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The Collections-Claim Connection:
Getting Paid Without Getting Sued

David A. Ericksen, Esq., Severson & Werson, Fall 2012

While money isn’t everything, it is the measure and fuel of any business, including a design firm. Payment issues are also often the single greatest warning sign of a project in trouble. Perhaps there is no greater indicator of the correlation between unpaid fees and troubled projects and relationships than the remarkable frequency with which efforts of design professionals to collect unpaid fees through litigation result in even larger responsive counter claims from clients alleging professional negligence. This paper outlines financial success as a project-long process, providing analyses, strategies, forms, and check-lists to assist the member in making the process successful.


David A. Ericksen is a principal shareholder in and President of the law firm of Severson & Werson in San Francisco, California, and leads the firm’s Construction and Environmental Practices. For nearly twenty years, Mr. Ericksen has specialized in the representation of architects, engineers, construction managers, design-builders, and other construction professionals.

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