Book: ‘The Automation Legal Reference’ provides legal advice with wit, wisdom

A new book, a guide to legal risk in the automation, robotics, and process industries, by Mark Voigtmann, expands upon his legal wisdom, sound advice, and humor from the Control Engineering “Legalities” column.

05/13/2013


The book, “The Automation Legal Reference” by Mark Voigtmann, is available through the online ISA Bookstore, and expands on Voigtmann’s wisdom in many Control Engineering Legalities articles.Legal risk surrounds automation, robotics, and process industries projects, and “The Automation Legal Reference,” by Mark Voigtmann and published by ISA, includes inspired legal wisdom and wit from years of writing and speaking about legalities of automation. Voigtmann, attorney with Faegre Baker Daniels, expanded upon years of Control Engineering “Legalities” columns, speeches, and other articles, and added illustrations from Aaron Reiter, in the 160-page book. It’s appropriate reading for anyone involved with control system integration, robotic integration, and integration of process control projects, as well as customers, those funding the projects, and others involved.

Voigtmann said that in automation, robotics, and process industries, “lack of communication is a two-way problem. Not only do most lawyers have little or no understanding of what automation companies do (mention the word ‘software’ and many will politely look for the exit), but I also have seen all too many engineers (and, frankly, automation company executives) attempt to navigate their way through legal hazards in what can only be described as a ‘penny wise but pound foolish’ manner—saving a few thousand on legal fees on the front end only to see a company-killing problem arise as a result of that inattention.”

He further explains that “legal risks awaiting those who venture out in the automation world are by no means small. Although reading this book will not eliminate those risks, I hope it will at least demystify them—so that each new project is begun with open eyes.”

Sampling: Dirty dozen and ugly 8 contract clauses

For a brief preview of Voigtmann’s style, you can look at two Control Engineering columns, which are expanded into chapters 5 and 6 in this book:

- Beware The Dirty Dozen - Legalities: Want a good starting place for figuring out whether to accept another company's terms and conditions? Try looking for these "Dirty Dozen" contract flaws.

- Legalities: 8 Ugly Contract Clauses - Legal risks for automation industry companies: Add these ugly 8 contract clauses to the dirty dozen to get 20 very serious legal risks.

Mark Voigtmann, Faegre Baker DanielsAnd, as Voigtmann advises, “This book is intended as a general guide to legal risk in the automation realm and should not be relied upon as advice for any particular situation. The law applicable to any given circumstance can be nuanced. Please consult counsel.”

The book, “The Automation Legal Reference” by Mark Voigtmann, is available through the online ISA Bookstore. He discussed the book and used the chapters as an outline for his May 2 presentation, "21 Legal Takeaways in 45 Minutes," at the CSIA Executive Conference. 

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering and Plant Engineering, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com.

ONLINE: See additional Voigtmann information, below.



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
High-performance buildings; Building envelope and integration; Electrical, HVAC system integration; Smoke control systems; Using BAS for M&V
Pressure piping systems: Designing with ASME; Lab ventilation; Lighting controls; Reduce energy use with VFDs
Smoke control: Designing for proper ventilation; Smart Grid Standard 201P; Commissioning HVAC systems; Boilers and boiler systems
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software
Integrating BAS, electrical systems; Electrical system flexibility; Hospital electrical distribution; Electrical system grounding
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.