Steve has represented contractors, subcontractors, lenders, and other companies and individuals in construction, commercial, consumer and business disputes for over 20 years. He has an active practice that involves counseling, mediation, arbitration, and litigation to meet his clients’ needs.
- forty-four jury trials, bench trials, and arbitration hearings
- sixteen appeals to federal and state appellate courts
- Arbitrator in eleven cases for which award was issued
- Drafted Iowa construction-related legislation and spoken at legislative sub-committee hearings on construction-related legislation
- Drafted and reviewed construction-related contracts for clients
- Handled mechanic's liens, Little Miller Act claims, Miller Act Claims, contract disputes, and other construction-related disputes such as payment, disruption, scope, delay, and defect disputes
- Construction, Commercial, and Consumer Arbitrator for American Arbitration Association, 2009—present
- Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Law Construction and Surety Practice Group, 2016—present
- Co-Chair, Whitfield & Eddy Litigation Practice Group, 2008—2009, 2018—2019
- Member Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 2007—present
- Associate Attorney, Whitfield & Eddy, P.L.C., 2001—2006
- Judicial Clerk: Judge Harold Vietor, U.S. District Court for Southern District of Iowa, 1999—2001
Professional Activities and Affiliations
- American Bar Association (Forum on Construction Law, 2014—present)
- Associated General Contractors of Iowa (Leadership Academy 2011)
- Eighth Circuit Bar Association
- Fellow, Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Iowa State Bar Association (Construction Law Section, 2013—present)
- Master Builders of Iowa (Leadership Program 2010; Associate Council 2009—2013, 2017—2021; Government Affairs Committee 2009—present)
- Mechanical Contractors Association of Iowa
- Greater Des Moines Partnership Economic Development Council
- Nebraska State Bar Association
- Polk County Bar Association (Iowa)
- Presenter, "Construction Law: Advanced Issues and Answers," National Business Institute Virtual Presentation, 2021
- Presenter, "Construction Contracts Drafting Tips, Pitfalls, and Case Law," National Business Institute Virtual Presentation, 2021
- Presenter, "Negotiating Damages in Construction Disputes," National Business Institute, Virtual Presentation, 2020
- Presenter, "Negotiating for Damages in Construction," National Business Institute, Des Moines, Iowa, June 2019
- Co-Presenter, "Bids, Liens, and Public Project Claims" Polk County Bar Association Spring General Practice CLE, April 2019
- Presenter, "Mechanic's Liens for Lenders," Iowa State Bar Association 2019 Commercial and Bankruptcy Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, April 2019
- Presenter, "Construction Contracts" and "Understanding Subcontract Terms and Flow-Through Clauses," National Business Institute, Des Moines, Iowa, June 2018
- Presenter, "Mechanics Liens and Surety Bonds: Essential Strategies to Prepare For On Counter Claims," National Business Institute, Des Moines, Iowa, December 2017
- Presenter, "Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Key Provisions in Subcontracts," Client Seminar, Altoona, Iowa, February 2017
- Co-Presenter, "Negotiating Damages in Construction Disputes," National Business Institute Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2017
- Co-Presenter, "Dispute Resolution and Claims in the Context of Public Contracting," U.S. Department of Transportation Bonding Education Program (BEP) with the Surety and Fidelity Association of America, October 2016
- Presenter, "Construction Law: What Do You Do With a Defective Bid? What Do You Do If You Do Not Get Paid?" National Business Institute Seminars, Des Moines, Iowa, June, 2016.
- Presenter, "Mechanic's Liens / Residential Projects" Iowa State Bar Association Construction Law Seminar, February 2016.
- Presenter, "Mechanic's Liens, Public Project Liens, Indemnity and Other Recent Statutes of Interest" Iowa Limestone Annual Convention, February 2016.
- Presenter, "Does a State Impermissibly Act as a Surety When it Guarantees Subcontractor Payments on State-Owned Projects? The Iowa Supreme Court Says 'No.'" American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law - Division 7 (Insurance, Surety, Liens) September 3, 2015.
- Presenter, "Proper Procedures for Filing Early Release of Retainage," 2015 Construction Loss Control and Safety Seminar, March 2015.
- Presenter, "Contract Resolution 101," The Design-Build Institute of America/Iowa Chapter, February 2015.
- Presenter, "Construction Lien Law in Iowa," Lorman Seminars, October 2014.
- Presenter, "Public Construction & Mechanic's Liens and Recent Statutes of Interest," American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Cedar Valley Chapter Conference, May 2014
- Co-Presenter, "A Practical Guide to Construction Liens," National Business Institute, 2013
- Presenter, "Iowa’s New Anti-Broad-Form Indemnity Law," Associated General Contractors of Iowa, 2012
- Presented on various construction-related issues for clients and construction industry groups.
Seminars and Events Recently Attended
- Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2022
- Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers 60th Annual Seminar, February 2022
- Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers 59th Annual Seminar, February 2021
- Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2021
- Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2020
- Master Builders of Iowa Annual Winter Conference, February 2019
- Associated General Contractors of Iowa, 97th Annual State Convention, January 2019
News & Events
- Construction Industry Update: Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Rules that Surety Must Pay Attorney Fees, Costs, and Interest Awarded to Subcontractors in Arbitration with General Contractor10.07.2022
- Great Plains Super Lawyers, 08.30.2022
- Best Lawyers in America, 08.30.2022
- Construction Law Update: Iowa Supreme Court Effectively Eliminates Notice-of-Commencement Requirement For Subcontractors on Residential Projects08.11.2022
- Construction Law Update: Iowa Court of Appeals Says Contractor's Failure to Obtain Written Change Orders Precludes Payment for Extra Work03.29.2022
- Construction Checklists, Second Edition: A Guide To Frequently Encountered Construction Issues, 01.25.2022
- Construction Law Update: Iowa Court of Appeals Says Contractors Must Substantially Comply with Administrative Code Regulations11.04.2021
- Construction Law Update: Iowa Court of Appeals Addresses Notice of Commencement Issues in New Residential Mechanic's Lien Case08.19.2021
- Best Lawyers in America, 08.19.2021
- Construction Law Update: Iowa Court of Appeals Says Attorney Fees Incurred in Arbitration are Recoverable Under Mechanic's Lien Statute's Attorney-Fee Provision07.06.2021
- The Iowa Lawyer, 10.06.2020
- Best Lawyers In America, 08.20.2020
- Construction Law Update: Supreme Court Prohibits Residential Contractors From Acting as Public Adjusters Without a License04.29.2020
Honors & Recognitions
Honors & Recognitions
- Inducted as Fellow in the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2020
- Selected by Best Lawyers in America as the Des Moines area's "Lawyer of the Year" in the area of Litigation - Construction (2022)
- Named Best Lawyers® 2015 Construction Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Des Moines
- Selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America as a top-ranked attorney in Construction Law and Litigation - Construction (2013—2023)
- Selected for inclusion in the Great Plains Super Lawyers in the area of Construction Litigation (2014—2022)
- Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project: recognized for pro bono work hours in 2014—2015, 2015—2016, 2019—2020. Recognized for 50 or more pro bono work hours in 2016—2017, 2017—2018, 2018—2019
Cases Published and Other Publications
Cases Published and Other Publications
- Estate of Farrell v. State, 2021 WL 5458077 (Iowa Ct. App. 2021)
- Ryan Companies US, Inc. v. FDP WTC, LLC, 2021 WL 4592249 (Iowa Ct. App. 2021)
- Ryan Companies US, Inc. v. FDP WTC, LLC, 2021 WL 211156 (Iowa Ct. App. 2021)
- Ewing v. Rochon Corp. of Iowa, 2016 WL 146275 (Iowa Ct. App. 2016)
- CSS2 Enter. v. Farmers Coop. Co., 2015 WL 4935834 (Iowa Ct. App. 2015)
- Star Equip., Ltd. v. State, 843 N.W.2d 446 (Iowa 2014)
- John T. Jones Constr. Co. v. Hoot Gen. Constr. Co., 613 F.3d 778 (8th Cir. 2010)
- Accurate Controls, Inc., v. Cerro Gordo County Bd. of Supervisors, 627 F.Supp.2d 976 (N.D. Iowa 2009) & 2009 WL 427374 (N.D. Iowa 2009)
- Weitz Co., LLC v. Lloyd's of London, 574 F.3d 885 (8th Cir. 2009)
- John T. Jones Constr. Co. v. Hoot Gen. Constr. Co., 543 F.Supp.2d 982 (S.D. Iowa 2008)
- Saydel Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. The Denis Della Vedova, Inc., 2007 WL 1201748 (Iowa Ct. App. 2007)
- U.S. v. Vandry, 2007 WL 216291 (8th Cir. 2007)
- Marquart Block Co. v. Denis Della Vedova, Inc., 2006 WL 3018227 (Iowa Ct. App. 2006)
- Cornell v. Grinnell Mut. Reins. Co., 2006 WL 2419134 (Iowa Ct. App. 2006)
- U.S. v. Hernandez, 436 F.3d 851 (8th Cir. 2006)
- Lee v. Iowa Dept. of Transp., 693 N.W.2d 342 (Iowa 2005)
- U.S. v. Perez-Perez, 337 F.3d 990 (8th Cir. 2003)
- Curtiss v. Mt. Pleasant Correctional Facility, 338 F.3d 851 (8th Cir. 2003)
- Chapter co-writer with Anna Mallen, Construction Checklists, Second Edition: A Guide To Frequently Encountered Construction Issues, by Carrie L. Okizaki, Terrence L. Brookie, Eric A. Berg, and Misty Hubbard Gutierrez, American Bar Association, 2022
- Contributing Author, "The 2017 A201 Deskbook" American Bar Association Forum on Construction Law.
- Author, “Does a State Impermissibly Act as a Surety When It Guarantees Subcontractor Payments on State-Owned Projects? The Iowa Supreme Court Says 'No.’” American Bar Association Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Newsletter, Spring 2014.
- Author, “Appellate Practice Compendium: A Comprehensive, Detailed, Authoritative Guide to Handling Appeals In Any Court,” The Iowa Lawyer, December 2013.
- Author, "Are Subcontractors Directly Liable to Homebuyers for Defective Construction Claims?" Homebuilders Association of Greater Des Moines Blueprint Magazine, September 2013.
- Author, “Public Construction Liens in Iowa: A History and Analysis of Iowa Code Chapter 573,” 60 Drake Law Review 101 (Fall 2011).
University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1999, with high distinction
- Senior Managing Editor, Iowa Law Review, 1998-1999
Hope College, B.A., Spanish, 1996, magna cum laude
U.S. District Court - Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court - Northern District of Iowa
U.S. District Court - Southern District of Iowa
U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court - District of Nebraska
U.S. Court of Appeals - Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals - Eighth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court