Rich Pledger began practicing law 31 years ago, after serving as a judicial law clerk for the Circuit Court for the County of Fairfax in Virginia. Prior to that time, after graduating from the University of Virginia in 1983 and before attending law school at the College of William & Mary, he served for one year as a courtroom clerk for the Hon. Paul F. McArdle in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The experiences in both roles taught him a lot about not only what to do when appearing before a court but, perhaps more importantly, what not to do.
After completing his judicial clerkship, Mr. Pledger moved to Richmond, Virginia where he began practicing in the area of insurance defense and was ultimately responsible for managing the defense of over 8,000 asbestos cases for a number of institutional clients, manufacturers and employers in both state and federal courts. He now concentrates his practice in the areas of construction law, surety and fidelity law, commercial and business litigation, and still handles insurance related cases. He has successfully managed project defaults and claims in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as in other states associating with local counsel when needed. He is qualified to practice before all state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, including the United States Bankruptcy Court and the Federal Court of Claims,
In the construction context, Mr. Pledger began his practice as a surety practitioner and continues to represent contract and subcontract bond sureties in bid, payment and performance bond claims and litigation, and in the protection and enforcement of their indemnity rights. He has successfully negotiated alternative approaches to performance bond claims, often finding creative resolutions when the specifications simply did not work. His practice has expanded to include the representation of public and private owners, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in all aspects of the construction process and mechanic’s lien litigation. As a natural complement to his construction surety practice, Mr. Pledger represents sureties and insurers in other business and commercial contexts, including fidelity bond and coverage issues, estate matters, financial transactions and procurement contracts. Some of these cases, as well as the construction cases, cross state, national and international boundaries. He also continues to represent businesses, corporations and partners in various transactional and litigation contexts.
Mr. Pledger has been actively involved in the Defense Research Institute’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, serving on the Steering Committee for a number of years, as Vice Chair for two years, Chair for two years and as Membership Chair for a few years. He has also been actively involved with the American Bar Association’s Fidelity & Surety Law Committee (“FSLC”), and served for three (3) years as Co-Chair of the Membership Division of the Young Professionals Subcommittee (“YuPS”) and as a State Representative in Virginia for FSLC. He is also a member of the National Bond Claims Association, the Eastern Bond Claims Review, the International Association of Defense Counsel, and the Virginia Bar Association’s Construction and Public Contracts Law Section.
Mr. Pledger was born in Greenport, NY, moved to Northern Virginia with his parents when he was three years old and grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia back when Fairfax was a fun place to be. He met his bride a few days before they were graduated from the same high school and learned that both attended the same nursery school in Annandale, and then married after she graduated from Virginia Tech and he graduated from the University of Virginia – and yes, they are still married after 35 years notwithstanding collegiate rivalry. He loves spending time with his family and enjoys sailing, hiking and woodworking, including the restoration of wooden boats. Both he and his wife particularly enjoy “hands on” mission work, particularly internationally.
Mr. Pledger is one of the attorneys located in our Richmond office.