Member
Senior Member

David B. Ratterman

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.

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

Pre-Bid Due Diligence

Every superhero has an origin story

by Scott Melnick, Editor, Modern Steel Construction, January 2019

Material Price Escalation Clauses and Effects of Recent Steel Tariffs

2018 Construction Law Institute, UK/CLE, Lexington, KY, October 25, 2018

Architects Webinar - The Role and Value of the AISC Code of Standard Practice

Steel Day - American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), September 15, 2017

Codification of Trade Custom and Usage as a Viable Supplement to Construction Contracts

Thompson Reuters, Journal of the ACCL, Vol. 11, No. 1, Winter 2017

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

NASCC: The Steel Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 23, 2017

'Bet the Company' Contract Clauses and How to Avoid Them

Modern Steel Construction, March 2017

Specific Instructions to the Contrary

co-author with Charles J. Carter, Ph.D. and Michael A. West, Modern Steel Construction, American Institute of Steel Construction, February 2017

Steel Code of Standard Practice Becomes American National Standard

by Nadine M. Post, Engineering News-Record (ENR), April 27, 2016

The Role of Engineers in Society

Civil Engineering Seminar, U of L, J.B. Speed School of Engineering, September 11, 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

Legal Challenges to Global Manufacturing

University of Kentucky, Department of Mechanical Engineering, William Maxwell Reed Seminar Series, September 25, 2014

Sustainability, Society, and the Law as Applied to the Built Environment

Domestic and Local Preference in Selection of Construction Contractors and Material

What Employers Should Know about Welding Fumes

Building Information Modeling

Federal Dollars for Women-Owned Small Businesses

Preparing Your Company for Life after Recovery

Sustainability & Steel: New Laws & Green Codes that Give Steel an Edge

Steel Day Free Webinar, Stites & Harbison, PLLC, September 24, 2010

Could You Be Held Responsible for Consequential Damages?

Bar Admissions
Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
U.S. District Court for Nebraska
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
U.S. Supreme Court
Memberships
American College of Construction Lawyers
American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Kentucky Bar Association
Louisville Bar Association
Downtown Louisville Rotary Club
Society of Construction Law, United Kingdom, Member since 2008
American Institute of Steel Construction, Secretary and General Counsel
Community Involvement

Downtown Louisville Rotary Club, Member and "Service Above Self" Award recipient

University of Kentucky, National Alumni Association, President (2016-17)

Education
Accolades

Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Best Lawyers in America® Construction Law and Construction Litigation (2003-19)

Best Lawyers in America® Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year in Construction Litigation (2013, 2019)

Best Lawyers in America® Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year in Construction Law (2011, 2015)

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)

Testimonials

. . . particularly noted for his experience in matters concerning the fabricated structural steel industry . . . regularly acts for suppliers, contractors and designers.

- Chambers Commentary (USA), 2016

. . . rare ability to balance a deep and broad range of knowledge and experience in construction issues . . . roles of an attorney and counselor . . .

- Best Lawyers, client comment

. . . where to devote resources to solve problems created efficient, effective outcomes.

- Best Lawyers, client comment

David is an expert in matters involving Structural Steel Construction.

- Best Lawyers, client comment
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See more related to David B. Ratterman
Press Releases

David Ratterman earns 2019 AISC Lifetime Achievement Award

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.

by David B. Ratterman April 12, 2019
Articles

Pre-Bid Due Diligence

In Today's Market, steel fabricators confront complex risks on a daily basis, including project uncertainty and increased market volatility.

by Steven M. Henderson, Aaron R. Klein, and David B. Ratterman March 06, 2019
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 42 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 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.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 07, 2018
Press Releases

David Ratterman honored by University of Kentucky with CMFS Lifetime Achievement Award

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The University of Kentucky recently named Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney David Ratterman as the recipient of the Department of Civil Engineering’s Construction Management Founders Society (CMFS) Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony held...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 11, 2018
Events

2018 Construction Law Institute

Date: 10/25/18

Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green,245 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY

Bill Geisen, 2018 Institute Chair; Presentation by David Ratterman

William G. Geisen and David B. Ratterman September 10, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-two of those attorneys selected have been honored for 1...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 16, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers names eight Stites & Harbison attorneys as "Lawyer of the Year" for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America©, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, has named eight attorneys from Stites & Harbison, PLLC as “Lawyer of the Year” for 2019...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 16, 2018
Client Alerts

The steel tariff. What does it mean to the construction industry and to individual steel fabricators?

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.

by Steven M. Henderson, Gregory P. Parsons, and David B. Ratterman June 13, 2018
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2018 Honors Stites & Harbison

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 18 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2018 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 08, 2018
Client Alerts

High court enforces "pay-if-paid" clause protecting CM; but allows fabricator and erector to recover extras directly from owner

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.

by David B. Ratterman December 18, 2017
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers honors 51 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

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.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 11, 2017
Events

Steel Day: Architects Webinar - The Role and Value of the AISC Code of Standard Practice

Presented by American Institute of Steel Construction Noon - 1:00 p.m. CT A panel providing input from legal, structural engineering and architectural perspectives will discuss the undique role that the AISC Code of Standard Practice...
David B. Ratterman August 28, 2017
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 79 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 has recognized 79 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 51 areas of practice. The number of honorees increased since last year, 74 to...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 17, 2017
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2017 honors Stites & Harbison

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.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC June 02, 2017
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers honors 55 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2017 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 55 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 41 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 22, 2016
Events

NASCC The Steel Conference 2017

The American Institute of Steel Construction presents the 2017 NASCC: The Steel Conference for structural engineers, detailers, erectors and fabricators. NASCC: The Steel Conference is the premier educational and networking event for the structural steel...
David B. Ratterman November 21, 2016
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 74 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 has recognized 74 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 51 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America© is a nationally recognized referral...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 29, 2016
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2016 Honors Stites & Harbison

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 21 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2016 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC June 08, 2016
Press Releases

David Ratterman inducted into University of Kentucky College of Engineering

LOUISVILLE, Ky—Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney David Ratterman was inducted into the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering Hall of Distinguished Alumni in a ceremony held on April 15. Less than one half of...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC April 20, 2016
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers honors 64 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2016

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2016 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 64 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 49 attorneys to the Super Lawyers...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 08, 2015
Press Releases

Best Lawyers honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2016

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 50 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America® is a nationally recognized...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 20, 2015
Press Releases

David Ratterman begins term as President of University of Kentucky Alumni Association

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney David Ratterman begins his one-year term as president of the University of Kentucky (UK) Alumni Association starting July 1, 2015. Previously he served the association as president-elect and...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 08, 2015
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2015 honors Stites & Harbison

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States. The list is developed based on client and peer interviews discussing the skills of individual attorneys...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 22, 2015
Press Releases

Super Lawyers honor Stites & Harbison's Kentucky Attorneys

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers names 52 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices for inclusion on the 2015 Kentucky Super Lawyers list and 18 attorneys are named...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 01, 2014
Press Releases

Best Lawyers names 16 Stites & Harbison attorneys as "Lawyer of the Year" for 2015

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America®, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, has named 16 attorneys from Stites & Harbison, PLLC as “Lawyer of the Year”...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 22, 2014
Press Releases

Best Lawyers honors 89 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2015

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 has recognized 89 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 57 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America® is a nationally...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 22, 2014
Presentations

Sustainability, Society, and the Law as Applied to the Built Environment

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)

by David B. Ratterman June 12, 2014
Press Releases

Chambers USA honors Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky.Chambers USA selected 34 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2014 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 30, 2014
Press Releases

American College of Construction Lawyers honor three Stites & Harbison attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Three Stites & Harbison construction attorneys were honored at the recent 25th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the American College of Construction Lawyers (ACCL) in Phoenix, Arizona, on February 23, 2014. David B. Ratterman...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC February 24, 2014
Press Releases

Rotary Club honors attorney David Ratterman with "Service Above Self" Award

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Rotary Club of Louisville has honored attorney David Ratterman of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, with the “Service Above Self” Award. The award is presented for exemplary service to the Rotary Club. Ratterman...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 31, 2014
Press Releases

Super Lawyers honors Stites & Harbison's Kentucky attorneys for 2013-14

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers names 53 Stites & Harbison attorneys in the Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices for inclusion on the 2013-14 Kentucky Super Lawyers list and 19 attorneys are named on the inaugural...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 17, 2013
Press Releases

Eighty-nine Stites & Harbison attorneys honored by Best Lawyers in America for 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, is pleased to announce that 89 of our attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 57 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America®...
by Stites & Harbison PLLC August 27, 2013
Presentations

Domestic and Local Preference in Selection of Construction Contractors and Material

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.

by David B. Ratterman April 26, 2013
Client Alerts

What Employers Should Know about Welding Fumes

Welder exposure to manganese fumes has been a matter of continuing interest in the construction industry. In some instances state OSHA standards for worker exposure vary from federal OSHA standards. In other instances state and...
by David B. Ratterman January 30, 2013
Presentations

Building Information Modeling

Stites & Harbison construction attorney David Ratterman presents this video on Building Information Modeling, or BIM.

by David B. Ratterman November 16, 2012
Press Releases

New scholarship program named for Stites & Harbison construction attorney

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) has named a new college scholarship after Stites & Harbison construction attorney and AISC’s Secretary & General Counsel, David Ratterman. The “David B. Ratterman Fast Start...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 29, 2012
Press Releases

Seventy-five Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in Best Lawyers in America

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 75 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 55 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012. Twenty-five of...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 12, 2011
Client Alerts

Collapse of the World Trade Center Brings Modifications to High Rise Building and Fire Codes

Not infrequently we are asked about the impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the consequent collapse of three high rise structures at the World Trade Center, on the construction industry in the...
by David B. Ratterman September 12, 2011
Press Releases

Thirty-five Stites & Harbison attorneys selected for inclusion on Kentucky Super Lawyers for 2001

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers has named Stites & Harbison’s Charles J. (Mike) Cronan IV, a health care and litigation attorney, as “Top Point Getter” on their 2011 Kentucky Super Lawyers list. A total of 3...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 02, 2011
Press Releases

Chambers USA honors 31 Stites & Harbison attorneys with inclusion in the 2011 guide

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 31 Stites & Harbison attorneys firmwide for inclusion in the 2011 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States. Researchers interview...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC June 17, 2011
Client Alerts

Federal Dollars for Women-Owned Small Businesses

Ending more than a decade of controversy, on February 4, 2011, the Small Business Administration opened 83 industry categories to federal procurement contract set-asides for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB’s) and Economically-Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSB’s)...
by David B. Ratterman April 01, 2011
Press Releases

Best Lawyers names Stites & Harbison attorneys as 2011 Lawyers of the Year

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America®, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, has named six Stites & Harbison attorneys as Lawyers of the Year for 2011. Only...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 03, 2010
Client Alerts

Preparing Your Company for Life after Recovery

Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!” — Thomas A. Edison This...
by David B. Ratterman October 07, 2010
Press Releases

Chambers USA honors 32 Stites & Harbison attorneys with inclusion in the 2010 guide

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 32 Stites & Harbison attorneys firmwide for inclusion in the 2010 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States. Researchers interview...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 02, 2010
Press Releases

Seventy-two Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in "Best Lawyers in America"

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 72 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 33 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America® 2010. Those attorneys...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 10, 2009
Client Alerts

Could You Be Held Responsible for Consequential Damages?

In a recent case a subcontractor thought that it was insulated from liability for any costs suffered by a general contractor beyond the bare, direct cost of correcting any defects with the subcontractor's work. It...
by David B. Ratterman January 23, 2007