Filing a Lawsuit in Maryland for Malpractice Against a Licensed Architect, Professional Engineer or Land Surveyor? Do Not Forget the Certificate of Qualified Expert Requirement

Maryland law requires that any lawsuit alleging malpractice against, among others, a licensed architect, a licensed professional engineer, or a licensed professional land or property line surveyor, be accompanied by a timely filed Certificate of Qualified Expert (“CQE”).  If the CQE is not timely filed, the lawsuit could be dismissed and the cause of action could be lost.  To avoid this prospect, every party that plans on bringing a malpractice suit against these licensed professionals must be careful to avoid the procedural minefield of the CQE requirement.

The CQE is a statement from a licensed professional in the same discipline as the professional against whom the malpractice claim will be filed, which states that the licensed professional to be sued failed to meet the applicable standard of professional care.  The CQE requirement applies to malpractice claims against licensed architects, professional engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, and professional land or property line surveyors.  Furthermore, absent a request to waive the CQE requirement, the CQE must be filed within 90 days after the suit is filed.

The statute, Maryland Code, Courts and Jud. Proc. § 3-2C-01 et seq., is a minefield for the unwary plaintiff and creates a hurdle for those seeking to file malpractice suits against these licensed professionals. As a result, malpractice plaintiffs must plan ahead and avoid waiting until the eve of the expiration of the statute of limitations which, depending on the type of claim, can vary.  Specifically, with the CQE requirement, a malpractice plaintiff must be sure to secure a licensed professional in the same discipline who is willing to state that the professional failed to meet the applicable standard of care.  This may not be a simple task, as many professionals are wary of alleging malpractice against other members of their profession.

If you are contemplating bringing a malpractice suit in Maryland against an architect, a landscape architect, an interior designer, a professional engineer, or a professional land or property line surveyor, contact us today.  Let us put our experience and expertise in construction law to work for you.

About The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C.

The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C. is a litigation law firm located in Chevy Chase, Maryland that serves clients in both Maryland and Washington, D.C. We represent businesses and individuals in a broad array of matters, with a focus on construction law and labor and employment matters, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and discrimination.  Contact the firm via e-mail at should you wish to learn more about our practice.

Disclaimer:  This article is made available for educational purposes only and to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice.  The article content should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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Written by Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, L.L.C.

Attorney Jamaal (“Jay”) W. Stafford has extensive experience counseling and representing clients facing complex and challenging legal issues. He puts his experience to work with each client to help them get their desired results, no matter what legal situation they are facing. Each service that is offered is backed by his experience, education, professional training, and passion for employment law and litigation.