Rick Braun

03/01/2020

Summary

Rick leverages his 20 years of product liability, toxic tort, and asbestos litigation experience to solve problems for his clients. Manufacturers of a wide range of products have turned to Rick for counsel, guidance, and advocacy. Rick has practiced nationally in asbestos litigation throughout his career. He defends premises owners, non-manufacturing suppliers, and manufacturers of industrial equipment, friction products, and electrical components through discovery, motion practice, negotiation, and trial. Rick is responsible for the development of expert witnesses in various disciplines including industrial hygiene and medical causation. He also coordinates discovery for all jurisdictions, and trains local counsel on technical aspects of clients’ product lines, and on strategies for effective depositions.

Rick attended the Harvard Negotiation Institute at Harvard Law School, a university consortium dedicated to developing the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. The coursework included negotiation case studies and mock negotiations. This work provided a theoretical framework for legal and business negotiation. It also addressed practical challenges, like complex negotiations with multiple parties and difficult people and behaviors.

Rick is a registered lobbyist agent with the State of Michigan. He has advocated for clients at the Michigan Legislature and engaged in pro bono lobbying activities at the state and federal levels. In January 2012, he testified before the Michigan House of Representatives Competitiveness Committee on House Bill 5456 related to discolsure of asbestos bankruptcy trust submissions.

Rick serves as liason counsel for all defendants for discovery and pretrial matters for asbestos litigation throughout the state of Michigan. He is a also a member of the Wayne County Asbestos Litigation Steering Committee.


Credentials

Education
  • Michigan State University (J.D. cum laude, 1999)
  • Michigan State University (B.A. with honors, 1996)
Admissions
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • Admitted Pro Hac Vice in New York, Ohio, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Missouri
Professional Activities
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Asbestos Medicine Conference (Marketing Committee; DRI For Life Committee Liaison)
    • DRI for Life Committee
    • Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
    • Product Liability Committee
    • Litigation Skills Committee
  • Oakland County Bar Association
    • Energy, Sustainability, and Environmental Law Committee (Chair 2016-2017; Vice Chair 2015-2016)
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Special Committee on Civil Discovery Court Rules (Scope and Course of Discovery Subcommittee)
  • American Lung Association of Midland States
    • Board of Directors, July 1, 2015 through July 1, 2018
  • City of Rochester Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
    • Member, 3-year term beginning November 13, 2016
  • Case Evaluator, Oakland County (Product Liability and General)
Community Involvement

Rick served as the Chairman of the Regional Leadership Council for the American Lung Association of Midland States from 2010 to 2013. 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.

Accomplishments
  • Best Lawyers of America®
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants (2018-2020)
    • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action – Defendants (2020)
  • 2016 OCBA Frances R. Avadenka Memorial Award
  • Super Lawyers™
    • Rising Star (2012-2014)
  • DBusiness® Top Lawyer
    • Product Liability (2012-2013)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rated (5.0 out of 5.0)
Publications & Speaking Engagements

Coming Soon to a Drinking Water Source Near You: EPA Action on PerchloratePublished in DRI Toxic Tort Newsletter, Vol. 21 Issue 2 (2018)

Take-Home Asbestos Cases: Handling the Depositions and Establishing Your Client’s Exposure DefensePublished in DRI Toxic Tort Newsletter, Vol. 19 Issue 1 (2016)

2014 Surgeon General Report on Smoking Links Tobacco Use to Colon CancerCEF Lawyers (December 9, 2014)

Garlock’s Asbestos Liability and the Problem of Bankruptcy Claim Form Discovery, CEF Lawyers (March 28, 2014)

Defense Research Institute (DRI), Asbestos Medicine Seminar, co-presentor, Asbestos Medicine 101: Asbestosis and ‘Other” Cancers (November 2019)

National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) Annual Conference, co-presenter, Coming Soon to a Drinking Water Source Near You:  EPA Regulation of Perchlorate. (September 2018)

Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association (EECMA), Annual Conference, co-presenter, WARNING: This Subject Contains a Discussion of Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer – Proposition 65 and Labeling Laws: Who Actually Benefits In the Age of Over-Warning? (April 2018)

Defense Research Institute (DRI), Asbestos Medicine Seminar, co-presentor, Young Lawyers Breakout, “Take Home” 101  (November 2017)

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)

Attorney Rick Braun Contributes to DRI Toxic Tort and Environmental Newsletter with Article Discussing Perchlorate

An article titled “Coming Soon to a Drinking Water Source Near You: EPA Regulation of Perchlorate” by Rick Braun was recently published in the DRI Toxic Tort and Environmental Newsletter. With the EPA scheduled to set a Maximum Containment Level in the fall of 2018, the article is a timely look at the Safe Drinking Water Act and EPA’s regulatory history of perchlorate, also known as the “rocket fuel chemical.”

Attorney Rick Braun to Speak at EECMA Conference on California’s Proposition 65 and Labeling Laws

On Friday, April 27, 2018, attorney Rick Braun will be speaking at the Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association Annual Conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida. The session is entitled “WARNING: This Subject Contains a Discussion of Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer – Proposition 65 and Labeling Laws: Who Actually Benefits in the Age of Over-Warning?” He will be joined by Christine D. Calareso, Esq. (CMBG3 LLC) and Ryan Landis, Esq. (Polsinelli).

Information covered will include a review of California’s Prop 65, the trend toward similar laws in other jurisdictions, and how to combat and prevent claims related to labeling and warnings.

Attorney Rick Braun to Speak at DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar

Attorney Rick Braun will be a speaking on the topic of take-home asbestos exposure at the DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, taking place in Las Vegas, NV on November 2-3, 2017. Mr. Braun will be part of a panel at the Young Lawyers Breakout Session on November 2. The session, titled “Take Home” 101, will encompass a review of the scientific literature, the question of duty in various jurisdictions, experiments measuring take-home exposure potential, and strategies for using those experiments in discovery, including the examination of take-home case plaintiffs, family members, and co-workers.

Attorney Rick Braun to Speak at EECMA Conference on Topic of Rising Household Exposure Claims in Asbestos Litigation

On Thursday, April 27, 2017, attorney Rick Braun will be speaking at the Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association Annual Conference, to be held in Orlando, Florida. The session is entitled “Homeward Bound: The Rise of Household Exposure Claims in Asbestos Litigation.” He will be joined by Christine D. Calareso, Esq. (Selman Breitman LLP) and Elizabeth Sorenson Brotten, Esq. (Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson).

Information covered will include a review of scientific literature on take-home exposures, the latest decisions on the existence of a legal duty in various jurisdictions, understanding the impact of exposure assessment experiments to measure take-home exposure potential from chrysotile asbestos fibers, and using the findings to take effective depositions.

Rick Braun Appointed to Rochester Hills’ Brownfield Redevelopment Authority

Attorney Rick Braun was recently appointed by Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett to the city’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. The City of Rochester Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) was established by the City Council on November 13, 2002, pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of the Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act, Act 381 of the Public Acts of the State of Michigan of 1996, as amended, for the purpose of facilitating the implementation of plans relating to the identification and treatment of environmentally distressed areas so as to promote revitalization in the City of Rochester Hills.

Mr. Braun will serve for a three year term.

Attorney Rick Braun to Present at Upcoming OCBA ‘Practical Knowledge’ Seminar

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC attorney Rick Braun will be a co-presenter at an Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) event this Thursday, October 6, 2016. The practical knowledge seminar will be focused on the topic of environmental law and toxic torts. This seminar is part of OCBA U, a program designed by the OCBA to help new lawyers grow their careers by teaching them the knowledge and skills they need.

Braun will be sharing his unique perspective on toxic tort and environmental law as it relates to private practice. He will be joined by co-presenter Kyle Jones (attorney and head of the Environment, Health & Safety and Real Estate Practice for FCA US LLC), who brings an in-house perspective to the discussion.

Attorney Rick Braun Speaks at 2016 FETTI Conference on Issue of Take-Home Asbestos Cases

On Thursday, September 22, 2016, attorney Rick Braun spoke at the National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort (FETTI) Annual Conference. The session was entitled “Take-Home Asbestos Cases: Handling the Depositions and Establishing Your Client’s Exposure Defense.”

Information covered included understanding the impact of exposure assessment experiments to measure take-home exposure potential from chrysotile asbestos fibers, using the findings to take effective depositions of plaintiffs and handlers of asbestos-containing products, and use the findings to establish an exposure defense at trial.

Attorney Rick Braun to Receive OCBA Avadenka Memorial Award

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is proud to announce that attorney Rick Braun, a member of the firm’s national Asbestos/Toxic Tort practice group, has been selected to receive the Oakland County Bar Association’s Frances R. Avadenka Memorial Award. The award was established by the OCBA board of directors in memory of Frances R. Avadenka, the first female president of the Oakland County Bar Association, who passed away in 1987. Selected by members of the Avadenka family, this award recognizes an OCBA member who has made significant contributions to the community outside the legal profession.

Braun is known by his clients and his team as a dedicated, hard-working and talented attorney, but it’s his volunteer involvement outside of the firm that truly sets him apart.

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC Announces New Partners

We are pleased to announce that attorneys Rick Braun, Michael J. Cook and Nicole E. Wilinski have been elected partners in the firm. Rick Braun is a partner in the firm’s nationally recognized mass-tort defense group. He focuses his practice on the defense of asbestos claims, and has defended premises owners, non-manufacturing suppliers, and manufacturers…

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