This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
A written certificate is not a condition precedent unless express provision is made therefor.1 A provision that work is to be done to the satisfaction of a superintendent,2 does not require such satisfaction to be expressed in the form of a written certificate unless so stated. Under a provision in a contract for payment when the building is "completed and accepted by the architect," a written certificate of his approval, though valuable, is not indispensablc.3 On the other hand, if a written certificate is provided for by the contract, the oral approval of the architect is insufficient if the owner has not waived the production of the written certificate.4
The form of the certificate is immaterial,5 unless the contract makes some express provision with reference thereto. As such contracts are ordinarily drawn, the certificate must be in writing and signed by the architect or engineer.6 If the architect is to give a certificate of dissatisfaction with the work as done to enable the owner to terminate the employment of the contractor, such certificate can not be given by a confidential letter written by the architect to the owner and not communicated to the contractor.7
7 Jacob v. Weisser,. 207 Pa. St. 484, 50 Atl. 1065.
8 Camp v. Neufelder, 40 Wash. 426, 95 Pac. 640.
9 Norcross v. Wyman, 1ST Mass. 25, 72 N. E. 347.
10 Norcross v Wyman, 187 Mass. 25, 72 N. E. 347.
See on this subject Sec. 2336 et seq., with reference to the duty of arbitrators to give notice and hearing.
1 Gubbins v. Lautenschlager, 74 Fed. 100: Devlan v. Wells, 65 N. J. L. 213, 47 Atl. 467.
2 Gubbins v. Lautenschlager, 74 Fed. 160.
3 Devlan v. Wells, 65 N. J. L. 213, 47 Atl. 467.
4 Lamprell v. Billericay Union, 3 Exch. 283.
5 Getchell & Martin Lumber & Mfg. Co. v. Peterson, 124 Ia. 599, 100 N. W. 5.10; Eastham v. Western Const. Co., 36 Wash. 7, 77 Pac. 1051.
6 Hennebiqne Const. Co. v. Boston Cold Storage & Terminal Co., 230 Mass. 4.50, L. R. A. 191SF, 374, 119 N. E. 948.