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, USBuildlaw@aol.com or www.ittig-ittig.com.

Articles by Gerard W. Ittig

November 2005
In a typical old-time cowboy movie, there is always a scene where the bad guy says something like, “Give me the deed to your ranch or I'll shoot you.” Without question, the rancher's signature would be obtained by duress and the transaction would be void. But what of economic duress not involving physical threats? READ MORE
October 2005
One droll definition of an expert is any person who lives at least 500 miles away. The Federal Rules of Evidence are a little more expansive. Rule 702 provides that an expert witness is: “a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education ... .” This definition is expansive and flexible enough to give parties a variety of options to fit any particular need. READ MORE
August 2005
We get so used to terms of art in our professions that we sometimes fail to understand that others do not subscribe to the same definitions. “Field engineering” is one example. Does that term simply mean field routing or does it also imply some degree of design effort? READ MORE
July 2005
The amount of misleading and incorrect information about arbitration could fill a bookshelf. There are the misconceptions that a standard arbitration clause does not cover negligence and fraud claims, that you need a lawyer to arbitrate a dispute and that arbitrators cannot rule on mechanic's liens or establish escrow accounts. Part of the problem lies in the arbitration statutes. READ MORE
June 2005
The concept of a covenant not to compete is deceptively simple. During the course of employment, and for some time thereafter, the employee is not to compete with the employer's business within a defined geographic area. The rationale for such an agreement is similar to that of protecting trade secrets. READ MORE
May 2005
In November 2004 (“What Did You Read, and What Did You See”), I posed a number of problems for resolution. The problems were derived from past articles on topics ranging from negotiation strategies to liquidated damages. You may have encountered situations like these in your company, and hopefully these solutions can be of assistance. The following is my analysis. READ MORE
April 2005
Some time ago I was in an electrical contractor's office in Cincinnati. There was a framed letter in the president's office representing the company's first contract. It read, “We will wire your house for $125.00.” In today's legal environment, that written agreement would violate more than a handful of statutes and regulations and would subject the contractor to criminal penalties. READ MORE
March 2005
It is human nature to impose term limits. In contract law, these limits are everywhere, from the time to assert a claim to the time to demand arbitration or file suit in court. A variety of logical explanations has been offered for such destructions of rights by the lapse of time. Many of the arguments concern the preservation of evidence. READ MORE
February 2005
A few years ago, a friend asked me for a legal definition of substantial completion. That was easy: beneficial occupancy. However, the substitution of one phrase with another was of little help. The same can be said about defining “waiver.” It is a voluntary (and perhaps intentional) relinquishment of a known right. But what is it really, or rather, how does it work? READ MORE

Pages