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Richard T. Pledger - Setliff Law Attorney Bio Image

Richard T. Pledger

Fax: (804) 377-1284

Mr. Pledger concentrates his practice in the areas of surety and fidelity law, construction law, and commercial and business litigation. He handles matters throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and 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, he 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 compliment 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, as well as a host of miscellaneous bond matters. Some of these cases, as well as the construction cases, cross state, national and international boundaries.

Mr. Pledger previously served as Chair of the Defense Research Institute’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, is on the Steering Committee and was formerly its Membership Chair. He continues to be active in the American Bar Association’s Fidelity/Surety Law Committee (FSLC), having previously served as Co-Chair of the Membership Division of the Young Professionals Subcommittee and as a State Representative in Virginia. He is also an active member of the National Bond Claims Association, Eastern Bond Claims Review, Association of International Defense Counsel and the Surety Association of Virginia.


Seventh Annual Surety-Fidelity Seminar, Eastern Bond Claims Review Chatham, New Jersey, May 2004

Advanced Construction Law in Virginia Seventh (co-author and presenter on various construction issues)

National Business Institute

Presenter, Surety, Insurance and Contractual Indemnification Considerations,

Richmond, Virginia June, 2004 Norfolk, Virginia June 2004


The Opaque Crystal Ball: The Surety’s Response to an obligee’s notice to cure, by Cathleen M. Jarezek and Richard T. Pledger, May 2013 (presented at the Defense Research Institute’s Fidelity and Surety Law Committee 2013 Roundtable in Chicago)

The Law of Motor Vehicle Dealer Bonds (Contributing author Richard T. Pledger – Chapter on Virginia Law) William A. Downing, Lisa Jennings-Baroun, James S. Kreamer and Aaron C. McKee (Editors) American Bar Association 2006

Deceptively Simple? Taking the Mystery Out of License and Permit Surety Bonds FOR THE DEFENSE, a publication of the Defense Research Institute by Catherine Squillace and Richard T. Pledger, September 2004

Construction Contract and Subcontract Bid Bonds, Payment Bonds, Performance Bonds and The Law of Suretyship in Virginia
• October 1995, August and November 1997, April 2001, and January and August 2003 (Nota bene: This item is updated and adapted periodically as program materials for presentations to construction groups.)

Contractors’ Introduction to Mechanic’s Lien Laws and Payment Bonds (co-author of a summary of Virginia law) ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF VIRGINIA March 1996



  • 1987 – J.D., Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary1986-1987 – Chief Justice, Marshall-Wythe Moot Court BoardThe Order of the Barristers
  • 1983 – B.A., Psychology, University of VirginiaMinor in Government and Foreign Affairs1982-1983 Academic Honors


  • Virginia, 1987
  • The Supreme Court of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • United States Federal Court of Claims
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit


American Bar Association

Fidelity and Surety Law Committee:

  • Young Professional Subcommittee
  • Former Co-Chair, Membership Division
  • Former State Representative for Virginia

Virginia Bar Association

Virginia State Bar Association

  • Construction Law and Public Contracts Section

Richmond Bar Association

Henrico Bar Association

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

Defense Research Institute

  • Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Former Chair and Vice Chair
  • Steering Committee
  • Former Membership Chairman

National Bond Claims Association

Eastern Bond Claims Review

International Association of Defense Counsel

Surety Association of Virginia




Practice Areas

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