Good news for commercial interior designers! The United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of Locke v. Shore, the Florida interior design lawsuit; the state's interior design regulation remains intact.
The Institute for Justice first filed the lawsuit against the State of Florida in May of 2009. Since then, Florida's interior design law has been upheld by both the District Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and now the U.S. Supreme Court has denied <http://iida.informz.net/z/cjUucD9taT0xNDMzNzkzJnA9MSZ1PTc1MDA1MTYxMCZsaT02NTAzMDI1/index.html> their request to consider the case.
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. But, not anything we didn't already know. 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 incompetent interior designers.
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.
We hope this conclusion helps more states understand the many benefits of providing a license for interior designers, and allows interior designers to focus their energy on providing the safe, healthy, and accessible environments they are trained to create rather than fighting lawsuits.