In 2017, William G. (“Bill”) Geisen served as the first President of the Construction Lawyers Society of America. Mr. Geisen is a partner with Stites & Harbison PLLC and serves as the Chairperson of the firm’s Construction Service Group.
Mr. Geisen practices exclusively in the area of construction law and has represented parties across the entire spectrum of the field, including owners, developers, general contractors, design builders, prime contractors, subcontractors, design professionals and sureties. As a result, he has handled construction matters from all perspectives of the industry. Mr. Geisen drafts and negotiates construction contracts, but the bulk of his practice focuses on various forms of dispute resolution, including arbitration and litigation. During the course of his career, he has litigated cases in 14 states and the District of Columbia. He also serves frequently as a mediator and arbitrator of construction disputes.
One of the highest honors and most challenging engagements of Mr. Geisen’s career was representing Chief Justice John Milton of the Kentucky Supreme Court, who, by statute, oversees the Commonwealth’s $800 million Kentucky Courthouse Construction Program. In 2009, issues arose regarding the manner in which those courthouse construction projects were bonded; and in order to be legally compliant, the Chief Justice had to modify the manner in which the projects were bonded by requiring that the general contractor or construction manager furnish performance and payment bonds equivalent to 100 percent of the contract price. Such an unpopular change absorbed much more of each general contractors’ or CM’s bonding capacity, added millions of dollars to the costs of the judicial center construction projects and called into question previous construction practices relative to them. Through Mr. Geisen’s counsel, the Chief Justice was able to avoid litigation following the change. Mr. Geisen’s advising the Chief Justice and the six other Kentucky Supreme Court Justices about bonding requirements for the program has been a highlight of his career.
In 2010, Mr. Geisen was honored to become a Fellow in the American College of Construction Lawyers; and in 2015, he received the honor of selection as a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. Since 2013, he has been designated “Band One” in the area of construction litigation by Chambers USA. He is listed among Kentucky Super Lawyers and has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America for construction law since 2007.
Mr. Geisen was one of the founding members of the Kentucky Bar Association’s Construction and Public Contract Law Section and served as its Chairperson from 1995-1997. He has also served as Chairperson and Co-Chairperson of the Midwest/Midsouth Construction Law Institute, a bi-annual construction law program, since 1998. In addition, Mr. Geisen is a frequent lecturer on a variety of construction law topics at national construction industry conferences.
Mr. Geisen has been involved in a number of charitable and civic organizations, primarily in association with the Catholic Church. He has served as Chairperson of the Board of Catholic Education in his local Diocese, Chairperson of Parish Council for his local church and as President of the Boosters’ Organization for his sons’ high school.
Having received an Honors Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude) from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mr. Geisen then received his J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law in Lexington, Kentucky.
He and his wife, Sandy, have three children, Cassie, Will and Beau; and among other activities, they enjoy spending time at and boating on Norris Lake, near Knoxville, Tennessee.