Common Violations of the APA: Negligence and Willful Misconduct
Licensees are expected to perform within established rules of professional conduct. Negligence and willful misconduct in the practice of architecture are grounds for disciplinary action, as stated in BPC 5584. Negligence arises when an architect fails to meet the standard of professional care by, for instance, designing a project in violation of the applicable laws, codes, or regulations.
Willful misconduct is a more serious violation of the APA because the architect is knowingly violating the law. Examples of willful misconduct include: 1) signing and stamping knowingly deficient design plans; 2) accepting payment for services that are not rendered; 3) abandoning a project after receiving payment; or 4) failing to return an overpayment of fees for services rendered.
Therefore, licensees may wish to consult with the necessary experts who are qualified by education, training, and experience in specific technical areas if they are unsure of the legal requirements, the intent or meaning of a law, or lack the technical knowledge required for a design project.