Gerard W. Ittig

Legal Columnist

Gerard Ittig, of Ittig & Ittig, P.C., in Washington, D.C., specializes in construction law. He can be contacted at 202.387.5508, or

Articles by Gerard W. Ittig

January 2016
There is a saying in negotiations: The one who speaks first and longest loses. Why should this be true? Part of it concerns credibility. If it takes a lot of explaining to present your argument, your complexity suggests that you are hiding something. Another part is simply human nature. READ MORE
November 2015
Contractors often ask me about the seeming harshness of many court decisions. As an attorney, I do not look at these decisions so much as being harsh, but instead I assess whether they represent a reasonable interpretation of contract law principles. These distinctly different viewpoints both have merit. READ MORE
September 2015
An electrical contractor once suffered a loss equal to one-third of its original contract. Neither extra nor changed work caused the loss. It was the result of the general contractor terribly mismanaging a job. The terms of art often applied to the resulting claim include delay, disruption, acceleration, out-of-sequence work, stacking of trades and interferences between trades. READ MORE
July 2015
A recent case ruled that the contractor’s markup for overhead on a change order covered all overhead, both field and home office. On first impression, this ruling may not seem unusual, but the facts of the case indicate an unfairness in the result.
May 2015
The basic idea behind the law of contract damages is to give the nonbreaching party the money to get the performance it paid for. This plain-sounding concept can often lead into areas where an exact calculation of damages is difficult and may be based on estimates, expert opinions and “actual” costs. READ MORE
March 2015
The federal Miller Act has been around since the mid-1930s. You would think that, by now, all questions about its application would have been resolved by the courts. Unfortunately, hundreds of lawsuits remain that involve interpretations of the Miller Act.
January 2015
On a $28 million infrastructure contract, a contractor suffered an $11 million loss because of high charges by the utility companies for their part of the installation. The contractor, it turned out, got no remedy in court and, therefore, no means of recouping this major loss.
November 2014
Sometimes an apparently general specification calls for a type of device or piece of equipment, and it turns out that only one manufacturer makes it. Similarly, a hidden “sole source” specification may be inserted that requires a component to have certain characteristics and there is only one source. READ MORE
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September 2014
On a regular basis, Contractors ask me to review their contracts before they sign. In that process, I tend to divide the contract clauses into three categories: 1) the clauses that the contractor needs to be aware of but can live with, 2) the clauses that need modification or clarification, and 3) the clauses that need to be deleted.