ACCL Membership Directory

David B. Ratterman

  • Senior Counsel, Construction Service Group
  • Stites & Harbison PLLC
  • 400 West Market Street
    Suite 1800
  • Louisville, Kentucky 40202-3118
  • Email:
  • Phone: (502) 681-0539
  • Cell:
  • Company Phone: (502) 587-3400
  • Fax: (502) 779-8253


  • Undergraduate: BSME University of Kentucky Lexington
  • Graduate: MBA University of Louisville
  • Law School: JD University of Louisville


David Ratterman is a member of Stites & Harbison’s Construction Service Group, concentrating his practice on issues involving 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, state government and private industry.

He 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 also serves on that body’s “Code of Standard Practice” Committee and as counsel to its National Steel Bridge Alliance.

David has been lead trial counsel for numerous contractors, structural steel fabricators 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, David has participated as an ADR neutral or advocate in resolution of construction disputes totaling in excess of a billion dollars.

Mr. Ratterman 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, is a Fellow and has served on the Board of Governors of the American College of Construction Lawyers and was the Founder and first Chair of the Kentucky Bar Association Section on Construction and Public Contract Law. David is listed in “Who’s Who in American Law”; The Best Lawyers in America ®; Chambers USA, “America’s Leading Lawyers in Business.

He has received the ACCL Past President’s Award. In 2016, he was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Hall of Distinction; and is a Past President of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association.

Professional Activities

  • American College of Construction Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association

Professional Affiliations

  • American Institute of Steel Construction
  • Society of Construction Law, United Kingdom, Member since 2008

Representative Articles, Publications, Speeches and Seminars

  • “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,” Stites & Harbison Client Alert, January 14, 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,” Measurement Science for Sustainable Construction and Manufacturing Conference, Washington, D.C., June 12-13, 2014
  • “Domestic and Local Preference in Selection of Construction Contractors and Material,” American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry 2013 Annual Meeting, Dana Point, Calif., April 26, 2013 “What employers should know about welding fumes,” Stites & Harbison Client Alert, January 30, 2013 “Building Information Modeling (BMI),” Stites & Harbison, PLLC, November 2012
  • “Building Information Modeling (BMI), “Stites & Harbison, PLLC, November 2012
  • “Collapse of the World Trade Center brings modifications to high rise building and fire codes,” Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert, September 12, 2011
  • “Federal Dollars for Women-Owned Small Businesses,” Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert, April 1, 2011
  • “Preparing your company for life after recovery,” Stites & Harbison, PLLC, Client Alert, October 7, 2010
  • “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?,” Stites & Harbison, PLLC, January 23, 2007

A prolific author and speaker on a wide of 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.

Court Admissions


U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky

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 Middle District of Tennessee

U.S. District Court for Nebraska

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

U.S. Court ofAppeals for the 6th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit

Community Activities

University of Kentucky Alumni Association

Downtown Louisville Rotary Information

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