Lucas & Company, LLC

Ethics XXII



Ethics XXII – 1.5 Contact Hours

The case-in-chief is Kurtzenacker & Kittleson (Plaintiffs) v. Davis Surveying, Inc. & Kenneth E. Davis (Defendants), Montana Supreme Court 2012. This case teaches us, once again, that no good deed goes unpunished. In this case Defendants correctly performed two surveys, first in 1997 and then in 1998, that included the subject property for the purpose of consolidating smaller tracts into a larger 9.25-acre tract. In 2006, Plaintiffs purchased the 9.25-acre tract and the deed referenced the Defendants’ surveys. Plaintiffs contacted Defendants for “assistance” in locating their property lines. Defendants had an employee, Clark, visit the property and he misrepresented the location of the boundaries and the status of the property as “waterfront,” when it was not. Plaintiffs sued Defendants for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. The divisive issue at trial was when were the misrepresentations made, before or after the purchase of the property in 2006? What are the ethical ramifications of Clark’s actions and the testimony of Clark and Davis at trial? Do the attorneys step to the ethical edge? The National Society of Professional Surveyor’s (NSPS) “Surveyor’s Creed and Canons” (NSPS Creed) is our ethics barometer. This is a 2-Page Letter covering one Appellate Court opinion consisting of 9 pages. This is an 11-Page document with a 10-Question examination based on the text of the newsletter, the NSPS Creed, and the opinion.

OBJECTIVES: To enhance professional competency and improve practitioner’s knowledge of the law as it relates to the practice of land surveying.