David Ratterman is a Senior Member of the firm's Construction Service Group, concentrating his practice on the fabricated structural steel industry in the United States and internationally. His immersion in the construction industry began as a water boy on construction sites at age 10 and evolved through a series of engineering and construction positions with the U.S. Navy, government and private industry.
David has been an officer or advisor to 12 industry trade organizations and professional societies involved in the international fabricated structural steel industry. Since 1989, he has served as Secretary and General Counsel of the American Institute of Steel Construction and as counsel to its National Steel Bridge Alliance.
David has been lead trial counsel for numerous structural steel fabricators and other contractors, design professionals, material suppliers and construction owners involved in complex matters in litigation, arbitration and construction mediation. Formally trained as a construction arbitrator and mediator and listed on several national construction neutral panels, he has participated as an ADR neutral or advocate in resolution of construction disputes totaling in excess of a billion dollars.
David was also an advisor to FEMA Task Forces that investigated structural damage caused by the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake and the September 11, 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center towers.
He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a Fellow and former Governor of the American College of Construction Lawyers, and in 2014 was presented the college's Past Presidents' Award for exemplary service to the College over a period spanning nearly the entire 25-year history of the College's existence. He was the Founder and first Chair of the Kentucky Bar Association Section on Construction and Public Contract Law. In March 2012, The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) named a college scholarship program after Mr. Ratterman, the "David B. Ratterman Fast Start AISC Scholarship." The scholarship program currently provides financial assistance to 10 college age children of the steel industry's blue- and white-collar families each year. In March 2019, AISC awarded David the Lifetime Achievement Award honoring those who have provided outstanding service to AISC and the structural steel design/construction/academic community. In 2012, he received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the University of Kentucky (UK) Alumni Association. He is a past President of the UK Alumni Association. In 2016 he was inducted into the UK College of Engineering Hall of Distinguished Alumni and in 2018 was awarded the Department of Civil Engineering’s Construction Management Founders Society (CMFS) Lifetime Achievement Award.
A prolific author and speaker on a wide variety of construction law topics, David has presented or published in excess of 50 research papers, technical papers and articles. He has participated in or moderated numerous panel discussions on construction law topics at a wide variety of domestic and international academic symposia.
by Scott Melnick, Editor, Modern Steel Construction, January 2019
Material Price Escalation Clauses and Effects of Recent Steel Tariffs
Architects Webinar - The Role and Value of the AISC Code of Standard Practice
Codification of Trade Custom and Usage as a Viable Supplement to Construction Contracts
The Importance of Front End Alignment: What You Need to Know about Bid Documents, Construction Contracts and Contract Formation
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
The Role of Engineers in Society
Fabricator/Erector Right to Pay for Extra Work Delayed by Legal Morass - How to Prevent This From Happening to You
Legal Challenges to Global Manufacturing
Sustainability & Steel: New Laws & Green Codes that Give Steel an Edge
Downtown Louisville Rotary Club, Member and "Service Above Self" Award recipient
University of Kentucky, National Alumni Association, President (2016-17)
Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated
Best Lawyers in America® Construction Law and Litigation - Construction (2003-20)
Best Lawyers in America® Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year in Construction Law (2011, 2015, 2020)
Best Lawyers in America® Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year in Construction Litigation (2013, 2019)
Kentucky Super Lawyers® (2007-19)
Kentucky Super Lawyers® Top 50 Lawyers in the state
Chambers USA, "America's Leading Lawyers in Business," Corporate/M&A: Construction (2010-18)
Lifetime Achievement Award, American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), 2019
Who's Who in American Law
Who's Who Legal, Construction (2015)
University of Kentucky (UK) Alumni Association, Distinguished Service Award (2012)
University of Kentucky College of Engineering, Hall of Distinguished Alumni (2016)
University of Kentucky Department of Civil Engineering’s Construction Management Founders Society (CMFS) Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)
Service Above Self awarded by The Rotary Club of Louisville (2013)
American College of Construction Attorneys, Past Presidents' Award (2014)
Louisville Magazine Top Lawyer (2014, 2016)
. . . particularly noted for his experience in matters concerning the fabricated structural steel industry . . . regularly acts for suppliers, contractors and designers.
. . . rare ability to balance a deep and broad range of knowledge and experience in construction issues . . . roles of an attorney and counselor . . .
. . . where to devote resources to solve problems created efficient, effective outcomes.
David is an expert in matters involving Structural Steel Construction.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America©, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, has named six attorneys from Stites & Harbison, PLLC as “Lawyer of the Year” for 2020.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 has recognized 75 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-three of those attorneys selected have been honored for 10 consecutive years or more.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) recently honored Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney David B. Ratterman with the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the North American Steel Construction Conference (NASCC) held in St. Louis from April 3-5, 2019.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2019 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 42 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 33 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and nine attorneys to the Rising Stars list.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green,245 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY
Bill Geisen, 2018 Institute Chair; Presentation by David Ratterman
As of mid-June the administration’s Section 232¹ 25% steel tariff will have been a topic of discussion for over three months. Some aspects of the tariffs have become clearer than they were when the tariff was first announced in March.
On Thursday, December 14, 2017, the Supreme Court of Kentucky reversed an intermediate appellate court decision and reinstated a jury verdict of slightly more than $600,000 awarded to a structural steel fabricator and erector. The award compensated the fabricator and erector for unpaid retainage and extras on a high rise project.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2018 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 55 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 39 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and 12 attorneys to the Rising Stars list.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 22 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2017 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States.
Conference was sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST), the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, "Surfing the Next Wave: The Future of Construction Law and Practice," St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California.
Stites & Harbison construction attorney David Ratterman presents this video on Building Information Modeling, or BIM.