An Accomplished Legal Career
After ten years of handling general business disputes, Rick’s practice has focused for the last 25 years on construction litigation and construction law, representing owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, and sureties in disputes a involving all kinds of residential, commercial, industrial, institutional projects. While a portion of his practice has been negotiating construction contracts, his primary professional activities have focused on dispute resolution. Rick has more than 10 years experience as an arbitrator, and almost as much as a mediator in complex cases. He has presided over arbitrations that have had weeks of testimony, and which have required him to issue long and complex written decisions. (Arbitration and mediation require many of the same skills that are required of judges and, as such, is excellent preparation for joining the bench.) One measure of Rick’s abilities as an arbitrator is the fact that Rick is often selected by people who have appeared before him previously. Rick is not only on the roster of the American Arbitration Association, but he is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, an internationally recognized panel headquartered in London. Rick also volunteers regularly to serve as a Judge Pro Tem for the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. In that capacity, Rick serves as a “judge for a day” to help parties resolve matters quickly and expeditiously.
Rick has been a very successful attorney who has developed a national reputation. He consistently is ranked in the highest “tier” by Chambers, a group that ranks lawyers nationally. He is a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers, the most prestigious group of construction lawyers in the country. He now sits on the group’s board, and he has served as the chair of the College’s Diversity Committee. Rick is also a member of the American Arbitration Association’s National Construction Dispute Resolution Committee, a group that helps craft the AAA’s arbitration procedures.
Many of the construction projects in which Rick has been involved have been located in or near Delaware County. For example, in the early 1990’s he represented a general contractor in a long and complex arbitration involving the demolitions and replacement of a huge paper machine at the Kimberly Clark paper-making plant in Chester, PA. He was also involved in a number of actions related to the construction of the White Horse Village retirement community in Edgmont, as well as handling numerous matters for The Kendal Corporation, which operates a number of continuing care communities, including several in Chadds Ford. Rick has also been involved in actions related to school construction in the Upper Darby and Wallingford-Swarthmore School Districts. Rick served as the Borough Solicitor in Swarthmore for three years, and in that capacity he successfully represented the Borough in a zoning matter in which the Borough opposed a proposed development because of the risk it posed to the riparian buffer along Little Crum Creek.
In mid-career, Rick had several national leadership positions in the American Bar Association, including serving as co-chair of the Construction Litigation Committee, then the largest committee of the Litigation Section of the ABA. He also served as the highest-ranking attorney for a group known as ConsensusDOCS, which created one of the most widely used set of contract forms in the design and construction industry. In that capacity, Rick led a national effort to develop a form contract for the use of a new technology, Building Information Modeling.