TEXAS CERTIFICATE OF MERIT
- REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL LAND SURVEYORS
Why the Need for a Certificate of Merit in Texas?
Professionals such as engineers, architects, and even land surveyors, require highly-specialized knowledge, skills, and methods to ply their trade.
So it’s entirely possible that laymen may not fully understand the duties and standard-of-care owed by a professional to his clients.
Therefore, the Texas courts require that a fellow professional evaluate the evidence that supports a finding a negligence against a fellow professional.
While this is burden for the plaintiff – it helps eliminate frivolous lawsuits – and likely lowers the cost of our services to the Public by reducing the chance of a negligence lawsuit against the engineer, architect, and even land surveyor.
What Are the Requirements for a Third-Party Licensed Professional?
Not just anyone can write an affidavit / certificate of merit against a professional. This is especially true since Title 6 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code was re-written a few years ago. Specifically, the third-party affiant must meet three criteria:
- The affiant is competent to testify.
- The affiant holds the same professional license or registration as the defendant, here as a Texas Registered Professional Land Surveyor.
- The affiant practices in the area of practice of the defendant and offers testimony based on the person’s knowledge, skill, experience, education, training, and practice.
What Makes a Great Certificate of Merit?
- It’s Objective: The Standard of Care is Set by Case Law, Statutes, and Texts
- It’s Fair: Once the Standard is Set, Did the Defendant Meet or Fall Below It?
- It’s Written in Plain English: Sometimes professional surveying terms are required, but this report is clear, concise, and not written to prove the vocabulary of the writer.
- It’s Written by Someone That Does the Same Work Everyday