Stephen E. Richman


Dickinson Wright PLLC
1850 North Central Avenue
Suite 1400
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Tel: 602-285-5017


Stephen E. Richman is a Member and Division Director of Industry Practice at Dickinson Wright PLLC. He practices in all phases of Construction Law, commercial and residential.

Mr. Richman is a past chair of the Construction Law Section of the State Bar and is a member of the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry. He is also active in the Arizona Builders Alliance, where he is a member of the Legislative Review Committee and the Legal Advisory Council.

Mr. Richman is also a member of the Construction Law Attorney Forum of the National Association of Home Builders and a Charter Fellow of the Construction Lawyer’s Society of America.

He has written several articles and given seminars on such topics as managing construction defect risks, handling construction claims, design build construction, the AIA construction contract documents, risk-shifting contract clauses, lien laws, legislative amendments affecting the construction industry, alternative dispute resolution, and insurance/indemnification issues. Mr. Richman has served as an arbitrator of construction disputes on numerous occasions.

In addition to handling claims involving all aspects of real estate development, Mr. Richman’s practice includes the drafting and negotiation of construction agreements, both for developers and contractors.

  • Successfully defended homebuilders in numerous construction defect mass actions brought by homeowners.  These matters involve claims in litigation and in arbitration.  Two examples are successful results in mass actions of a group of 29 homeowners who asserted drainage deficiencies leading to flooding and a group of 60 homeowners alleging improper roofs, stucco and concrete.
  • Represented a large Arizona municipality in a claim against an international manufacturer and system designer of a membrane module filtration system used to treat potable water.  Led a team of Dickinson Wright lawyers who evaluated the complex specifications relating to the treatment of water and worked with outside authorities and the city’s water engineers to evaluate the claims against the manufacturer.  The claim and demand preparation led to a favorable settlement by which the manufacturer provided at no cost to the city a new membrane system with an extended warranty tied to clearer and more specific performance criteria.
  • Led the defense of a large nationwide homebuilder in a putative class action brought by homeowners alleging improper disclosure of utility expenses in a subdivision public report.  The Dickinson Wright team successfully defeated the request for class certification.  The case involved novel issues of the alleged disclosure of future utility expenses and an analysis of subdivision statutes and regulations.
  • Frequently drafts and negotiates construction contracts for owners and general contractors.  Recent examples include projects such as luxury condos, apartment complexes, solar panel generation facilities, schools, and office buildings.  Has considerable experience with the family of documents of the American Institute of Architects®, Consensus Docs®, and the Design-Build Institute of America.
  • Routinely handles commercial construction disputes involving improper design, delays, loss of productivity, and change orders.  A representative case involves the defense of a general contractor for claims involving reconstruction of a 60 foot retaining wall adjacent to a large parking structure that includes allegations of improper construction practices, delays, and increased design costs.

University of California Hastings College of the Law | J.D., 1982

  • cum laude
  • Assisting Managing Editor, The Hastings Law Journal
  • Order of the Coif
  • Thurston Society
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Real Estate – Construction, 2023
    • “Recommended Lawyer” 2020-2022
  • Southwest Super Lawyers®
    • Construction Law, 2017-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • “Lawyer of the Year” Construction Law, 2012
    • Commercial Litigation, Construction Law, Litigation – Construction, 2023-2024
  • Construction Lawyer’s Society of America
    • Fellow
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Certification Rating

For decades, Dickinson Wright has served the construction industry, gaining a deep understanding of the many legal and business challenges facing our clients. Our deep bench of construction attorneys is sophisticated, diverse, and accessible – and known for achieving winning results in the courtroom and before arbitration panels and state administrative agencies. We work closely with our clients during all phases of the construction process to assist in accomplishing their goals and objectives.

Our construction team serves a variety of industries, from healthcare to education to environmental, manufacturing, transportation, and more. We represent clients across the United States and Canada, including builders, private and public owners, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, lenders, construction managers, and design professionals.

Our construction team’s experience spans every phase of construction, from drafting and negotiating to lending and liens to public procurement projects. We use our combined knowledge of the courtroom and the construction site to provide our clients with informed choices for building projects and resolving disputes efficiently.

Our clients often want a rational business solution at the earliest possible stage of a dispute. Our team is adept at developing strategies and opportunities for early resolution, whether through direct negotiation or mediation. We are also ready, willing, and able to litigate, if necessary, to quickly resolve disputes. Our commitment to delivering quality and value is one of the reasons that Dickinson Wright is a preferred provider of construction legal services.

Dickinson Wright is a growing, full-service firm of experienced, creative, diverse and dedicated legal professionals. Our attorneys are respected by their peers, honored by industry endorsements and recognized through significant appointments to bar associations and the judiciary system.

But, the most important thing to us is the respect we’ve earned from our clients. For more than 138 years, we’ve put our clients first.

Across our 40 practice areas, our team of over 475 lawyers has an unwavering focus on providing unmatched client service and the highest quality legal advice. We are proactive and accessible. We offer clear and concise solutions. And always, we are mindful that we must deliver the absolute best value on every client engagement, whether it’s large or small.

From Fortune 500 companies to small and emerging businesses to governmental entities, nonprofits and individuals, every client is important to us. Every client benefits from the depth of our experience, the breadth of our expertise and our focus on providing personalized service.

Dickinson Wright’s client roster features prominent names within the domestic construction industry, with the team regularly advising on both contentious as well as non-contentious matters. The team is also seasoned in overseeing an array of disputes, frequently appearing before industry arbitration panels, judges and juries, and advises clients throughout the full cycle of significant construction projects.
The Legal 500