Practice Areas and Past ExperienceRick has a wide range of legal and practical experience from advising and representing companies in negotiations, administrative proceedings and litigation. Rick is sensitive to the expense of litigation and the need to efficiently focus on efforts that have the maximum value to the client. Rick seeks to help clients achieve their goals without litigation or, when litigation is necessary, through innovative litigation strategies, strategic motion practice and trial.
Rick has extensive experience with energy policy and infrastructure projects, including renewable energy and climate change regulations. He has advised companies on environmental cleanup and Prop. 65 compliance, and also represented companies in litigation and agency enforcement actions arising from contaminated property or alleged Prop. 65 violations.
Past Legal Employment
Vice-President & General Counsel, GreenVolts, Inc., 2008-2009 (Fremont, California)
Rick handled all legal, regulatory and rulemaking matters that affected this solar energy start-up company. Those matters included supporting solar energy through public policy development (through participation in rulemaking and industry groups), protecting intellectual property (patents, licenses, joint development agreements), negotiating government contracts (CRADAs and grants), producing the product (supply chain contracts), selling the product (power purchase agreements), human resources issues, corporate governance, and administrative proceedings.
Partner, Latham & Watkins, LLP, 1987-2008 (San Diego and San Francisco, California).
Rick joined Latham in 1987 and left in 2008 as an equity partner in both the Environment, Land & Resources Department and the Litigation Department. He represented public utilities and other entities before the California Public Utilities Commission on electric transmission, electric generation, natural gas transmission and railroad crossing applications. He also represented business clients in judicial and administrative actions regarding toxic torts, contaminated sites (including government and private CERCLA, RCRA and state law claims), environmental insurance coverage, and Proposition 65 and related Business & Professions Code § 17200 claims. He litigated environmental cases throughout California’s federal and state courts, as well as federal courts in Texas, Indiana and Maryland. He also has dealt with federal and state agencies in court and administrative enforcement proceedings.
Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Walter K. Stapleton, U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, 1986-1987.
Lectures and Publications
Rick has lectured on the Renewable Portfolio Standard and other climate change regulation, Prop. 65 liability and federal preemption, personal liability for corporate managers under environmental laws, "arranger" liability under CERCLA, responding to CERCLA "special notice" letters and administrative orders, and environmental insurance coverage. He authored a chapter on RCRA regulation of hazardous waste incinerators in The Handbook of Hazardous Waste Incineration.
Rick was elected to and served two terms (8 years) on the Board of Education for the Piedmont Unified School District in Piedmont, California. Previously, he served as President of the Piedmont Measure E Seismic Retrofit Citizens’ Oversight Committee. Rick also served on the board of the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir.
Areas Of Practice
- Energy and Environmental Law
- California, 1988
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1989
- U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1998
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1993
- U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1989
- U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1988
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1993
- U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1989
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 1992
- University of Virginia School of Law, Charlottesville, Virginia
- J.D. - 1986
- Honors: Order of the Coif
- Honors: Anti-Suit Injunctions and International Comity
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence
- Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- A.B. - 1981
- Honors: cum laude
- Honors: John Harvard Scholarship
- Honors: Varsity Water Polo