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Every Word Counts!
Contract Mechanisms and Their Review
Module 1

W. Ronald Woods, P.E.

Course Outline

This course is written from the perspective of an Engineer, not an attorney. While it contains information believed to be legally correct by the author, it should not take the place of appropriate legal review of a contract for Professional Services. The intent of this course is to make the professional aware of contract provisions and their implications, so that appropriate legal counsel can be sought. This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be familiar with:

Course Content

In this course, you are required to study the following document:

Every Word Counts! Contract Mechanisms and Their Review - Module 1
(PDF, 21 pages, 521 KB).

Please click on the underlined hypertext above to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right-clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Course Summary

The information contained in this booklet is based on experience and an attempted application of common sense to the review and overview of contract issues as they affect those in the engineering profession. It is by no means a legal treatise on all the potential pitfalls of contract law, as there are volumes dedicated to the subject in legalese and jargon most of us as non-lawyers will never understand. The salient points of this exercise were to point out the complexities of contracts, the ease with which we can get into trouble with their provisions, and the need to be careful in the conduct of our professional activities from contract engagement through contract performance.

Related Links and References

1. Case Studies on Indemnity and Additional Insured Requirements, American Subcontractors Association, Inc., 2003 (
2. Frequently Asked Questions - Indemnity, American Subcontractors Association, Inc., 2003 (
3. Ki, Lori A., Using Indemnification Agreements as an Effective Risk-Transfer Device, Aircraft Builders Council, Inc., 2000.
4. Flake, Richard P., Roach, Robert K., Nelson, Elaine E., “Risk Shifting In Contract Documents”, Proceedings of the 4th Annual Construction Law Conference, University of Texas School of Law, February 14 and 15, 1991.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.