Calling out Schiff Hardin

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    Maren Robertson

    Here is what NY says about stamping and sealing:

    "The circumstances under which a licensee may appropriately sign and seal documents prepared by others might include, but are not limited to:

    • documents prepared by the project owner for his/her own use
    • documents prepared by or procured from an incapacitated or deceased practitioner
    • residential projects, of 1500 gross square feet or less, where the seal and signature of a licensee are required by the jurisdiction having authority
    • house plans purchased through magazines, etc."

    So it all depends on the circumstances and the state.

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    Erica Spayd

    Keep in mind that Schiff Hardin is a law firm... So, the lecturer wasn't partaking in plan stamping, he's talking about one of his clients or someone who was sued by one of his clients. It's important to listen to the lectures within that context. He's not condoning the behavior he talks about, he's merely pointing out examples of such behavior, and how said behavior could or could not get you sued.

    Good luck on PJM in a few weeks!

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    Kelly Duignan

    Hi Canuto,

    I'm also studying for PjM (and PcM - both the last week of February). Good luck on your exam!!

    So, from the AHPP 3.1, it states that -

    The term “plan-stamping” refers to the inappropriate use of a stamp by an individual not in responsible control of the preparation of the documents. This is a serious violation of any statute, and it is discussed below in the section on discipline.

    My previous interpretation was that plan-stamping happened when someone unlicensed uses someone else's sign/seal to stamp drawings without approval or supervision of that particular set.  For example, since I am not licensed, I could not use my bosses stamp to sign/seal drawings for side project I had, which he has no knowledge of.

    But reading over that statement again, it sounds like maybe it is more the idea of someone who is licensed can not go around stamping and approving drawings which they have never reviewed, since the set may be inconsistent/inaccurate/missing major pieces/etc.  I think that is different though, than hiring an outside firm to take over the drafting of the documents (which I think firms sometimes do).

    I have moonlighting in mind with both of these scenarios.  What do others think?

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    My previous interpretation was that plan-stamping happened when someone unlicensed uses someone else's sign/seal to stamp drawings without approval or supervision of that particular set.

    Hi Kelly -- your above example would not be considered plan-stamping within the professional definition, but would instead be straight-up fraud.

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    Kelly Duignan

    Thanks Kurt - so would the second scenario fall under the professional definition?

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Kelly -- your second example -- "the idea of someone who is licensed can not go around stamping and approving drawings which they have never reviewed" -- does not quite fit the definition either.  States vary a bit on this but the idea of responsible control is key.

    In Illinois (I'm getting my license there next!), the verbiage reads:  "Merely reviewing or reviewing and correcting the technical submissions prepared by others, even if they are licensed, does not constitute “responsible control” by the architect."

    So, your second example could still be plan stamping if you're relying on a "review".

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    Kelly Duignan

    Ah, okay - thanks!  Hope I didn't create more confusion than clarity on this issue, haha.

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