooden piles that had been covered by earth and were not shown on the plans. He cut them off just below the future tank bottom, and he covered them with a little dirt. He did not report the situation to the engineer, who knew nothing about the piles. When the completed tank was tested by filling it with water, the greater resistance of the piles (compared with the bearing value of the neighboring soil) caused uneven settlement; as a result, the side of the tank over the piles buckled. Who is responsible for remedying the situation? Explain.

34.17.                   Describe some of the duties and responsibilities of and limitations upon an inspector in the field.

34.18.                   Who is to do the inspecting of work done by subcontractors—the engineer or the contractor—since the owner has no direct contact with the subcontractors?

34.19.                   If an engineer is not able or willing to send someone from her organization to inspect certain products before shipment from the factory, must she accept these products regardless of deficiencies?

34.20.                   If the inspector accepts work done by the contractor, does that mean that the contractor is no longer responsible for proper performance and quality of the work which has thus been accepted?

34.21.                   Does the inspector in the field have the right to tell the contractor how to perform his work? Explain.

34.22.                   Why make a final inspection when all the work has supposedly been inspected and approved before?

34.23.                   What are the principal procedures for and significance of final inspection and acceptance of a job? Does this acceptance relieve the contractor of subsequent responsibility for the quality of the work?

34.24.                   If defective work done by the contractor cannot practicably be replaced, what can the engineer do about it?

34.25.                   In a construction job, who should provide the necessary land, access, power, sanitary facilities, permits, and licenses? If not specified, what can be done about settling these matters?

34.26.                   When may it be desirable for the engineer to establish all lines and grades for a large construction project? When undesirable?

34.27.                   Why should the contractor be responsible (a) for the protection of the public at a job site? (b) for the maintenance of discipline?

34.28.                   Explain why it is important to confirm (in writing) telephoned messages between the engineer and the contractor when these messages relate to the construction project.

34.29.                   Does the contractor accept all risk when he takes the contract? Why make him state officially that he does so?

34.30.                   Why make the bidders warrant that they are familiar with all laws, ordinances, pay rates, and other regulations affecting the job?

34.31.                   Why might the engineer want to specify the order of completion of portions of the contract work? Illustrate a case.

34.32.                   Has the engineer the right to require the contractor to prepare a construction schedule? Why may one be desirable?

34.33.                   Who should provide the building permit? Why is one necessary in many cases?

34.34.                   What sort of contract is best suited for underpinning jobs? Why?

35.  Chapter 35 – Clauses Relating to Finance

35.1. Describe the function of the contract clauses relating to the performance of a construction contract.

35.2. Differentiate between “standard contracts” and “standard contract clauses.” When and how may each be used to advantage?

35.3. Describe a situation which might justify (a) the suspension of a contract; (b) its cancellation.

35.4. Assume that Elkins contracted to build an addition to Cromwell’s plant producing cruise missiles just prior to the gulf war. The war ended before Elkins started work, and Cromwell tried to cancel the contract. Can Elkins do anything about the loss of his anticipated profit (a) if the contract contained a proper cancellation clause? (b) If the contract contained no clause dealing with cancellation?

35.5. If work under a contract is revised, what procedure should be followed? Is the contractor obliged to follow the revisions?

35.6. When may claims by the contractor for extra payment be justified in a lump-sum contract? How may these payments be computed?

35.7. When may claims by the contractor for extra payment be justified in a unit-price contract? How may these payments be computed?

35.8. The boring data shown on the drawings for two bridge piers indicated the presence of boulders at the site. The successful contractor included in his bid the cost of cofferdams to surround the piers and to permit removal of these boulders. When work started, the contractor decided to try to get along without the use of cofferdams, and he succeeded. Does the contractor have to make a refund to the owner because of the decrease in the actual cost of doing the work? Explain.

35.9. What would be the situation if the contractor bid on the previously mentioned piers and assumed that no cofferdams would be necessary but later found that they had to be used?

35.10.                   Black contracted with White to build a certain number of large transmission towers for a stated price per tower. White subsequently decided to use longer spans for the wires, thereby reducing the number of towers. Is Black entitled to an adjustment in the price per tower?

35.11.                   An engineer telephoned her resident engineer to stop work on some retaining walls that were to be revised. The latter was in a conference at the time. One hour later the resident engineer sent an assistant to notify the contractor. When the assistant arrived, 10 cubic yards of concrete had been poured in the forms and 10 cubic yards more were waiting in trucks at the site. What should be done? Who should pay the bill, if any?

35.12.                   What are the advantages from the contractor’s standpoint of subcontracting portions of a construction contract? Illustrate a typical case.

35.13.                   Describe one way in which the evils of “bid shopping” may be remedied.

35.14.                   Cramer subcontracted to Williams the furnishing and installation of all equipment for a large pumping station. The operation of the pumps, said the original contract, was to be guaranteed for one year. When the plant started to operate, certain defects in the pumps were discovered. To whom will the owner look for remedy—the contractor or the subcontractor? Why?

35.15.                   What is the purpose in allowing the owner to withhold a portion of partial payments due the contractor? What happens to this money when the job is completed?

35.16.                   When and how are final payments computed and made to the contractor for a lump-sum contract? A unit-price contract?

35.17.                   Explain the purpose and operation of liquidated damages.

35.18.                   What is meant by “the contractor shall indemnify and save harmless the owner in case of any claims for damages”?

35.19.                   Brown orally told Black to build him a wooden garage 25 feet long and 15 feet wide, having a concrete floor, overhead doors, and a sloping roof covered with asphalt shingles. No other specifications were stated. The agreed-upon price was $5,600. The agreement and details were not recorded in writing. Black built the garage, but she included no windows and no electric lights. Brown claimed that these two items were included in the agreement by implication. Is Brown correct in this matter?

35.20.                   If the contract is suspended by the engineer for five days because of changes that the owner wants to make, may this affect the cost to the owner?

35.21.                   A contract required the job to be completed July 15. The engineer ordered the contractor to suspend operations from May 1 to May 15, then changed the completion date to July 31. Was the change in completion data appropriate?

35.22.                   Under what conditions might the conduct of the contractor be proper cause for owner to terminate the contract?

35.23.                   If no time for starting and completion are given in the contract, is the contractor free to construct his own schedule?

35.24.                   Why may revisions in a contract justify extra compensation for the contractor?

35.25.                   What compensation should a contractor receive because of delays due to actions of his own personnel?

35.26.                   In case of a unit-price contract, (a) when will the unit prices be applicable to extra work? (b) when inapplicable or insufficient?

35.27.                   Should the engineer get and issue data regarding soil conditions at a construction site? Should he interpret them?

35.28.                   Explain when and why the contractor may reasonably claim extra compensation when the quantity of work in a unit-price contract is decreased.

35.29.                   Who should be responsible for the protection of the public during construction operations? Why?

35.30.                   Illustrate a case in which the contractor is evidently entitled to extra compensation because of a change in the quality of the work required in a unit-price contract.

35.31.                   If the contractor has completed a unit-price contract, can the engineer compel him to build some added part at the same unit prices?

36.  Chapter 36 – Proposals

36.1. Illustrate a situation in which standard proposal forms might be used advantageously. Explain the advantages of the use of such proposal forms.

36.2. Why may use of the cut-and-paste method of preparing proposal forms be helpful? When would it be inadvisable?

36.3. Why is the use of a printed proposal form advisable for construction contracts?

36.4. Is a printed proposal form essential for the making of a construction contract? Why?

36.5. Describe how a contractor might go about preparing a bid on a school building to accommodate 400 pupils, assuming that it is to be a lump-sum job. List several of the typical work items involved.

36.6. For the school mentioned in the preceding question, describe how a contractor might prepare the bid if it were to be on a unit-price basis.

36.7. Who determines the contingency figure in the cost estimates for a construction project?

36.8. Who ultimately pays the cost of preparing proposals on a contract in the case of (a) the successful bidder? (b) the unsuccessful bidders?

36.9. How does a bidder estimate the profit that she hopes to obtain from the performance of a contract on which she makes a proposal (assuming a unit-price contract)?

36.10.                   What are “escalator” clauses as used in connection with proposals on construction contracts? Why may they be used?

36.11.                   Does the engineer generally make an estimate of the cost of a project before obtaining proposals? How? Why?

36.12.                   What is an unbalanced bid? Why might one be used?

36.13.                   On what basis is the successful bidder determined in the case of (a) a lump-sum contract? (b) a unit-price contract?

36.14.                   In what respect may a proposal be improper? What should be done by the engineer in such a situation?

36.15.                   Should the engineer specify a time limit after receipt of a proposal before it will cease to be binding on the bidder?

36.16.                   16.          When a bidder submits a proposal, is that act something that completes a contract            ?

36.17.                   Who should usually determine the type of contract to be used for a given construction project? On what basis should it be determined?

36.18.                   For a unit-price contract: (a) How are the quantities which are given in the proposal form determined? (b) Are these quantities guaranteed to be accurate? (c) What are the stated quantities used for? (d) Are these quantities the same as the actual quantities that will probably be used in the job? (e) What happens if the stated and the actual quantities differ?

36.19.                   How are the quantities determined for a lump-sum contract?

36.20.                   Does the fact that a proposal for a construction project is on a unit-price basis mean that the cost of a job to the owner will be less than if the proposal were made on a lump-sum basis? Explain.

36.21.                   Can a portion of the work in a unit-price contract be listed as a lump sum? Why? Illustrate.

36.22.                   If the plans and specifications are vague and incomplete, what can bidders do to protect themselves?

36.23.                   How can a bidder determine the percentage or fixed fee to charge in connection with a cost-plus contract?

36.24.                   Explain how and when alternatives might be used when one is seeking proposals on the construction of a large building project.

36.25.                   Is it wise to have alternatives applied to a main contract as additions? To have them applied as subtractions?

36.26.                   Why should proposals for a construction contract be sealed when submitted to the owner?

36.27.                   Why forbid withdrawal of any submitted proposal before actual opening of all proposals?

36.28.                   What should be done if a bidder changes any portion of the proposal form?

36.29.                   Jones’s proposal for a building contract was $125,500. After finding that her bid was low, she checked her estimates and found that an item of $25,000 had been incorrectly recorded as $2,500 in making the summary of costs. What can she do about the situation? Explain.

36.30.                   What is meant by “lowest responsible bidder” in connection with construction contracts?

36.31.                   Under what conditions may the lowest bid be rejected (a) in private work? (b) in public work?

36.32.                   Davis’s bid of $542,000 was the lowest on a building job. The cost of the largest construction contract which he had performed previously was $78,000. What should the engineer do to determine whether or not to let the contract to Davis?

36.33.                   If, in the case described above, the advertisement says, “The contract will be let to the lowest bidder,” must this be done?

36.34.                   Explain possible procedures for and advantages of prequalification of bidders.

36.35.                   Why and under what conditions should the advertisement state that the owner has the right to reject any or all proposals?

37.  Chapter 37 – Advertisement for Bids

37.1. Why may an engineer advertise for bids on a public project? On a private project?

37.2. In what ways other than advertising may an engineer request bids?

37.3. Name an acceptable media for advertising contracts for (a) construction, (b) machinery.

37.4. List the kinds of data that should be given in the advertisement for a junior high school. Assume all necessary information.

37.5. Why should the advertisement specify the procedure to be followed (a) for receipt of proposals, (b) for opening proposals, (c) for awarding the contract?

37.6. An advertisement for a construction project contained the words “estimated cost is $1,800,000.” Is this proper or advisable? Explain.

37.7. If a project is suddenly canceled after being advertised, what should be done about the request for proposals?

37.8. Smith’s advertisement for bids on the construction of a sewage-disposal plant stated: “$500 per day liquidated damages if not completed in fifteen months after signing of the contract.” Reynolds saw Smith, explained the effect upon cost, and secured permission to omit this requirement. Has Smith the right to make this change? What should Smith do about other bidders?

37.9. Why is it advisable, in a public project, to print a copy of the advertisement in the contract documents?

37.10.                   Why might a contractor who reads an advertisement of a construction project be interested in and influenced by (a) the location of the project, (b) the name of the owner, (c) the character of the job?

37.11.                   What influence may the magnitude of the job have on whether or not prospective bidders will be interested in preparing proposals for performing the work required?

37.12.                   Explain the principles to be followed in giving bidders an idea of the character and magnitude of a construction project when advertising.

37.13.                   Why state in the advertisement that the contract will be awarded in a specified time after receipt of proposals?

37.14.                   Why state in the advertisement that the successful bidder must sign the contract within a specified time after notice of award of the contract?

37.15.                   Why might a private owner prefer to negotiate a construction contract directly with one particular contractor instead of advertising for bids?

Chapter 38 – Environmental Considerations for Design

38.1.                   Discuss the factors that have led to the federalization of environmental law.

38.2.                   What were the goals of the National Environmental Policy Act?

38.3.                   What is the role of the environmental impact statement in the decision-making process?

38.4.                   Who is required by the National Environmental Policy Act to prepare environmental impact statements?

38.5.                   Discuss the elements required to be included in an environmental impact statement.

38.6.                   Discuss the problems encountered in the effort to meet National Primary and Secondary Air Quality Standards.

38.7.                   Discuss the problems inherent in the control of noise pollution.

38.8.                   Are there any special noise pollution problems in the case of aircraft?

38.9.                   What arguments might be made in favor of allowing air quality to decline until the point of safety is reached?

38.10.                   To what waters does the Federal Water Pollution Control Act apply?

38.11.                   What is a “point source” of water pollution? A nonpoint source?

38.12.                   Differentiate effluent standards from water quality standards.

38.13.                   Discuss the problems inherent in the control of nonpoints sources of water pollution.

38.14.                   Which agency is responsible for the issuance of permits for the disposal of dredged or filled material?

38.15.                   Ocean dumping permits may not be obtained for what substances? To what waters does the Ocean Dumping Act apply?

38.16.                   In general, how does federal law control the use of dangerous pesticides?

PART VII – Questions on Engineers, Architects and Litigation

39.    Chapter 39 – Engineer’s Role in Litigation

39.1. Define the meaning of the term “expert witness.”

39.2. In what kinds of proceedings may an engineer have an important part as an expert witness?

39.3. Describe in what capacities an engineer may aid in court proceedings.

39.4. Why may “expert” opinion be admissible at a trial when opinion evidence in general is not? Explain.

39.5. Explain the difference in an engineer’s situation (a) when acting as a witness for one of the litigants and (b) when rendering service strictly as an adviser to one of the attorneys.

39.6. Illustrate the procedure that may be followed in court in qualifying a witness as an expert.

39.7. What facts may greatly affect the weight of an expert witness’s testimony in court?

39.8. Explain the difference between direct examination and cross-examination of an expert witness.

39.9. How may visual aids be used in connection with the presentation of testimony by an expert witness?

39.10.                   Explain when and how references may be used by an expert witness in connection with presentation of his testimony.

39.11.                   Can an engineer be compelled to give testimony in court? How?

39.12.                   If an engineer is asked to serve as an expert witness, should he investigate the case before accepting? Why?

39.13.                   What may happen if a witness makes a statement on the stand and then, under cross-examination, has to admit that he erred?

39.14.                   How can the court decide upon the relative value of opposing testimony presented by various expert witnesses?

39.15.                   Why might an engineer who is to help the attorney for plaintiff in a lawsuit be asked to assist in the preparation of the complaint?

39.16.                   If an engineer sees that a case in which he is asked to help an attorney is weak or has weak points in it, what should he do about it?

39.17.                   Why is it customary for a lawyer to go over in advance the general character of the questions that he will ask an expert witness on direct examination?

39.18.                   In preparation for direct examination, is it proper for the prospective witness himself to suggest questions that the attorney might well ask him? Explain.

39.19.                   Can an expert witness generally be recalled to the stand after he has undergone both direct and cross-examination? Why?

39.20.                   What is the purpose of making a stenographic copy of all proceedings during a hearing or court session?

39.21.                   If an expert witness is not sure of a question asked him, what should be do?

39.22.                   Can an expert witness, who is on the stand, ask for an opportunity to refresh his memory before answering a specific question?

39.23.                   When may an expert witness make use of books to prove technical points he made in his testimony?

39.24.                   May an expert witness properly be questioned about his fee?

39.25.                   Can book data, used to substantiate statements made by an expert witness, be placed in evidence as exhibits?

39.26.                   If a witness refers to computations and figures when giving his testimony, will such data be made a part of the record?

39.27.                   On the stand, an expert witness was asked: “Exactly what was the speed of the truck when it crashed through the railing of the bridge?” The witness answered: “I don’t know.” (a) Does that answer discredit the other testimony of the witness? (b) Should the witness try to make a specific answer? (c) Would the situation be different if the question were: “In your opinion, what was the approximate speed of the truck when it crashed through the railing of the bridge?”

39.28.                   Lawyer A came to engineer B to ask the latter to serve as expert witness. As the result of a discussion of the matter, B found that he could not agree with much of A’s position and claims. Should B accept the job nevertheless? Why?

40.  Chapter 40 – Arbitration

40.1. What is arbitration? What is its purpose?

40.2. Is an agreement to arbitrate necessarily a part of a contract? If such an agreement is part of a contract, can this bind the parties to submit a future dispute to arbitration before the difference arises? Why might this be desirable?

40.3. Can an agreement to arbitrate be made after a contract is in operation? How?

40.4. Does an agreement to arbitrate preclude subsequent resort to court proceedings?

40.5. What is the difference between (a) arbitration and appraisement? (b) an arbitrator and a referee?

40.6. What is a “submission” and what does it constitute?

40.7. Can an agreement to arbitrate be revoked or waived? Can these things be done if the agreement is a part of the signed contract?

40.8. Who may decide whether a dispute is to be heard by one or by more than one arbitrator?

40.9. How are arbitrators generally chosen?

40.10.                   Can arbitration be resorted to only after completion of a contract? Why?

40.11.                   What is the American Arbitration Association, and what are its purposes and functions?

40.12.                   What is an “award”? How is an award arrived at?

40.13.                   Must the reasons for the magnitude and nature of the award be publicized? Why?

40.14.                   Will an arbitration award be likely to have any effect in subsequent litigation? Why?

40.15.                   From whom do arbitrators get their authority to make an award?

40.16.                   Does the submission indicate intended compliance with the future award?

40.17.                   What information should an arbitration agreement contain?

40.18.                   Is it customary to name the membership of a board of arbitration before a contract is started? Why?

40.19.                   Does arbitration have to proceed immediately after a dispute arises? Why?

40.20.                   Should the contract or agreement to arbitrate specify the allocation of costs for arbitration?

40.21.                   A dispute arose between Black, the owner, and Brown, the contractor, over the interpretation of a clause in the specifications. Is this a suitable subject for arbitration? Why?

40.22.                   A contract contained a clause requiring arbitration of disputes. During progress of the work, a serious fire occurred. The owner and contractor could not agree upon the size of, and responsibility for, the resultant damages; therefore the owner brought suit against the contractor. Is this proper procedure? Will the court be likely to hear the case?

40.23.                   Jones, the contractor, claimed $10,000 compensation from Smith, the owner, because of extra work done under the contract. There was no arbitration clause in the contract. Jones demanded that the dispute be submitted to arbitration. Smith refused. Can Jones force Smith to arbitrate? Why?

40.24.                   According to the terms of a certain contract, one member of a board of arbitration is to be selected by the owner, one by the contractor, and one by these two appointees. Is this better than having one person as the sole arbitrator? Explain.

40.25.                   What assistance can be rendered by the American Arbitration Association? Will it, as an organization, arbitrate disputes?

40.26.                    How does mediation differ from arbitration? What advantages does mediation offer?