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

December 2003
We all make mistakes. Often, there are no ramifications and the error in judgment can be resolved with an excuse or apology. In contract law, mistakes have a deeper meaning, and the results can be harsh. The law characterizes mistakes and places them into categories. There are unilateral (one-sided) mistakes and mutual ones. READ MORE
November 2003
Construction companies often retain the services of consultants/experts to assist in preparing a claim or in presenting a dispute in court or arbitration. The range of services offered is extensive. Almost all bar journals and trade magazines carry advertisements for expert advice and testimony. Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, Rule 702, the definition of an expert is fairly broad. READ MORE
October 2003
Construction contract law consists of a body of court decisions, regulations, statutes and of the contract itself, sometimes referred to as the law between the parties. This area of the law is complex and is constantly changing. The irony is that contractors carry the financial burden of knowing the law, not the lawyers. READ MORE
October 2003
Whether to arbitrate is not normally a question. If your contract has a written arbitration clause, you must arbitrate. If not, you can pursue your claims in court. So, what do you need to know about the process? Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) in 1925. Every state has adopted a version of the Uniform Arbitration Act, which is similar to the federal law. READ MORE
September 2003
A change in site conditions can be unusual and unexpected, and in some cases, even worse. In one instance, a contractor was hired to clean air-conditioning ducts in a military barracks. He found women’s underwear, beer cans and live ammunition in the ducts. As you can imagine, these obstructions increased the cost of performance and none of them had been noted in the plans and specifications. READ MORE
August 2003
To a non-lawyer, the language that lawyers use can seem confusing. Where else would “criminal conversation” mean having an extramarital affair? On top of its Latin roots, the words of law have been over layered with French and early English. My personal favorite is “la utilité del chose excusera le noisomeness del stink,” which means: the usefulness of the thing excuses its evil consequences. READ MORE
August 2003
Don’t gamble when it comes to the contract “Standard” form Construction contracts come in all sizes and shapes. There are the American Institute of Architects (AIA) forms, EJCDC (a joint effort of NSPE, ACEC and ASCE), AGC and, for international work, FIDIC, the JCT (Joint Contracts Tribunal) and others, such as the Engineering Advancement Association of Japan (ENAA). So what is the standard? READ MORE
July 2003
On almost every project, large or small, there will be minor stoppages of all or part of the work. Many of these predictable delays are not significant enough to support a delay claim. For example, you have to shift your crews one day to accommodate the mason. Or the work stops because the owner is doing a walk-through. Or an accident at the site shuts down the work for an OSHA inspection. READ MORE
June 2003
Licensing statutes and regulations are among the more non-uniform laws in this country, besides lien laws. The primary focus of licensing is supposed to be for public health and safety. That is, the license, while not a guarantee of the quality of the contractor, indicates the contractor’s compliance with some minimum standards and requirements. READ MORE

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