Voigtmann leads the automation practice at Faegre Baker Daniels, a law firm with offices in the U.S., the U.K. and China. Voigtmann is a member of the Control Engineering Editorial Advisory Board.
Cybersecurity risks need help from contracts and insurance beyond technologies, policies, and people. Pretending cybersecurity risks aren’t there isn’t on any list of best practices.
Legalities: Automation projects are like construction projects, know your project delivery method, and standard contracts don’t work are the first three of 21 points of advice.
Automation providers cover the "maintenance and service" relationship in three basic ways. Learn the five basic legal clauses, starting with payment.
Say the word "integration" to a control engineer and you may quickly find yourself ensconced in the realm of DCS and SCADA. But there is another type of integration that can be equally important to the success or failure of a project—contract integration. What is contract integration? It is, quite simply, knowing the boundaries of the "deal.
What is the role of legal "fine print" in an economic downturn? Is it something to ignore because of the overhead of dealing with it (lawyers, negotiations)? Does it go on the backburner because the most important thing now—really, the only thing, for heaven's sake—is landing the project before the other guy does? Some legalities deserve increased attention in an economic downturn, including...
One of the frustrations of being a lawyer who advises automation companies is that sometimes there is only so much I can do. Here's an example: Let's say Control Engineers Limited (CEL) wants legal advice in connection with a new project. Appearing in my inbox is a little gift from CEL's customer, consisting of a 40-page set of "general conditions," a five-page set of "special conditions," some...
At the annual Control System Integrators Association conference for member executives in Savannah, GA, I took a moment away from my talk on the legalities of professional licensing to poll the audience: “Stand up if your company works on control systems.” Most everyone stood up. “Remain standing if your company employs at least one person with an engineering degree.
Now that we're into the new year, it is perhaps a good time to pause and reflect about one of the worst legal meltdowns affecting a control system that made it through the courts in 2007—a dozen-year affair that came to a grinding halt (in all ways that you can imagine that phrase) this past year before the Mississippi Supreme Court.
Is it possible to conduct a self-audit to determine the “legal health” of a company in the automation industry? I would answer this question with a fairly confident—although very much qualified—yes. The reason for the qualification is that the legal health of a business has as much to do with its culture and people as it does with any “screen shot” that can b...
At the recent CSIA executive conference in Santa Fe, I spoke on a serious topic, but with a tongue-in-cheek title. The title was “How to Write Letters and Emails That Don’t Drive Your Lawyer Crazy.” Following that talk, I probably received more requests for my slides than after any other automation law talk I have given then or since.