J.D., with high honors, University of North Carolina School of Law; Order of the Coif
B.A., magna cum laude, Wesleyan University
Law Clerk for the Honorable John D. Butzner, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1977-1978)
Bar and Court Admissions
District of Columbia Bar
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and District of Columbia Circuits
U.S. District Courts for the District of Colorado, District of Columbia, District of Maryland, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of Virginia, Northern District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Texas, Western District of Michigan, and Western District of Virginia
Rick has a national trial court and appellate litigation practice, with an emphasis on defense of lawyers and other professionals in malpractice and disciplinary cases and defense of insurers in insurance coverage/“bad faith” cases. He has defended law firms and lawyers in claims arising from a wide variety of complex underlying representations, including intellectual property, international trade, and securities, among many others. He has represented clients in matters pending in 47 states.
Rick has substantial jury and bench trial experience in state and federal courts. He has also acted as lead appellate counsel in 11 of the federal courts of appeals, and in state appellate courts in California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Rick has been an Adjunct Instructor in Trial Advocacy at the University of Virginia School of Law since 2003. He is a member of the firm's Management Committee.
- As counsel retained for proceedings in the North Carolina Supreme Court in a case important to the accounting profession, obtained a grant of discretionary review and then reversal of an intermediate appellate court decision holding that an auditor may owe a fiduciary duty to the audit client as a matter of law. CommScope Credit Union v. Butler & Burke, LLP, --- S.E.2d ----, No. 5PA15, 2016 WL 5335250 (N.C. Sept. 23, 2016).
- Acted as lead counsel for Professor Alan Dershowitz in a highly-publicized defamation case in state court in Florida, which was resolved in April 2016 with the parties issuing a Joint Statement in which the opposing parties withdrew the allegations against Professor Dershowitz.
- Obtained a favorable jury verdict in June 2016 determining that an insurer did not unreasonably delay in rescinding an accountants professional liability after learning of grounds for rescission, having previously obtained favorable summary judgment decisions determining that the insurer was entitled to rescind the policy. Cont'l Cas. Co. v. Marshall Granger & Co., 6 F. Supp. 3d 380 (SDNY 2014) and 921 F. Supp. 2d 111 (S.D.N.Y. 2013).
- Represented an insurance broker for post-trial motions and possible appeal following a jury verdict and judgment of over $23 million in a professional liability case; Judge Rakoff granted the motion for new trial. Cammeby’s Mgmt. Co. v. Affiliated FM Ins. Co., 152---F. Supp. 3d 159 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 27, 2016).
- Represented a District of Columbia lawyer at trial in a closely watched legal malpractice case brought by a Nobel Prize laureate, obtaining a defense jury verdict following a nine-day trial.
- Represented a law firm on appeal of a legal malpractice judgment to the Ohio Supreme Court, which reversed and directed entry of judgment for the law firm in a decision that is an important precedent for lawyers professional liability cases in Ohio. ENC v. Goodman Weiss Miller, LLP, 893 N.E.2d 173 (Ohio 2008). (Rick’s appellate argument may be viewed on the Ohio Supreme Court's website).
- Represented an accounting firm on appeal in a case arising from the Madoff fraud, obtaining affirmance by the Second Circuit of the district court's decision dismissing plaintiffs' negligence and professional malpractice claims for failure to state plausible claims of breach of duty. DeLollis v. Friedberg, Smith & Co., P.C., 600 F. App’x 792 (2d Cir. 2015), aff’g, 933 F. Supp. 2d 354 (D. Conn. 2013).
- Represented an individual pro bono in a civil rights case against the Baltimore Police Department that resulted in a settlement agreement under which the Police Department agreed to substantial changes in its policies and training program regarding the constitutional right of citizens to record police activity.
- Represented the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and individual clients pro bono in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in a Maryland Public Information Act case arising from the creation of dossiers regarding political opponents, obtaining important precedent regarding the Act in a case of first impression. Am. Civil Liberties Union Found. of Md. v. Leopold, 223 Md. App. 97 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2015).
- Currently representing lawyers, accountants and other professionals in state and federal courts nationwide.
- Currently providing legal ethics advice to law firms and representing lawyers in connection with disciplinary proceedings.
- Currently representing several insurance carriers nationally in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.
- Represented a U.S. Senator who was the subject of a criminal investigation.
- Represented two high-ranking White House officials in connection with investigations by Congress and independent counsel Kenneth Starr of the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky matters.
- Adjunct Instructor in Trial Advocacy, University of Virginia School of Law (2003-Present)
- Deputy Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel Curtis Emery von Kann (November 1996-October 1997). Had day-to-day responsibility for a confidential investigation conducted under seal
- Associate Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel James C. McKay (November 1987-October 1988). Assisted with the Aqaba pipeline aspect of the investigation of then Attorney General Edwin Meese, II
- Attorney-Adviser, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel (1984-1985)
- Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (1982-1984). Handled a wide variety of civil and quasi-criminal matters, including several civil litigations arising from a $91 million jeopardy tax assessment against Clarendon LLP, f/k/a Marc Rich & Company
- American Bar Association (ABA)
- Appointed by the ABA President to the Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability (2015-Present)
- American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, Committee on Litigation and Legal Priorities
- Defense Research Institute
- Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
- Virginia Bar Association
- Named by The Legal 500 US a "recommended lawyer" in Insurance Law (2014-2016) and Supreme Court and Appellate Law (2015)
- Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for Appellate by Super Lawyers magazine (2013-2016)
- Named one of Washington's "Best Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine (2011)
- Graduated first in law school class
- 2001 Term Volunteer Recognition Award, National Association of Attorneys General (for assisting state government officials in preparation for arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States)
- Rated "Highly Qualified" for appointment to the Fourth Circuit by the Virginia State Bar Judicial Selection Committee, February 2009 (1 of 4 candidates receiving highest rating)
News & Insights
- April 20, 2017 | Boston, MA | Speaking EngagementABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability's National Legal Malpractice ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Moderator
- April 2017 | ArticleNorth Carolina Supreme Court Holds That the Typical Auditor-Client Engagement Does Not Create a Fiduciary RelationshipSecond Quarter 2017 PLUS Journal
- December 30, 2016 | ArticleLaw360Richard A. Simpson
- November 7, 2016 | Media MentionLaw360.com
- October 25, 2016 | New York, NY | Speaking EngagementAmerican Conference Institute's Advanced Forum on LPL/Legal MalpracticeRichard A. Simpson, Presenter
- September 19, 2016 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Files Amicus Brief on Behalf of ACLU-MD and Public Justice Center in Maryland Personnel Records Exemption Case
- September 6, 2016 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Case Regarding State and Local Governments’ Obligation to Ensure that Private Persons Comply with ADA
- June 15, 2016 | Press Release
- June 7, 2016 | Press Release
- April 28, 2016 | New Orleans, LA | Speaking EngagementWhen Does Zealous Advocacy Go Too Far: Handling Defamation Claims Against LawyersABA Legal Malpractice ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Panelist
- April 20, 2016 | Chicago, IL | Speaking Engagement2016 PLUS Professional Risk SymposiumRichard A. Simpson, Mock Trial Participant and MODERATOR
- April 19, 2016 | Speaking EngagementStrafford Webinar
- April 2016 | ArticleApril 2016 PLUS Journal
- March 31, 2016 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein and ACLU-MD Secure Favorable Ruling for Pro Bono Clients in Maryland Personal Information Civil Case
- November 4, 2015 | Press Release
- October 8, 2015 | Media MentionLaw360
- August 2015 | ArticleNorth Carolina Supreme Court Grants Discretionary Review of Decision Regarding Auditor Liability, Including Whether an Auditor May Owe Fiduciary Duties to Its ClientPLUS Journal Vol. XXVIII, No. 8
- June 3, 2015 | Press ReleaseLegal 500 US Recognizes 32 Wiley Rein Lawyers Across Seven Practices Nationally; Four Partners Are ‘Leading Lawyers’
- May 29, 2015 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Secures Important Precedential Ruling for Pro Bono Clients in Maryland Personal-Information Case
- May 2015 | ArticleIowa Adopts Requirements for Policyholders to Disclose Correspondence with Insurer in Any Civil Litigation Where Coverage May Be ContestedABA LPL eAdvisory
- April 28, 2015 | Atlanta, GA | Speaking Engagement2015 PLUS Professional Risk SymposiumRichard A. Simpson, Panelist
- April 23, 2015 | Press Release
- April 8 - April 10, 2015 | Washington, DC | Speaking EngagementABA Legal Malpractice ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Co-Chair
- March 21, 2015 | Chapel Hill, NC | Speaking EngagementNorth Carolina Asian American Civil Rights ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- January 28, 2015 | Press Release
- December 2014 | ArticleDRI's Insurance Coverage and PracticeRichard A. Simpson
- December 3, 2014 | New York, NY | Speaking EngagementMore than an Educated Guess: The Significance of Recent Developments in Professional Liability CoverageDRI’s Insurance Coverage and Practice SymposiumRichard A. Simpson, Presenter
- November 19, 2014 | New York, NY | Speaking EngagementThe Interplay Between Ethics and LPL Claims and Protecting Against Damage from Companion Ethics CasesAmerican Conference Institute: The Advanced Forum on LPL/Legal MalpracticeRichard A. Simpson, Presenter
- Fall 2014 | ArticleKeeping the Horse in the Barn: Tips for Avoiding Problems with Mishandling Confidential and Privileged InformationALAS Loss Prevention Journal, Volume XXV, Number 3Richard A. Simpson, Charles C. Lemley
- June 26, 2014 | Press Release
- May 1, 2014 | Boston, MA | Speaking EngagementDancing with the Devil: Aiding and Abetting Liability for LawyersABA Spring 2014 National Legal Malpractice ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Moderator
- April 25, 2014 | Press Release“Super Lawyers” Recognizes 66 Wiley Rein Attorneys in Washington, DC Area Across 18 Areas of the Law
- March 12, 2014 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein and ACLU Reach Landmark Settlement with Baltimore City Police in Right to Record Police Action Case
- November 14, 2013 | Press Release
- April 19, 2013 | Press Release
- March 11, 2013 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Obtains Decision Rebuking the Baltimore Police Department for its Abusive Discovery Conduct in a Civil Rights Case
- February 21, 2013 | Media MentionLaw360
- January 31, 2013 | Press Release
- January 22, 2013 | Media MentionLaw360
- January 14, 2013 | ArticleLaw360Richard A. Simpson
- June 21, 2012 | ArticleABA Webinar Materials
- June 21, 2012 | Speaking EngagementABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability, Center for Professional Responsibility, Section of Family Law, Young Lawyers Division and the Center for Continuing Legal Education WebinarRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- May 31, 2012 | New York, NY | Speaking EngagementDefending Allegations Related to Ponzi Schemes, FDIC Bank Failure Claims, FDCPA Debt Collection Claims and BeyondAmerican Conference Institute: The Advanced Forum on LPL/Legal Malpractice Claims and LitigationRichard A. Simpson, Presenter
- April 19, 2012 | New York, NY | Speaking EngagementTill Death Do Us Part: Representing an Attorney in a Matrimonial MatterABA Spring 2012 National Legal Malpractice ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Presenter
- November 23, 2011 | Press Release
- October 28, 2011 | Media MentionSCOTUSblog
- October 18, 2011 | Press ReleaseWiley Rein Files Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in Law Offices of Mitchell N. Kay, P.C. v. Lesher
- August 31, 2011 | Press Release
- July 14, 2011 | Press Release
- September 2, 2008 | Press Release