An architect I worked with was sued for wrongful employment termination. He let an employee go while she was pregnant. Company emails between the former employee and the architect showed that there were problems with her work, which was the actual reason for the termination. However, the architect’s insurance company settled for sixty-five thousand dollars. His insurance premium will likely go up as a result.
What if the architect had an expert determination clause in his employment contract? Then, an expert employment lawyer would have reviewed relevant work emails. They would answer the question of whether it was more likely that employment was terminated for reasons of pregnancy or performance. Since it was the latter, the architect would have been off the hook.
The attorney of that same architect reviewed our expert determination clause and said it was — and I quote — “…an impressive process to limit and/or control disputes that otherwise get out of control. Well done!”
Now suppose your client is upset and refuses to pay your last milestone payment.
They know you probably won’t sue them or initiate arbitration. It’s too expensive, too time-consuming, and too stressful. So you write-off some lost revenue.
But what if you could collect your fee by just providing documentation of your work to a third-party expert who would make a legally binding judgement? What if the client paid for that expert? That is what happens if you insert an expert determination clause into your client contracts.