I doubt he wrote anything near what I suggested; you stated you "answered 3 recent request letters"; that tells me all I need to know. I never suggested the house was re-inspected I said 'Not being an attorney, I do believe I would have won the case against Mr. F.' If I did represent that client, then I would have had it re-inspected; twice. Mr. Ferry, I'm not on a high horse, never was nor will be. I'm just a normal guy trying to do the best I can for my clients. However, if I were on a high horse, it would take a BETTER man than you to knock me down. If I erroneously jumped to the conclusion that you were on a high horse, I apologize. Your post however is illustrative of a point that I drive home to the inspectors who attend the seminar. Many inspectors are in thrall of putting a provision in their arbitration clause that the arbitrator must be "familiar with the home inspection industry." I tell them you never want a home inspector as an arbitrator for the very reason that your post so convincingly validates. No home inspector can possibly be as good an inspector as the inspector who is the arbitrator. In fact, there has never been an inspector as good as the arbitrator. He's the best. Just ask him. In the military, courts-martial must have an enlisted man on the panel if the defendant is an enlisted man and he so elects. Every attorney with any experience with military justice tribunals counsels the defendant not to avail himself of this "privilege." The reason is you always get some grizzled E-8 or E-9 with 30 years of service under his belt who is going to vote to convict regardless of the evidence. That is why you never see an enlisted man on any court-martial tribunal. if the client insists on having an EM on the tribunal, the defense has to waste its sole peremptory challenge to get that lifer off of the panel. Additionally, there is no need to have or any advantage to having someone "familiar with the home inspection industry" as an arbitrator. Why? Because every single day in this country in courthouses in virtually every county in the nation, juries composed of laymen and women are rendering verdicts in cases far more complex than a home inspection. How do they do that? They hear from expert witnesses who tell them how to interpret the dispositive issues in the case. One side's expert says one thing and the other's says the polar opposite. Who to believe? The one whose testimony stands up to cross-examination. Now imagine the critical issue in the home inspection revolves around whether or not the inspector followed the SOP. The plaintiff's expert HI says that had the inspector done something "extra" - exceeded the SOP - the problem would have been discovered and reported but he didn't and he SHOULD have. That testimony and that expert is easily impeached when your attorney hands him the SOP and says "Tell the arbitrator where that is in the SOP". Homina homina homina. Your guy comes in and says "Nobody does that. It's outside the SOP." He can't be impeached. Now, there's a legal principle having to do with the credibility of witnesses. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnia. If you have ever been on a jury, you have heard that phrase because it is part of every jury charge in every criminal or civil case. It means that if a witness is lying about one thing, he's likely to be lying about everything. You can't believe anything he says. And jurors are told that if they find that a witness is lying they are entitled to disregard the whole of their testimony. They don't have to. But they may. Well, guess what? They always disregard the witness's entire testimony. They have to. You can't have witnesses coming in and giving false testimony and getting away with it. Our entire legal system would break down, if that were not severely punished. Juries do not like being lied to. And neither do arbitrators. Truly neutral arbitrators, that is. But your arbitrator is the BEST HOME INSPECTOR IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. Never been anyone like him. And he ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS exceeds the SOP. Because he's THE BEST! So . . . you think you've impeached this lying expert BUT THIS GUY AGREES with the lying SOB. Now you're screwed and you should have been exonerated because you were not negligent. I would probably agree with most of that, if an SOP was meant to ensure that the absolute best inspection that could ever be done on a home was done every single time. However, that's not the case; every one I've seen and even on the one I've had a hand in writing, all that the majority of the folks who decide what is included and what stays in the SOP seem to want is all it takes to do a barely, just scraping over the top of the threshold, adequate inspection of a home. Our history in this business is that inspectors who go the extra yard for their clients regularly discover major issues that the guy who refuses to exceed the SOP's misses all the time. For instance, some folks interpret SOPs to mean that they never have to get off a ladder and actually go into an attic and inspect it. The guy who refuses to get off the top of a ladder and actually go into an attic to see what's concealed around the corner out of sight is going to miss stuff. When that stuff eventually presents itself and another inspector hops up in there easily, just like the alarm system guys and the HVAC guys and electricians do all the time, finds the stuff and presents that fact - how do you reconcile the fact that the jury will perceive the guy as lazy? I just can't wrap my head around this; do we encourage our kids to learn as little as they can, to only be second string, not to try and get good grades so that they should go to college? Do we want to purchase the products that we know are made with shortcuts and with the bare minimum standards or do we want to purchase quality stuff. Don't we want contractors working for us to do the absolute best job they can so that we won't have to pay to have it done all over again? I was a cop for nearly 21 years and 10 of those were spent as an investigator; should I have been less careful at collecting evidence and maybe not have taken the extra effort that I did on many occasions to run down one last seemingly useless lead that ultimately proved to be the one that I needed to solve the case? If this is how we raise our children and what we expect from "professionals," why do we tell home inspectors not to ever exceed the SOP if they don't ever want to lose in court? Seems kind of counter-intuitive to me; but maybe there's something to it, I dunno. If I did the bare minimum, I suppose I'd get more referrals from the 'zoids and could do more inspections and make more money, but would I still have as many happy past clients? After nearly 13 years of constantly going well beyond any SOP for my clients, I've yet to have even sat down to an arbitration and have never been sued, though I've heard horror stories from folks who have and that have complained that they'd stuck religiously to their SOPs. Do I really want to screw with what seems to be a winning formula? Nah, I'm going to keep right on inspecting like Mother O'Handley (the most critical female on the planet) is the client. That way, I can be reasonably assured that I won't find myself sitting down to a table in a conference room paying a lawyer to explain to the folks on the other side of the table why it wasn't necessary for me to make that tiny bit of extra effort to do the best job possible. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!! Mike I don't accept that following the SOP to the letter will result in an inferior inspection. If that were the case virtually every inspection would be inferior. Your uber standard is not the standard of reasonableness in a home inspection context. And that is the danger that an unsuspecting defendant home inspector would be facing with an arbitrator who believes that you can not do a non-negligent inspection unless you exceed the SOP. Exceeding the SOP guarantees that the no-good-deed-goes-unpunished effect will ultimately obtain. If you exceed the SOP, make sure that you don't make a mistake. If you do and your client sustains damages as a result, you will find yourself being held liable for something that you otherwise would not have been, had you not exceeded the SOP.