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

March 2011
Once two parties have negotiated and signed a contract, that document’s terms and specifications are supposed to be unalterable, except by further mutual agreement. Interpretation problems arise when one party to the contract claims there were promises made, before the contract was signed, that were inadvertently not included in the written document. READ MORE
December 2010
In old England, a citizen was legally required to raise a “hue and cry” when he saw a crime committed. No such rule exists here. Similarly, you do not have a duty to throw a life preserver to a drowning person. American law has developed in a way that does not require us to help one another. READ MORE
November 2010
Pillage, plunder, despoil. These words conjure up images of Conan the Barbarian robbing and destroying whole villages. “Spoliate” is a less bloody but similarly archaic word. Spoliation has a unique position in the law and, when proven, can lead to severe consequences. In its general sense, spoliation means the destruction of evidence, whether intentionally or by negligence. READ MORE
July 2010
For most contracts, a contractor’s application for final payment must be accompanied by final waivers of lien and verified statements that all amounts due are accounted for. Where there are outstanding claims, the request for final payment becomes problematic. In a recent case, Boro Construction Inc. v. READ MORE
May 2010
An illusory promise is an oxymoron, as it is not a promise at all. “I will take out the trash” is a promise of sorts. “I will take out the trash if I feel like it” is illusory. READ MORE
March 2010
No matter how thorough and complete the drawings and specifications, there will be manufacturing and installation details that are left to the contractor. These details are often shown on shop drawings. They can include hanger details, conduit routing, details for devices and a broad range of other fabrication and erection measurements and choices. READ MORE
January 2010
There is no way around it. The concept of revocation of acceptance is an odd one. If you pay for goods or services that turn out to be less than what you bargained for, your first thought might be to sue for damages for breach of contract. READ MORE
November 2009
It seems basic that when two parties enter into a construction contract, they are both bound to perform as agreed. Neither side has the right to walk away from the commitment unless there are exceptional circumstances, none of them good. READ MORE
July 2009
The phrase, "The king can do no wrong," may sound quaint today. It means a citizen cannot sue the sovereign, even if the king is wrong. This is called sovereign immunity. In American legal parlance, the sovereign is the government. READ MORE