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.
Mr. Pledger represents and has represented numerous surety companies and insurers over the years, including sureties that underwrite contract and subcontract construction and development bonds, as well as the full panoply of commercial bonds (e.g., estate/fiduciary bonds, reclamation bonds, motor vehicle bonds, fuel tax bonds, banker blanket bonds, workers compensation bonds, appeal bonds, to name a few). He also represents contractors, subcontractors and suppliers in construction disputes, fidelity insurers, and a number of small businesses and individuals in non-construction related business related issues. He has also represented a number of insurers in coverage related disputes and insurers’ insureds in both personal and commercial lines.
- Member of the National Bond Claims Association
- Sponsoring Member of the Eastern Bond Claims Review
- Member of the American Bar Association (“ABA”)
- Former Co-Chair of the Membership Division of the ABA’s Young Professionals Subcommittee (“YuPS”) of the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee (“FSLC”)
- Former State Representative for the FSLC
- Member of the Defense Research Institute (“DRI”)
- Vice Chair (2007 and 2008) and Chair (2009 and 2010) of the DRI’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
- Former Membership Chair of DRI’s Fidelity and Surety Committee
- Former Member of DRI’s Fidelity and Surety Committee, for a number of years
- Member of the International Association of Defense Counsel
- Member of the Virginia State Bar
- Member of the Virginia Bar Association
- Member of the Richmond Bar Association
NGM Ins. Co. v. Terra Developers, LLC, et al, Civil Action No.: 1:18-cv-00111 (E.D.Va. 2018)
Hudson Ins. Co. v. Persaud Companies, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 1:13cv3 (E.D.Va. 2014)
New Viasys Holdings, LLC. V. The Hanover Ins. Co., 2007 WL 783179 (E.D. Va. March 12, 2007)
In re Jones Construction & Renovation, Inc., 337 B.R. 579 (U.S. Bankr. E.D.Va. 2006)
▪ WRIGHT, CONSTABLE & SKEEN, LLP – Partner May 30, 2019 – Present
▪ SETLIFF LAW, PC f/k/a SETLIFF & HOLLAND, PC – Partner January 1, 2015 – May 30, 2019
▪ WALLACEPLEDGER, PLLC – Partner May 2002 – December 31, 2014
▪ REEDSMITH, LLP – Of Counsel May 2001 – May 2002
▪ SANDS ANDERSON, PC f/k/a SANDS, ANDERSON, AUGUST 1988 – MAY 2001
MARKS & MILLER, PC – Associate and Partner
▪ CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE COUNTY OF FAIRFAX, VA August 1987 – August 1988
Judicial Law Clerk
▪ Co-Author, Out of Chaos Comes Order: Creative Solutions to Challenging Performance Bond
Claims, CURRENT TRENDS AND DECISIONS – Presented during the Twenty-Second Annual Eastern
Bond Claims Review Surety-Fidelity Program in Chatham, NJ on June 10, 2019
▪ Co-Author, Taming the Bull in the China Shop: The Relative Priorities Between the Surety and
the Bank to a Contractor’s Assets, and Other Things, CURRENT TRENDS AND DECISIONS – Presented during the Nineteenth Annual Eastern Bond Claims Review Surety-Fidelity Program in Chatham, NJ on May 16, 2016
▪ Co-Author, Overview of Some Significant Recent Surety Decisions, CURRENT TRENDS AND DECISIONS – Presented during the Eighteenth Annual Eastern Bond Claims Review Surety-Fidelity Program in Chatham, NJ on May 18, 2015
▪ Co-Author, The Opaque Crystal Ball: The Surety’s Response to an Obligee’s Notice to Cure, MAY
3, 2013 – Presented During the 2013 DRI Fidelity and Surety Law Committee’s Roundtable in
▪ Co-Presenter, Underwriting Concerns; Involvement of Agents; Retention of Consultants,
Email Communications, CURRENT TRENDS AND DECISIONS – Presented during the Fourteenth
Annual Eastern Bond Claims Review Surety-Fidelity Program in Chatham, NJ on May 123, 2011
▪ Author, From the Chair: Facing Issues Together in Difficult Times, FOR THE DEFENSE,
▪ Author, From the Chair: See What We Have to Offer!, FOR THE DEFENSE, March
▪ Contributing Author, THE LAW OF MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER BONDS, Downing, William A., Lisa Jennings-Baroun, James S. Kreamer and Aaron C. McKee, Eds., 2006 – Authored the Chapter Relating to Virginia Law
▪ Author and Presenter, Surety Issues on Construction Projects, 3OTH VIRGINIA STATE BAR ANNUAL CONSTRUCTION AND PUBLIC CONTRACTS LAW SEMINAR, November 6, 2009 – Presented based upon my Construction Contract and Subcontract Bid Bonds, Payment Bonds, Performance Bonds and the Law of Suretyship in Virginia (an ongoing paper)
▪ Co-Author, Deceptively Simple? Demystifying License and Permit Surety Bonds, FOR THE DEFENSE, September 2004
▪ Co-Author and Co-Presenter, Top Ten Surety Issues Every Lawyer Needs to Know presented
during the Defense Research Institute’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC in October 2003.
The papers authored by Mr. Pledger included (1) Ethical Considerations for the Construction
and Surety Lawyer, (2) Risk Shifting Provisions: Pay-When-Paid and No-Damages-For Delay
Clauses, and the Contract Bond Surety, (3) The Performance Bond Surety’s Liability for Latent
Defects, (4) Some Issues a Surety Needs to Consider When Its Principal Goes Into Bankruptcy,
and (5) Indirect Preferences Affecting the Surety in its Principal’s Bankruptcy.
Other Articles and Presentations:
▪ Author, Perfection and Enforcement of Mechanic’s Liens in Virginia, August 10, 2013 –
Presented to a number of different organizations over time.
▪ Co-Author and Co-Presented, An Unbelievable But Real Life Factual Scenario Involving
Subcontractor Default – Sort Of, Presented during the PROJECT MANAGER SEMINAR – HANDLING SUBCONTRACTOR DEFAULT sponsored by Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Inc.
Surety Today® 30-minute tele-briefings on narrowly-focused topics for surety company attorneys and surety claims professionals – Frequent Co-host. To view or listen to past presentations click here.
Weekly Wright Report
- The Looming Eradication of Pay-If-Paid and Pay-When-Paid Clauses in Construction Contracts in Virginia – April 20, 2022 – read here
▪ River Road Presbyterian Church, Richmond Virginia
– Elder – 1991 – Present; Served two consecutive three-year terms (Ordained while a member of Tuckahoe Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia and served for three years)
– Served as Chair of Christian Education Ministry for a number of years
– Served as Chair of Mission Ministry for a number of years
– Served as Chair of the Congregational Nominating Committee for one year
– Served with his bride as Co-Chair of the International Brazil Mission Ministry for a number of years
▪ Boy Scouts of America – Served in various leadership roles in the Cub Scouts and Webelos
(Pack 710) and the Boy Scouts when my son was of that tender age.
▪ YMCA – Coached T-Ball and Soccer when my now 20 – something children were of that tender