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

  • A case in point

January 2017
Everyone has encountered difficult contractors. You may or may not have an idea of what would be the ideal contractor to work with, but everyone has at least one clear instance of a general contractor that seemed to be from some evil nether region.
November 2016
Hundreds of jobs have been “mothballed” or put on an extended hold status. It occurs with home-renovation projects, power plants, marinas, dentists’ offices and automobile manufacturing plants, to name a few. Every case is unique, yet almost all instances eventually boil down to money issues. READ MORE
September 2016
Credit cards typically apply interest to late payments. This interest factor, which may be 18 percent or more, can be viewed as a form of liquidated damages (LDs). The base amount owed is not liquidated, because it depends on your balance, but the percentage is liquidated, or fixed, by agreement. READ MORE
July 2016
There is a tug of war in construction contracts over design responsibility and liability. An owner’s design team will spend months preparing detailed drawings and specifications. These are licensed professionals whose stamp on the plans indicates their state has authorized them to perform this important task. READ MORE
May 2016
Let’s say you had a specification that expressly required you to provide a Honda Civic by name but then clearly described a Chevy Blazer. Do you provide the name brand as listed, or do you provide a vehicle that meets the detailed description? This is similar to a question presented in a recent case, and the judgment might surprise you.
March 2016
A popular TV show centers on antique owners, all of whom seem to feign interest in learning from experts how old the item is, who crafted it, where it came from, and whether the object is well-made. Ultimately, the focus is always on the item’s worth, and the experts finish by giving their estimates. If you listen closely, those estimates reflect the different ways “money” is calculated.
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