Pillsbury Retired Courses

That’s Not What I Meant! Views of Contracts from Two Perspectives


"That's not what I meant" is the often heard statement when contracts go awry. In this very informative session, the presenters discuss the importance of getting it right when it comes to the wording of contracts. Through the use of real-life scenarios and case studies where the wording of a contract led to extensive and very costly litigation, they illustrate the importance of the structure and wording when drafting a contract, and  provide insightful assistance to make sure that you get it right. 


I. Contract Provisions and the Importance of Getting It Right
    A. Introduction of Speakers and Topics
    B. Fundamentals of Contract Interpretation
        1. Why Is This Important?
        2. Determining What the Parties Intended to Agree to
        3. A Question of Ambiguity
    C. Misinterpretations of Contract Wording
        1. It's Not What I Meant
        2. When the Words Go Wrong
    D. Fee-Shifting Clauses
    E. AIA and Defense and Indemnity Provisions
    F. Change Orders
    G. Specifying Damages
    H. The Punctuation Is Important
    I. Important Lessons
    J. Panel and Audience Discussion

Content Provided

With influence and presence on both U.S. coasts and abroad, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP enjoys an expansive international platform. The firm has 14 offices in global centers for capital markets, energy and technology and provides its clients with the strength of this reach and a commitment to cross-border service and responsiveness. Pillsbury is a leader in its core areas of focus: capital markets and finance, energy, global sourcing, litigation, real estate, technology, life sciences, and communications.

Speakers / Authors:

Photo of Deborah B. Baum

Deborah B. Baum
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Ms. Baum is a partner in Pillsbury's Litigation group and a member of the firm's Board. She has handled a wide variety of civil litigation matters in the state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. In addition to corporate commercial litigation, Ms. Baum has significant experience in complex real estate-related disputes, lender liability cases, health care litigation, zoning appeals and Fair Housing Act and constitutional litigation.

Ms. Baum is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1983 and her B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, from The College of William and Mary in 1980.


Photo of Jeffrey R. Gans

Jeffrey R. Gans
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Mr. Gan's practice is concentrated on assisting owners and general contractors with issues that arise when starting, administering and closing out complex construction projects. He has substantial experience negotiating the multi-layered contractual agreements that govern large commercial construction projects. Mr. Gans' experience in negotiating design and construction contracts on large commercial projects includes those that deal with project financing, organized labor, insurance and specialty work.

His work includes pursuing and defending complex claims for delay and disruption, actual and constructive acceleration, breach of contract, catastrophic loss, professional liability, design and construction defects, liens and encumbrances, and bond and insurance coverage.

Mr. Gans also assists clients with troubled projects with the goal of mitigating catastrophic loss and delay, resolving design and project administration-related problems before formal dispute resolution is needed. When formal dispute resolution is required, Mr. Gans has significant experience representing clients in mediation, arbitration and litigation, before and during the construction phase and in post-construction proceedings. He has handled major trials of multimillion-dollar construction disputes and has represented contractors and construction managers in many other cases successfully resolved in settlement. Mr. Gans also assists clients in drafting and negotiating design and construction contracts. Mr. Gans was part of a team that was awarded the 2008 and 2010 Chambers USA Awards for Excellence in Construction.

Mr. Gans’ clients, both foreign and domestic, include owners, engineers and subcontractors, often involved in projects with private and public (Federal, State and Municipal) partners. Many of his cases have involved complex engineering and construction issues.

In addition to offering traditional construction counseling, Mr. Gans has represented clients in litigation involving fraud (civil and criminal), bankruptcy, civil RICO and governmental investigations.

Mr. Gans is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia, and received his J.D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus, School of Law in 1995 and his B.A. from the University of Florida in 1989.

Photo of Michael S. McNamara

Michael S. McNamara
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Mr. McNamara's practice focuses on litigation of complex construction and engineering disputes, frequently involving claims for additional costs, delays and terminations. He has handled major trials of multimillion-dollar construction disputes and has represented owners, contractors and construction managers in many other cases successfully resolved in settlement. He has tried to verdict cases involving delay claims, cost overruns, and terminations. He has experience on projects ranging from hotels and convention centers to power plants and cruise ship terminals. Mr. McNamara also has experience involving performance bond claims as well as claims involving first and third party insurance coverage. He has also represented clients in alternative dispute resolution, including both mediation and arbitration.

Mr. McNamara is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, and received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in 1998 and his A.B. from Duke University in 1994.

Price (USD)

Standard Rate: $99.00
Subscribers: FREE
Pillsbury U Online: FREE
Metro State Univ: $99.00


Course Code : 775525

Length : 1hr
Recorded Date : 10/3/2012

Format Type : eLearning

Returning Subscribers

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