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

July 2003
On almost every project, large or small, there will be minor stoppages of all or part of the work. Many of these predictable delays are not significant enough to support a delay claim. For example, you have to shift your crews one day to accommodate the mason. Or the work stops because the owner is doing a walk-through. Or an accident at the site shuts down the work for an OSHA inspection. READ MORE
June 2003
Licensing statutes and regulations are among the more non-uniform laws in this country, besides lien laws. The primary focus of licensing is supposed to be for public health and safety. That is, the license, while not a guarantee of the quality of the contractor, indicates the contractor’s compliance with some minimum standards and requirements. READ MORE
June 2003
The Spearin Doctrine, Christian Doctrine, False Claims Act, BCAs, FARs, Davis-Bacon. If you do not know all of these concepts, you should rethink bidding on a federal government project. One of my clients was awarded a subcontract on an Air Force job. READ MORE
May 2003
Cashing a check may be seen as accepting a settlement A recent Virginia case highlights the danger of cashing checks that contain notations of “final payment.” In Gelles & Sons v. J. Stack Inc., Gelles performed masonry work worth close to $100,000. At project completion, Gelles was owed $26,000, which Stack refused to pay. READ MORE
May 2003
Some time ago, a friend of mine who worked for a construction management firm explained one of his company’s philosophies. The firm divided all owners into two types: the first consisted of owners which regularly bought construction services; the second (such as hospitals, schools, prisons, etc.) engaged in major construction only occasionally. The difference is extremely important. READ MORE
April 2003
The problem of apparent authority This tale of sloppy paperwork should serve as a wake-up call: A contractor needed a crane and operator. At the end of each day, the crane operator presented a “work authorization” form to one of the contractor’s foremen to sign, primarily concerning hours worked. None of the foremen was authorized to sign contracts or change orders for the contractor. READ MORE
March 2003
It used to be said that the definition of a “claim” was “an unresolved change order.” That concept has been expanded because of the sheer quantity of claims and litigation in construction. Now, most contracts seek to impose restrictions and limits on change orders and claims. READ MORE
March 2003
Building schools involves some unique parameters. The budget is often inflexible, the completion date and interim milestones are based on school semesters, and project management may be left to the architect, who has built-in conflicts regarding errors and omissions in the drawings. How disputes arise Some examples, with questions: 1. A four-story, L-shaped dormitory. READ MORE
February 2003
It’s a lie! It’s a fraud! These are fighting words, but they are too often spoken. In construction-contracting litigation, allegations of fraud, deceit and misrepresentation are also too often raised. Generally, the law does not micromanage business dealings. READ MORE