Rick is a member in the firm’s national Asbestos and Toxic Tort Practice Group. He has focused his practice on the defense of asbestos claims since 2000, defending premises owners, non-manufacturing suppliers, and manufacturers of industrial equipment, friction products, and electrical components. Rick’s product liability experience includes the defense of manufacturers of tires, automotive components, lawnmowers, forestry equipment, skid-steer loaders and pharmaceuticals.
In his current role, Rick is a member of the National Coordinating Counsel team for a client in asbestos litigation. In this position, he is responsible for the development of expert witnesses in various disciplines including industrial hygiene, medical causation, and technical scientific areas, coordination and answering of discovery for all jurisdictions, and training of local counsel in various jurisdictions on technical aspects of the client’s product line, legal defenses available to the company, and strategies for effective depositions of plaintiffs. Additionally, he plays an active role in the defense of the client in Michigan.
Rick is a registered lobbyist agent with the State of Michigan. He has advocated on behalf of clients at the Michigan Legislature and has engaged in pro bono lobbying activities at the state and federal level.
In June 2015 Rick attended the Harvard Negotiation Institute at Harvard Law School. The coursework, including negotiation case studies and mock negotiations, provided a theoretical framework for legal and business negotiation as well as practical challenges – ranging from complex negotiations with multiple parties to situations involving difficult people and behaviors – and the strategies for overcoming them.
Oakland County Bar Association
Chair, Energy, Sustainability, and Environmental Law Committee, 2016-2017
Vice-Chair, Energy, Sustainability, and Environmental Law Committee, 2015-2016
Defense Research Institute
Marketing Committee, Asbestos Medicine Conference
Marketing Vice Chair – Midwest, Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Conferences
Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee (Asbestos Subcommittee and Climate Change Subcommittee)
State Bar of Michigan Special Committee on Civil Discovery Court Rules; Scope and Course of Discovery Subcommittee
Board of Directors Member, American Lung Association of Midland States
(elected to 3 year term beginning July 1, 2015)
Member, City of Rochester Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
(elected to 3 year term beginning November 13, 2016)
Member, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association (EECMA), Annual Conference, co-presenter, Homeward Bound: The Rise of Household Exposure Claims in Asbestos Litigation (April 2017)
Oakland County Bar Association, co-presenter, OCBA-U, Environmental Law (October 2016)
National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), Annual Conference, co-presenter, Take-Home Asbestos Cases: The Exposure Defense (September 2016)
Take-Home Asbestos Cases: Handling the Depositions and Establishing Your Client’s Exposure Defense, Published in DRI Toxic Tort Newsletter, Vol. 19 Issue 1 (2016)
2014 Surgeon General Report on Smoking Links Tobacco Use to Colon Cancer, CEF Lawyers (December 9, 2014)
Garlock’s Asbestos Liability and the Problem of Bankruptcy Claim Form Discovery, CEF Lawyers (March 28, 2014)
Rick has been a guest speaker on legal issues for entrepreneurs in the business school at Oakland University. He has also spoken on the topic of depositions in an Advanced Legal Proceeding course at Macomb County Community College.
Rick served as the Chairman of the Regional Leadership Council for the American Lung Association of Midland States from 2010 to 2013. He is still an active member of the Council and serves as the Chairman of the Nominating Committee. He has served on the Board of the Lung Association’s premier fundraising event, The Fight for Air Climb, since 2007. In 2009, Rick was a featured speaker at the Lung Association’s annual black-tie fundraiser. In 2015 he was named to the Lung Association’s Michigan Rapid Response Team for issues related to the Lung Association’s mission.