Expert Witness

we_the_peopleOver her 30+ years as an Interior Designer, Shelley Siegel has been active both locally and on a national level, educating professionals and mentoring students. Well respected, Shelley is often called upon to review contract documents (both written and graphic) to assist Designers and Clients to understand the Design & Construction Process and to solve problems that could arise from misunderstandings. Shelley has developed and presents a continuing education workshop entitled “The Design Professional as an Expert Witness” in an effort to get more professionals involved in the judicial process.

As an expert witness, Shelley has worked on many cases, including the following:

  • Advocacy Groups VS Clients ADA Lawsuits Represented several Defendants – Surveyed properties, prepared reports confirming or refuting facts, presented findings to clients and their attorneys.
  • Client VS Furniture Store Represented Client – Original Complaint was about the finish on a custom furniture piece. After meeting with the client and their attorney, Shelley discovered a design flaw that could be a potential safety hazard. After preparing a report, the client was able to settle with the furniture store.
  • Designer VS Developer Represented Designer -This was a dispute for non-payment of design fees on a custom home built on speculation. The Client denied having an oral agreement and cited FS 481 as it relates to Interior Design contracts. Shelley testified in court and the Designer prevailed.
  • Architect VS Designer Represented Designer – This case involved a copyright dispute. The architect who had been dismissed from the project brought suit against the designer for using his plans to complete interior design drawings. After reviewing all documents, a report was submitted and the case was settled on the basis of the findings.
  • Client VS Designer This is an ongoing case. Representing the designer being sued by the owner of a restaurant for several issues including ADA, and inappropriate selections. Shelley has made site visits and presented findings in report form. Court date has been postponed several times.
  • Client VS Designer Represented Client – Client discovered several discrepancies in the invoices presented to them by the designer, which included over charging, over ordering, and undisclosed compensation from 3rd party vendors. Shelley testified at a jury trial and client prevailed
  • Kitchen Designer VS Kitchen Designer This Federal copyright case involved a Kitchen Designer taking over the project after the dismissal of the original Designer. The allegation was that copyrighted drawings were used in the execution of the project. After careful review of the contract documents submitted by both companies, Shelley concluded that there were substantial differences to dispute the issue. This case is ongoing.

Along with her national speaking engagements, Shelley prepares professionals for successful completion of the NCIDQ exam and has been an adjunct faculty member at Palm Beach Community College. Over the past years, she was appointed by Governor Lawton Chiles to the Florida Coordinating Council on the Americans with Disabilities (FCCADA) and served on the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs ADA Advisory Board. She was a member of the advisory panel for the National Universal Design Program developed by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) in an effort to involve more Design Professionals in the process of Universal Design. Shelley is a member of the Universal Design Alliance, a national organization whose mission is to create awareness and expand the public’s knowledge of universal design, which is design for all ages, sizes, and abilities

Shelley is a past President of the Florida South Chapter of ASID. She sits on the NFPA Building Code 5000 Building Systems Committee where she chairs the accessibility task force and sits on the Life Safety Code 101 Committee. She is the past President of the Interior Design Associations Foundation (IDAF). Shelley served as 2002-2003 Chair of the A.S.I.D. National Education and Training Advisory Council (ETAC) and was a member of the NCIDQ Analysis of the Profession Panel of Experts. She also served on the 2003-2004 ASID National Codes and Legislative Action Council (CLAC). Shelley was recently appointed to the Florida Building Commission’s ADA Workgroup.

Shelley Siegel is a winner of the prestigious ASID Medalist Award for her outstanding contribution to the Interior Design Industry in South Florida and was inducted into the ASID National 2004 College of Fellows, the highest honor the Society bestows on its members. Most recently, Shelley was inducted into the ASID Florida South Chapter Hall of Fame.