Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) describes how to avoid and/or limit legal risks, such as claims for breach of contract and/or negligence. The ASHRAE Member's Survival Guide -- Contracts: A Self-Help Tool for Managing Risk Through the Use of Contract Terms, discusses risks faced by designers, consulting engineers, architects, construction managers and other ASHRAE members. It also contains information about provisions to which members should not agree and tips for negotiating contracts. "Given the litigious nature of our society, and the enormous expense, burden, time and stress associated with lawsuits, it’s critically important that you consider the risks to which a project will subject you," author Maralynne Flehner says. "This guide describes the steps you can take to avoid and/or limit those risks before you enter a contract for your services." Flehner is vice chair of ASHRAE's task group on general legal education and co-chair of the group's publications subcommittee. The document is the first in a series titled The ASHRAE Member's Survival Guide. The original idea for the series came from a task group seminar, The ASHRAE Member's Survival Guide, which was held at the Society's 2001 Winter Meeting. The seminar presented an overview of various professional and legal steps that practitioners can take to avoid pitfalls and to resolve disputes, according to Flehner. "The guide will be comprised of a series of discrete papers, each of which deals with a topic of legal or professional interest to ASHRAE members," Flehner says. "The unifying theme is that all of the papers will be geared to helping members protect themselves in business." The cost of The ASHRAE Member's Survival Guide - Contracts: A Self-Help Tool for Managing Risk Through the Use of Contract Terms is $24 for ASHRAE members; $29 non-members. To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 800-527-4723 or visit the ASHRAE Online Bookstore at www.ashrae.org.