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Joseph L. Hardesty

Joseph L. Hardesty

Joe Hardesty is a Member in the firm's Construction Service Group. His practice focuses on construction law including claims resolution, litigation and contract negotiation. Joe handles complex commercial litigation for clients with particular emphasis on construction and business disputes. He defends and prosecutes claims for clients arising from major construction projects throughout the country, surety disputes, commercial real estate disputes and disputes arising from business transactions.  He also advises clients on matters related to government regulation, contracting and compliance.

Recent Assignments

  • Successfully defended steel fabricator in claim for allegedly defective fire proof coating
  • Represented Construction Manager on a variety of legal issues arising from construction of the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville
  • Successfully represented subcontractor through a negotiated settlement in a prevailing wage dispute with the state labor cabinet
  • Obtained a summary judgment in federal court in favor of a residential developer arising from a commercial real estate dispute
  • Successfully defended a payment bond surety in an insurance bad faith suit
  • Successfully prosecuted a claim for a general contractor against a subcontractor for delays and defective work arising from Federal construction project at Fort Campbell, Kentucky

What Clients Say

Joe is an excellent litigator . . .thorough understanding of the law . . . very few skilled litigators like Joe that take the time to understand and appreciate the business context . . .
- Best Lawyers, client comment

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

Before Stites & Harbison

Joe was in-house counsel at BellSouth Corporation where he handled litigation and regulatory matters. Prior to law school, Joe was a Field Artillery officer in the U.S. Army, where he served in the Eighth Infantry Division in Germany and First Army Headquarters in Maryland. After leaving the active Army to attend law school, Joe continued to serve in the Army Reserves until 1999.

More Than Stites & Harbison

Joe served on the Jefferson County Board of Education from 1990-2012 and was Chair of the Board in 1997, 1998 and 2004-2008. In 2008, he was named the Outstanding School Board Member for Kentucky by the Kentucky School Board Association. He currently serves on the board of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to assist and support the public school system in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  In 2013, Governor Beshear appointed Joe to serve as a Trustee on the Kentucky Retirement System Board of Trustees.

Besides Stites & Harbison

Joe likes spending time with his family, their three dogs and summers at their lake cabin. He enjoys traveling, outdoor activities and a good book.

Professional Accolades

Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Litigation (2009-18)

Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year in Litigation–Construction (2018)

Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year in Construction Law (2017)

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation and Construction Litigation (2007, 2010-17)

Community Involvement

  • Jefferson County Public Education Foundation
  • Kentucky Retirement System Board of Trustees (2013-2017)
  • Business Leader Champions for Education, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Society of American Military Engineers (S.A.M.E.), Board of Directors
  • Jefferson County Board of Education, 1990-2012
  • Downtown Rotary Club of Louisville
  • ABA Military Pro Bono Program