U.S. Green Building Council New York Upstate Chapter

 educating, advocating, celebrating green building


Green Buildings: Dealing with Risks in a time of Uncertain Legal Principles

  • Tuesday, August 14, 2012
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Franklin's Tower - Albany


  • At the door price for all those who have not preregistered using PayPal prior to the day of the event.
  • All attendees not active students or Upstate USGBC Chapter or National members.
  • Currently enrolled students with a valid ID.
  • Current active members are eligable for this fee.

Registration is closed

Register now for the New York Upstate Chapter of the USGBC's presentation on Green Buildings: Dealing with Risks in a time of Uncertain Legal Principles

Although green and sustainable building has been used for at least the last decade, and although it has been in the forefront of the thinking of those in the building business, the legal "rules" that apply to green and sustainable building are, for the most part, still uncertain. Traditionally, principles that have already been applied to established subjects of commerce and human interaction are adapted or built upon to develop the law used to govern new areas of social or technological development.

This program will identify the legal risks involved in green and sustainable projects that affect design professionals and their clients.  The program will discuss, in the context of existing law,  risk allocation, shifting of risk, and risk management on the still-uncharted legal landscape of green and sustainable development. Contract provisions found in "standard" design construction documents will be considered and compared.

About the Presenter - James Stevens, Jr. is a Managing Partner of Sugarman Law Firm LLP.  He has more than 25 years’ experience litigating matters in Albany and Upstate New York, from Pennsylvania to the Canadian border.  A long-serving member of the firm, he has ushered in a number of directives in areas such as architect and engineer malpractice, products liability, insurance coverage issues and general negligence claims. He regularly serves as an arbitrator and mediator in pending civil disputes involving complex legal issues. He is a former adjunct faculty member at Syracuse University's College of Law where he taught advanced trial practice.

Mr. Stevens is a member of Onondaga County and New York State bar associations, associate member and accredited speaker of American Institute of Architects (AIA), and affiliate member of New York State Society for Professional Engineers. He was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Professional Liability for the magazine, Super Lawyers, a distinction based on peer recognition and professional achievement. Named a “Best Lawyer in America” in the field of Professional Liability, he is active in Sugarman's accredited program as a continuing education provider of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). A graduate of Syracuse University College of Law (cum laude), he is active in the community as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and a campaign coordinator for the United Way of Central New York.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify four areas of heightened risk to design professionals involved in green or sustainable projects
  • Name two concerns regarding professional liability coverage in the green building context
  • Identify four ways to manage the heightened risks in green and sustainable building projects.
  •  Identify at least three green building strategies that are “flags” for heightened liability issues.


Approval for this event is pending. Remember to report this presentation to the GBCI as part of your credentialing maintenance.

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