FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Suzanne Harness

Suzanne Harness

Harness Law, PLLC

Arlington, VA, USA

Licensed both as an architect and an attorney, Suzanne Harness focuses her legal practice on contract formation.  She provides risk management and other consulting services through Harness Project Solutions, LLC. She is an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s panel of construction neutrals.

From 2002 through 2008 she was responsible for the content of AIA Contract Documents including the 2004 Design-Build Family, the 2007 revisions to the A201 Family, and new agreements for digital data transmission, Building Information Modeling, and Integrated Project Delivery. Prior to joining the American Institute of Architects, she practiced in the construction practice group of the Washington, DC office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Earlier in her career as an architect she served as an in-house owner’s representative for public and private owners, including the US General Services Administration, and as a project architect with architecture firms in the Washington, DC area.

An active writer and speaker, she is the author of the article Owner-Generated Agreements, in the 15th Edition of the AIA Handbook of Professional Practice published in 2013 and Public Private Partnerships: Managing the Opportunities and Risks for Zurich North America in 2015. She also authored chapters in books published by the American Bar Association in 2014: Integrated Project Delivery, Tri-Party Agreements, and Other Collaborative Arrangements, published in the book Construction Subcontracting; and Initial Decision Maker, published in Construction ADR. Recent speaking topics have included public-private partnerships, design-build and Engineer-Procure-Construct contracting, modern alternatives to the professional liability practice policy, and enterprise risk management. In September 2013, she presented “Design-Build Then and Now” at the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry’s Fall Meeting. In June 2014 she presented “What’s Hot in Design-Build” at the Practicing Law Institute’s annual construction conference in New York City.       

She received a B.S. in Architecture and M. Arch. from the Catholic University of America, and J.D. from the George Washington University Law School. She is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society, as well as the American Institute of Architects, the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry, and the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation.


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