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

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
May 2009
Among the more difficult types of contract damages is a claim for lost profits. In instances where the contract is wrongfully terminated, you will need to prove that the affected project would have been profitable and that you were unable to make up the loss through other jobs. This difficulty of proof is amplified where the claim is for lost bonding capacity. READ MORE
March 2009
“It is undisputed that virtually all of the drawings and specifications … contained substantial errors, conflicts and discrepancies, which rendered them unusable for the construction of the project … .” Eaton Electric Inc. v. Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, (N.Y. Superior Court 2008). This circumstance was outrageous, but it was not enough to void the contract. READ MORE
January 2009
Example 1: During a push to get a new department store finished, the owner changes lighting layouts. He also decides to expand a storage area. No new drawings are issued, and the owner’s representative tells you to go ahead on verbal instructions. READ MORE
November 2008
At a recent construction law conference, a speaker from the Attorney General’s Office of Maryland talked about criminal laws applicable to construction and contractors. A contractor later told me that, based on what he heard, his company had committed crimes just about every day for the last 10 years. READ MORE
September 2008
When a subcontractor is not paid, the first questions asked are, “Who is a friend? Who is an enemy?” Do you sue everyone, or do you join forces? The subcontractor’s decision can have long-range consequences. For the purposes of this article, the payment issue involves unresolved changes, extras and other claims, and it does not involve the collection of undisputed contract earnings. READ MORE
July 2008
There is an expression: "You cannot change just one thing.” This aphorism makes logical sense, particularly with regard to change orders in a construction project. The burden on a contractor, when faced with a change of any magnitude, is to anticipate direct and indirect effects of that change on all parts of the work and then compute the cost and time impact. READ MORE
May 2008
Einstein's fame rests, in part, on his discovery that time is a variable dimension. Contractors have always known this fact. There have been instances when a one-week impact event causes a one-month delay; when four weeks of work are accomplished in two; when “float” on a critical path schedule (CPM) mutates to being critical. READ MORE