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

September 2006
Contract language may not give you much leeway There are two equally important concepts in contract law that every contractor needs to know: What does the law mean and how is it applied?   READ MORE
August 2006
Two recent cases highlight the harm caused by “no damages for delay” clauses. Both are well-reasoned decisions from Maryland that survey the law from many states. As such, they are worth knowing, particularly because the uncompensated delays were outrageous. READ MORE
July 2006
There’s an old Lefty Frizzel song with the lyrics: “If you can’t keep your promises, please don’t make them, my dear.” Lefty probably did not know it, but that song sums up the Spearin Doctrine in construction contracts. When an owner furnishes specifications, he impliedly warrants (promises) that they are suitable for their purpose [United States v. Spearin, 248 U.S. 132 (1918)]. READ MORE
May 2006
Written contract forms grow by mistakes. Contracting parties, particularly owners and architects, discover that some issue or dispute was not covered to their satisfaction. The next draft of the contract is supposed to take care of that perceived gap. The results of this process are complicated documents, with cross-references and qualifying language. READ MORE
April 2006
I have a friend who is a mid-sized electrical contractor. His work is evenly split between commercial and residential, with contracts ranging in value up to a few hundred thousand dollars. I recently spoke with him about his business and his responses to my inquiries were direct and honest, yet sometimes unexpected. My questions were framed from my perspective as a contracts attorney. READ MORE
March 2006
“The general contractor may at any time, without invalidating the contract, by written instructions, direct the subcontractor to make changes, additions or deletions to the work. Subcontractor shall promptly proceed with such instruction. READ MORE
February 2006
Civil litigation, whether involving personal injury or contracts, has one set of rules of “discovery.” Discovery means that the other side is permitted to find and (discover) all information you have concerning the disputes in the lawsuit. READ MORE
January 2006
Unilateral (one-sided) mistakes have a checkered history in the law, with some very famous cases as examples. One concept to keep in mind while reading this article is that the law reasons by analogy. A case involving the misrepresentation in the sale of a car may be decisive in a case about the sale of a smoke detector. READ MORE
December 2005
This unfortunate circumstance occurs every day: A company, concerned about mounting claims and litigation against it, decides to get rid of its assets by conveying them to the company owners, shareholders and others. The stripped company is now “judgment proof” in the sense that only a shell remains. As a creditor, you may be tempted to walk away and not pursue your claims. READ MORE