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Angela Richie Stephens

Angela Richie Stephens

Angela is a Member of the firm and practices in the firm’s Construction Law Group.  Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Angela works on behalf of clients across the country and around the globe.

Angela frequently consults with steel fabricators and other members of the structural steel industry on issues such as: claims for non-payment; allegations of defective fabrication and erection of structural steel; OSHA violations and related retaliation actions; application of the Buy America(n) statutes and regulations; and contracts between steel fabricators, general contractors, and downstream detailers, structural engineers, and erectors.  Angela is a frequent presenter at regional steel fabricator association meetings and seminars hosted by the American Institute of Steel Construction. 

Angela also assists owners, contractors, and subcontractors on a variety of construction issues ranging from construction contracts, collection of unpaid amounts, OSHA violations, mechanic’s liens, workers compensation immunity disputes, and prevailing wage disputes. 

Angela became a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) on March 26, 2009, and uses her knowledge of sustainable practices to advise clients how to maximize “green” design and construction.  She was the first attorney in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to achieve Green Advantage® certification in Commercial and Residential construction.

Recent Assignments

  • Assisted numerous structural steel fabricators and other members of the structural steel industry with the collection of outstanding amounts owed for labor and materials provided to various projects located around the country;
  • Assisted numerous structural steel fabricators with claims for additional compensation arising from changes in connection design complexity, changes to or errors in the structural design drawings, and impacts and delays arising from changes to fabrication and erection schedules;
  • Successfully defended a steel fabricator in a multi-million dollar claim for alleged defective fabrication;
  • Drafted numerous down-stream subcontracts between structural steel fabricators and their erectors, detailers, and vendors;
  • Consulted on numerous up-stream subcontracts between structural steel fabricators and general contractors;
  • Successfully defended numerous structural steel fabricators from OSHA citations arising from fabrication shop and jobsite fatalities, welding fume citations, and other OSHA Subpart R citations;
  • Drafted and negotiated multi-million dollar contracts on behalf of owners, contractors, and subcontractors;
  • Obtained payment of outstanding contract balances on behalf of contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers;
  • Obtained summary judgment for a large construction company which resulted in the dismissal of personal injury claims covered by workers compensation insurance; and
  • Successfully defended a client in an OSHA dispute which resulted in OSHA withdrawing all of the citations and penalties originally assessed against the client. 

What Clients Say

. . . exceptional young lawyer . . . knowledge of LEED and green construction law is at the top 1% of nation.
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review (2011)
. . . struck with her knowledge of the law . . . hard work ethic and her ability to immediately triage complex issues . . . 
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review (2011)
Extremely capable attorney whose engineering background provides her with an added dimension of knowledge . . .
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review (2011)

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

  • "It's Time to Stop 'Livin On a Prayer:' Front End Due Diligence That Needs to Be Completed Before You Bid and Sign a Contract," Summer Central Fabricators Association Meeting, Chicago, IL, August 7, 2017
  • "What Fabricators Need to Know About Providing Early Involvement Pre-Construction Services versus Engaging in a Design-Assist Contract," Early Involvement & Marketing Workshop for the Structural Steel Industry, American Institute of Steel Construction, Philadelphia, PA, July 20, 2017 
  • "What Fabricators Need to Know About Providing Early Involvement Pre-Construction Services Versus Engaging in a Design-Assist Contract," Early Involvement & Marketing Workshop for the Structural Steel Industry, American Institute of Steel Construction, Marlborough, MA, June 22, 2017
  • "Every Rose Has its Thorn," Southern Association of Steel Fabricators (SASF) Ponte Vedra Convention, June 10, 2017
  • "The Changing Legal Landscape," Virginia-Carolinas Structural Steel Fabricators Association 2017 Annual Meeting, April 28, 2017
  • "Keeping OSHA Out of Your Bank Account," with S. Kelly Gilliam,  NASCC: The Steel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 23, 2017
  • "Subcontracts: They May be the Most Important Document You Issue or Negotiate if a Problem Occurs," with Joseph L. Hardesty,  NASCC: The Steel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 23, 2017
  • "The Importance of Front End Alignment: What You Need to Know about Bid Documents, Construction Contracts and Contract Formation," with David B. Ratterman,  NASCC: The Steel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 23, 2017
  • "We Need Construction Lawyers, Guns and Money: What You Need to Know about Defending and Prosecuting Claims Before You Get Into a Dispute," with Joseph L. HardestyDavid B. Ratterman,  NASCC: The Steel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 23, 2017
  • "Bet the Company Contract Clauses and How to Avoid Them," with Joseph L. Hardesty,  NASCC: The Steel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 23, 2017
  • "‘Bet the Company’ Contract Clauses and How to Avoid Them," with Joseph L. HardestyDavid B. RattermanModern Steel Construction, March 2017
  • "Ethics, Laws and Regulations," Steel Joist Institute Live Webinar, November 16, 2016
  • "What Fabricators Need to Know About Providing Early Involvement Pre-Construction Services Versus Engaging in a Design-Assist Contract," AISC Marketing Boot Camp on Early Involvement, Denver, CO, November 10, 2016 (link to paper)
  • "I Should Have Known Better: Construction & Design Defects & Project Delays," ABA Forum on Construction Law Governing Committee Liaison to the 2016 Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL, October 6-7, 2016
  • "Contracts by Star Wars: What to Avoid So You Don't Say I Have a Bad Feeling About this," SASF Convention, Ponte Verde, Fla., June 9, 2016
  • "Do I need to be a lawyer to Fabricate Steel?," 2016 Annual Spring Meeting, Virginia Carolinas Structural Steel Fabricators Association (VCSSFA), Charleston, South Carolina, April 28-30, 2016
  • "Legal Primer for Project Managers," 2016 NASCC The Steel Conference, Orlando, Florida, April 13-15, 2016
  • "Killer Contract Clauses," Webinar, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., September 1, 2015
  • "Legal Issues (Environmental Law, OSHA, Contract Clauses, etc.)," AISC: Future Leaders Ideas Lab, Hilton Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, Ky., August 28, 2015
  • "OSHA Is Coming . . . Now What?," AISC: COSP Meeting, Steel Joist Institute, Rosemont, Ill., August 18, 2015
  • "Documentation Requirements for the Project Manager," Webinar, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., May 5, 2015
  • "Fabricator/Erector Right to Pay for Extra Work Delayed by Legal Morass - How to Prevent This From Happening to You," 2015 VCSSFA Annual Meeting, Charleston, S.C., April 24, 2015
  • "Show Me the Money! Using Prompt Payment Statutes to Your Advantage," Webinar Presenter, Associated Builders and Contractors, Indiana/Kentucky Chapter, April 2, 2015
  • "OSHA Showed Up. OSHA Issued Your Company a Citation . . . Now What?," Stites & Harbison Legal Update, March 20, 2015
  • "My Favorite Mistakes: What Doesn’t Bankrupt You Makes You Stronger," 2015 ABA Forum on Construction Law Midwinter Meeting, Co-Chair, Scottsdale, Ariz., January 29-30, 2015
  • "So, You Want to get Paid?," Southern Association of Steel Fabricators Convention, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., November 2014
  • "Killer Contract Clauses," AISC Future Leaders Ideas Lab, Denver, Colo., October 2014
  • "Identifying Design and Construction Provisions Impacted by and Impacting on Desired Green Building Goals and Objectives Raised by the LEED Rating System," Contributing Author, Chapter in Green Building and the Construction Lawyer, ABA Publishing, 2014
  • "The Turf Course: Running with Green Construction," ABA Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Spring Meeting: Underwriting, Claims and Recovery, The Surety Triple Crown, Louisville, Ky., May 8, 2014
  • "The Un-used Tool in Your Tool Box: What You Need to Know About the AISC Code of Standard Practice and How You Can Use it to Your Benefit," Virginia Carolinas Structural Steel Fabricators Association Annual Meeting, Isle of Palms, S.C., April 26, 2014
  • "Rainy Day Planning: Preparing for Possible Litigation During The Construction Phase," Beat the Blues, 2014 Annual Meeting, American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, New Orleans, LA, April 10-12, 2014
  • "The Un-used Tool in Your Tool Box: What You Need to Know About the AISC Code of Standard Practice and How You Can Use it to Your Benefit," 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference, Toronto, Ontario, March 28, 2014
  • "Women in Construction: A Panel Discussion," 2014 NASCC: The Steel Conference, Toronto, Ontario, March 27, 2014
  • "Emerging Trends in Construction: Understanding the practical and legal risks of technology," Master Builders of Iowa's 102nd Annual Winter Conference, February 18, 2014
  • "Essential Contract Terms: What Every Construction Contract Should Address," University of Louisville Speed Scientific School, Civil Engineering class, November 5, 2013
  • "Human Resources Issues for the Steel Fabricator," AISC Future Leaders Ideas Lab, Nashville, Tenn., October 24, 2013
  • "Changes to the AISC Code of Standard Practice: What You Need to Know," Steel Day with Buckner Erectors, North Carolina, October 4, 2013
  • "OSHA Is Coming . . . OSHA Issued Your Company a Citation. Now What?," Southern Association of Steel Fabricators Annual Meeting, Ponte Vedra, Fla., June 8, 2013
  • "Documentation Requirements for the Project Manager," North American Steel Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, April 19, 2013
  • "Changes to the AISC Code of Standard Practice: What You Need to Know," Steel Erectors Association of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, La., March 22, 2013
  • "Project not green enough? What types of Green $$$ can an owner recover?," ABA Forum on the Construction Industry 2013 Midwinter Meeting, February 2013
  • "Best Practices in Construction Litigation Case Management: The In-House Counsel Perspective," Moderator, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry Webinar and Teleconference, November 13, 2012
  • "Essential Contract Terms: What Every Construction Contract Should Address," University of Louisville Speed Scientific School, Civil Engineering class, October 25, 2012
  • "Best Practices in Construction," Steel Day, Louisville, Ky., September 28, 2012
  • "Navigating Green Building Projects−The Legal Perspective," Speaking Green: The Language and Law of Sustainable Development, Louisville Bar Association Environmental Law Section, September 20, 2012
  • "OSHA Is Coming . . . OSHA Issued Your Company a Citation . . . Now What?," Merit Shop Newsletter, Associated Builders & Contractors of Kentuckiana, Inc., August 3, 2012
  • "Engaging a design and construction team," Medical News, June 1, 2012
  • "Is Green building here to stay?," Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert, May 4, 2012
  • "What you don’t know may hurt you . . . Things you should know about the hiring of illegal immigrants," Builders Exchange of Kentucky Newsletter, May 2, 2012
  • "Risks of Technology: A legal viewpoint," North American Steel Construction Conference, April 19, 2012
  • "Documentation Requirements for the Fabrication Project Manager," North American Steel Construction Conference, April 19, 2012
  • "Government Contracting Part 2: Important Contract Clauses and Acts You Should Know About: Buy American Act, False Claims Act, David Bacon Act (Prevailing Wages)," Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Thirsty Thursday networking event, March 22, 2012
  • "Tips for Getting Paid," Builders Exchange of Kentucky Newsletter, co-author, March 6, 2012
  • "Panel Discussion: Adoption of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) in the state of Kentucky: Should the IgCC be adopted in the State of Kentucky? What impact it would have on you? Why we should adopt the IgCC!," AIA/ CSI Trade Fair, February 21, 2012
  • "Essential Contract Terms: What every construction contract should address," University of Louisville, Speed Scientific School Civil Engineering Department, November 13, 2011
  • "What You Need to Know Before Starting Work on a Federal Project: The Lawyers Perspective," Southern Association of Steel Fabricators, Savannah, Georgia, November 4, 2011
  • "LEED for Healthcare:  How Healthcare Facilities can Go Green," The Business of Healthcare, November 2011
  • "What to do When a Client Doesn’t Pay," National Association of Women in Construction, October 10, 2011
  • "LEED for healthcare: USGBC’s new rating system," Medical News, October 2011
  • "10 Ways to Minimize the Legal Pitfalls of Sustainable Design & Construction," 2 x 4 x 10, a publications of The American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, October 1, 2011
  • "Law for Design Professionals in Kentucky," ASHRAE Meeting, September 29, 2011
  • "The Buy American Act: Its Application to the Structural Steel Industry," Steel Day Webinar, September 23, 2011
  • "Top Ten Tips for Minimizing Risks on Sustainable Construction Projects - Legal Pitfalls in Sustainable Design and Construction," CSI / AIA East Kentucky Trade Show & Seminar, Lexington, Ky., June 8, 2011
  • "Basics of LEED Credentials and LEED Building Certification," Associated Builders & Contractors of Kentuckiana, Louisville, Ky., April 5, 2011
  • "Federal Dollars for Women-Owned Small Businesses," with David B. Ratterman,  Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert, April 1, 2011
  • "The Legal Side of Green," Modern Steel Construction, March 2011 (link to article)
  • "Assisting Clients Navigate Green Building Projects," Louisville Bar Association's Bar Briefs, March 2011
  • "Sustainability and Asphalt: How Asphalt Can Help Green A Project," Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky, Louisville, Ky., February 11, 2011
  • "Legal Issues for the Kentucky Design Professional: Recognizing and Minimizing Potential Risks and Liabilities," ASHRAE, Louisville, Ky., February 7, 2011
  • "What to do when a client doesn't pay: A look at retainage, lien, payment bond, and prompt payment claims," Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Thirsty Thursday networking event, Louisville, Ky., January 27, 2011
  • "Sustainability and Steel: New Laws and Green Codes that Give Steel and Edge," AISI Sustainability Task Group, Washington, D.C., November 4, 2010
  • "10 Ways to Minimize the Legal Pitfalls of Sustainable Design & Construction," radio interview with Ted Garrison, host of New Construction Strategies Radio 3.0, October 27, 2010
  • "Sustainability & Structural Steel: Comprehensive Two-Day Course on Achieving Sustainability through use of Structural Steel on Construction Projects," Virginia Carolina Structural Steel Fabricators Association, Wrightsville Beach, N.C., October 9-10, 2010
  • "Sustainability & Steel: New Laws & Green Codes that Give Steel an Edge," with David B. Ratterman,  Steel Day Free Webinar, Stites & Harbison, PLLC, September 24, 2010
  • "Asphalt Pavements and the LEED Green Building Design," Plantmix Asphalt Industry of Kentucky (PAIKY) 2010 Summer Meeting, Lexington, Ky., June 11, 2010
  • "Selling Green Steel," Southern Association of Steel Fabricators 2010 Convention, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., June 5, 2010
  • "From Voluntary to Mandatory—New Laws in Sustainable Design and Construction," News, Booze and Free CEUs, AIA/EKC & Bluegrass CSI Trade Fair, Lexington, Ky., June 2, 2010
  • "What does alphabet soup (IPD, BIM, LEED, etc.) have to do with the future of healthcare construction?," Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Thirsty Thursday Networking event, May 20, 2010
  • "Green Building Codes," Modern Contractor Solutions, March 2010
  • "Sustainable Design and Construction: Where is it LEEDing Us?," Kentucky Bar Association's Bench and Bar, March 2010
  • "Sustainable Design and Construction: From Voluntary to Mandatory?," Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA), e-newsletter, February 2010
  • "New Laws in Sustainable Design," Ohio Valley Region of Design-Build Institute of America, Louisville, Ky. December 10, 2009
  • "LEED Certification of Public Buildings," Division 10 ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, Teleconference, November 20, 2009
  • "States starting to require architects and contractors to design and construct public buildings to achieve LEED silver certification," Design Cost Data Magazine, November-December 2009
  • "Applied LEED Discussion: Using LEED as a Guideline," Green Steps Conference, October 23, 2009
  • "New regulations in Kentucky require architects and contractors to design and construct public buildings using LEED 2009," Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert
  • "Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Sustainable Design and Construction," AGC of Kentucky, Safety Day Conference, September 11, 2009
  • "How to Avoid Legal Pitfalls Associated with Sustainable Design and Construction," Chicago Committee on High Rise Buildings, Chicago, Ill., August 13, 2009
  • "Contract Language and Risk Management Primer: Understanding basic contract language and the implications. Effective methods in reducing your company's risk," NASCC The Steel Conference 2009 Advance Program, 2009 Annual Stability Conference, Phoenix, Ariz., April 1-4, 2009
  • "Made in America?," Modern Steel Construction, February 2009
  • "Kentucky Construction Law: Changes That Affect You," Stites & Harbison, Louisville, Ky., August 21, 2008
  • "Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues," Lorman Seminar, Louisville, Ky., June 4, 2008
  • "Construction Contracts — Who’s the Fairest of Them All? AIA vs. Consensus DOCS," NAWIC Louisville Chapter, Louisville, Ky., May 12, 2008
  • "Legal Issues for Kentucky Design Professionals," with Joseph L. Hardesty,  Half Moon Seminars, Louisville, Ky., March 12, 2008
  • "What to do When a Construction Project Goes Bad," with Erika R. BarnesJoseph L. HardestySteven M. Henderson,  Lorman Education Services, Louisville, Ky., February 26, 2008
  • "The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and Recent Legislation Regulating the Hiring of Illegal Immigrants," The Construction Lawyer, Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2007
  • "Mock Arbitration," NAWIC Annual Planning Conference, Louisville, Ky., November 3, 2007
  • "Change Orders in Kentucky," Lorman Seminar, Louisville, Ky., October 16, 2007
  • "Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues," Lorman Seminar, Louisville, Ky., June 28, 2007
  • "Kentucky Construction Law," Contributing Author, Stites & Harbison, PLLC, 2007

Before Stites & Harbison

During her tenure at the University of Louisville's Speed Scientific School she interned with Messer Construction Co., where she assisted the Project Manager, on the construction of a steel and concrete building, by implementing a quality assurance program and updating project schedules.

Ms. Stephens also interned with Camp, Dresser, & McKee where she provided engineering services to assess the needs of water drainage and sewage systems.

Ms. Stephens also previously served as a summer associate with the firm's Louisville office.

She is a native of Villa Hills, Ky.

Professional Accolades

Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law (2018)

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Rising Star (2013-17)

Louisville Magazine, "Top Lawyer" in the category of construction law (2012-16)

Benchmark Litigation, Under 40 Hot List (2016)

Today's Woman, "Way to Go Woman" in the category of Professional (2013)

ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, nominated and selected as finalist for the ABA National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award  (2011)

Community Involvement

  • Young Professional Association of Louisville, member
  • River Valley Christian Church, member