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Supreme Court refuses to hear Florida interior design lawsuit

Published by Julia Salerno, January 30, 2012.

The United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Locke vs. Shore, the Florida interior design lawsuit that challenged the state's interior design legislation. As a result, Florida's interior design regulations remain intact.

Besides validating the qualifications and licensing required for interior designers working independently in commercial buildings in the State of Florida, this nearly three years of litigation has provided some valuable lessons for all design professionals. In the words of the courts and the State of Florida:

• The Florida legislature enacted the license requirement to protect public safety by ensuring that interior designers are trained to comply with fire and building codes;

• The individual licensing requirement advances the state's legitimate interest in promoting the health and safety of occupants of buildings;

• Licensing of interior designers promotes compliance with fire and accessibility codes, helps reduce indoor pollution, and protects consumers from those claiming to be interior designers. And;

• Recognizing interior design as a profession separate from architecture reduces the regulatory burden in an important respect: services that can safely be provided and certified by a properly trained interior designer need not be performed or supervised by an architect.

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