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

June 2004
Independent contract hires can create tricky situations There was a time when you joined a company for life. Times have changed. Now we are looking for guarantees. If you do not negotiate for your employment, you are lost. There are basic terms and conditions for an employee or a contract hire. READ MORE
May 2004
A 200-year-old chasm you may have to cross There is an old expression that hard cases make bad law. The reference is to a split in the legal system that has existed for a thousand years. What if one side in a legal battle has all the law on his side, but the equities go the other way? This challenge has, and still does, confront judges and juries. American law originated in England. READ MORE
April 2004
Defining the gray areas At its heart, unconscionability is equivalent to unscrupulous conduct, but this area of the law is generally uncharted waters. Can we come up with a helpful definition? In one case, a contractor garnered huge profits on a government job. When the government realized what had happened, it sued to recoup some of those “excess” profits. READ MORE
February 2004
A number of years ago, I hired a carpentry company to work on my house. At completion, the company’s president came over with his final invoice. I told him that the invoice was wrong. His crews had neglected to note extra trim I had ordered and extra work I had requested on some windows. Where did he go wrong? READ MORE
January 2004
Contracts are drafted by committee. The group always includes an attorney who may or may not give practical considerations to the language drafted. That language, however, is of paramount importance to you. So what do you do when confronted with a book of terms and conditions? Ignore them? Try to reason through what the clauses say? Call your attorney? READ MORE
December 2003
A few years ago, I was asked to present a seminar on delay/disruption damages. In my presentation, I made reference to “The Art of War” by Sun-Tzu, an ancient recipe book on winning at battle. READ MORE
December 2003
We all make mistakes. Often, there are no ramifications and the error in judgment can be resolved with an excuse or apology. In contract law, mistakes have a deeper meaning, and the results can be harsh. The law characterizes mistakes and places them into categories. There are unilateral (one-sided) mistakes and mutual ones. READ MORE
November 2003
Construction companies often retain the services of consultants/experts to assist in preparing a claim or in presenting a dispute in court or arbitration. The range of services offered is extensive. Almost all bar journals and trade magazines carry advertisements for expert advice and testimony. Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 702, the definition of an expert is fairly broad. READ MORE
October 2003
Construction contract law consists of a body of court decisions, regulations, statutes and of the contract itself, sometimes referred to as the law between the parties. This area of the law is complex and is constantly changing. The irony is that contractors carry the financial burden of knowing the law, not the lawyers. READ MORE