Small firms and sole practitioners don’t have the luxury of in-house counsel or retained attorneys, yet small architecture firms confront many legal challenges such as negotiating and interpreting contracts and handling disputes with clients and contractors. LegaLine is the AIA Trust Legal Information Service, a specialized benefit for AIA members, ideal for small firms without in-house counsel or an attorney on retainer.
A subscription service, LegaLine enables AIA members to discuss matters affecting risk management and their architectural practice with architects who are also lawyers and who are familiar with current practice issues.
While LegaLine does not act as a firm’s attorney, it does provide legal information in response to your practice-related questions and problems. It may help you determine whether to hire a lawyer in a specific situation. Ultimately, the goal is to help small firms to manage their risks, improve their practices and prevent disputes and lawsuits.
In addition, LegaLine can give insights on structuring profitable joint ventures, incorporating one’s practice, collecting overdue or disputed fees, transferring firm ownership, and options when hiring or firing an employee. It’s important for architects to recognize the traps and pitfalls in their practice to avoid legal difficulties—and focus on the business of architecture.
By subscribing to LegaLine, the member has access to legal information. Subscribers receive prompt responses by telephone to practice-related legal questions all year long—and learn what to do to help prevent costly and destructive legal problems. LegaLine inquiries are answered by Charles R. Heuer, FAIA, Esq. or a member of his team. Mr. Heuer is an architect, attorney, professional liability consultant and mediator.
Components may also subscribe to LegaLine to offer their members the benefit of LegaLine’s response to their occasional questions. A component subscription entitles the component to a block of calls equivalent to what a firm would use and component staff may call or may direct members to call LegaLine toll free. (When a member’s firm has ongoing issues, an individual subscription to LegaLine is suggested.)
To enroll, a Subscriber Firm Profile and a Subscriber Agreement must be completed with payment. For more details or to subscribe, visit AIA Trust or call LegaLine directly at 1-800-688-9780.