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Liability, Warranties, Assumption and Allocation of Risk


Assessment of risk is an important part of determining reasonable contract terms, and too often, that step is neglected, with negotiators instead relying on standard positions. Terms addressing liability, indemnification, warranties, and insurance are often relegated to “boilerplate” status and not given the attention they need or deserve in university-industry agreements. Both parties have constraints and policy considerations in these areas that often differ and can cause challenges to negotiating agreements. Activities covered by contracts between industry and universities and the associated risks vary widely. Risk assessment discussed in the context of the statement of work for a project can lead to solutions more appropriate to the situation. In this session we will discuss issues arising in the negotiation of risk-related contract terms, advantages of bottom-up risk assessment, and the importance of assessing risk in the context of the activity.


  • Steve Harsy - Director of Contracting and PreAward Services at the University of Arizona

    Dr. Harsy currently serves as Director of Contracting and Pre-award Services at the University of Arizona. He is responsible for central administrative units that negotiate contracts, review and submit proposals, and set up awards. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, Dr. Harsy worked in both industry and academia. He spent fifteen years at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, structuring relationships with industry, and managing conflict of interest, research misconduct, intellectual property, and other research policy issues. Dr. Harsy spent the first seventeen years of his career in industry, as a corporate scientist at W.R. Grace and Company, and in scientific and management positions at Covance Laboratories. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Stanford University, and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Lisa Leff - Corporate Counsel at the Harris Corporation

    Lisa has twenty years of increasingly specialized experience negotiating a variety of domestic and international contractual agreements with the federal government, customers, suppliers, other industry partners, and non-profit organizations, including drafting and negotiating complex contracts, subcontracts and software licenses, and interpreting government and corporate regulations and policies. Lisa began her career in contracts and contract negotiation at the University of Iowa, before moving to Rockwell Collins and now Harris Corporation, where she serves as in-house counsel supporting Supply Chain, IT and Global Business Services.

June 26, 2019
Wed 1:00 PM EDT

Duration 1H 0M

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