News & Events

News & Events

4.1.2014

Design Professional Liens Attach When Nothing Is Built: Answering the Devil’s Advocate

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Lane Powell Attorneys David Spellman, Carson Cooper and Jennifer Beyerlein authored an article in Washington State Bar Association’s (“WSBA”) Spring 2014 Construction Law newsletter titled “Design Professional Liens Attach When Nothing Is Built: Answering the Devil’s Advocate.” In the article, the group summarized the history of the Washington Lien statute and addressed a recent case that acknowledged that design professionals can obtain lien rights for their work even if nothing is built.

An article in the Construction Bar’s Winter newsletter tried to suggest that Washington law does not grant lien rights for the work of a design professional where nothing is built. We disagree and take the author, Michael Bond, up on his invitation to set the record straight.

For decades, Alaska, California, and Oregon have mirrored Washington by allowing design professional liens to attach to real property in the absence of actual construction. Adopting the same public policy, the Uniform Construction Lien Act, §102(17)(v), allows design professionals to lien whether or not the planned improvement is actually made. This article summarizes the history of the Washington lien statute and addresses a recent case that acknowledges that a design professional can obtain lien rights when improvements are not built.

Read the article.