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 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
January 2005
Make a case for the amount of money you have coming There are always two components to every construction contract claim. The first is entitlement; the second is quantum. Entitlement consists of your proof that the other party breached the contract or that the contract itself lets you recover, for example, under a changes clause. READ MORE
December 2004
This article concentrates on home construction and construction for the small business owner. The problems, legal or otherwise, encountered by the small- to medium-sized contractors on these projects do not differ much from those of large companies on big jobs. The major exception relates to the cost of protecting and pursuing your rights in relation to the price of the project. READ MORE
November 2004
A Refresher Below you will find questions relating to actual lawsuits, with some shortening of the facts. My past articles address all of the presented questions. Take this test to see if you can confidently select the best answer. I'll talk about the answers next month. 1. There is a section in the specifications that refers to materials “furnished by” the electrical contractor. READ MORE