Journal Article Title: The Role of the Forensic Engineer in Mediation or Arbitration
Article Author(s): Hutchinson, B. Lee, P.E.
Volume: 1
Volume #: 1
Month: June
Year: 1984


I am honored, indeed, to be included as a Charter Member of our Academy, but especially so to have been asked by President Specter to speak at this first annual conference and to have a sense of being in on the beginning of what may prove to be a most illustrious chapter in engineering annals. I am hopeful that some of my remarks will assist in our beginnings and be a factor in the future growth and development of the Academy. My comments today are based on experiences gained over the past ten years as an independent consultant in what I now know to be 'forensic engineering.' This followed thirty-five years of active involvement in major construction projects, both as a mechanical contractor and consulting engineer in the design of mechanical systems. During this time I have participated in, or been witness to, almost every type of dispute our system is capable of producing. I'm certain that those of you who have been in the construction field can recognize these examples: design problems; inadequate professional fees; poorly-drawn plans or specifications; exclusivity of equipment; unfair 'grandfather' or catch-all phrases; bid peddling and bid shopping; shop drawing approvals; changes in contract work; arbitrary attitudes of designers, inspectors, or contractors, shoddy workmanship; confusing and wasteful union jurisdictional disputes and practices.

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