- J.D., with high honors, University of North Carolina School of Law; Order of the Coif
- B.A., magna cum laude, Wesleyan University
Bar & Court Admissions
- District of Columbia Bar
- Illinois Bar
- Maryland Bar
- Virginia Bar
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, 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 Virginia, Northern District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Texas and Western District of Virginia
Richard A. SimpsonPARTNER
Mr. Simpson has a national litigation practice, with an emphasis on appellate litigation, defense of lawyers and other professionals and insurance coverage/“bad faith” cases. In addition, he represents clients in connection with criminal investigations, in commercial litigation and in a variety of pro bono matters.
Mr. Simpson has represented clients regarding cases pending in 47 states, and has acted as lead appellate counsel in the Supreme Court (at the petition stage and for amicus parties), in 11 of the federal courts of appeals and in numerous state appellate courts, including California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. He has been an Adjunct Instructor in Trial Advocacy at the University of Virginia Law School since 2003.
- Represented a lawyer in a nine-day federal jury trial of a legal malpractice claim brought by a Nobel Prize-winning economist, obtaining a take nothing judgment based on a jury verdict determining that the client did not breach the applicable standard of care.
- Represented a law firm on appeal of a large malpractice judgment to the Ohio Supreme Court, which reversed and directed entry of judgment for the law firm in what is generally regarded as the most significant legal professional liability decision in Ohio in at least 10 years. ENC v. Goodman Weiss Miller, LLP, 893 N.E.2d 173 (Ohio 2008). (Mr. Simpson's appellate argument may be viewed on the Ohio Supreme Court's website at http://www.ohiochannel.org/MediaLibrary/Media.aspx? | fileId=113208)
- Represented an insurance carrier in coverage litigation regarding a lawyers professional liability policy in the trial court and on appeal to the Sixth Circuit, obtaining a published decision from the Sixth Circuit holding that an insured attorney's failure to disclose his knowledge of circumstances that could result in a claim and of pending disciplinary proceedings constituted material misrepresentations justifying rescission of the policy, and that, alternatively, the policy's dishonesty exclusion barred coverage for the ensuing malpractice action. The Sixth Circuit also held that materiality could be determined as a matter of law on summary judgment. Continental Casualty Co. v. Law Offices of Melbourne Mills, Jr., PLLC 676 F.3d534 (6th Cir. 2012) and No. 5:06-272-JMH, 2010 WL 996472 (E.D. Ky. Mar. 16, 2010).
- Represented an insurance carrier in coverage litigation regarding an accountants professional liability policy in the trial court and on appeal to the Fourth Circuit, obtaining published decisions from both courts that the policy's prior knowledge condition to coverage was not satisfied based on one employee's knowledge that she had misappropriated client funds and that the policy's innocent insured provision did not apply to save coverage for the insured firm. Bryan Brothers v. Continental Casualty Co., 660 F.3d 827 (4th Cir. 2011) and 704 F. Supp. 2d 537 (E.D. Va. 2010).
- Represented a voting rights organization and its volunteers on a pro bono basis on appeal from a decision denying them an award of attorneys' fees in a civil rights case in which they had challenged on First Amendment grounds a Maryland Transit Authority regulation limiting free speech activities at bus and train stations, obtaining a determination by the Fourth Circuit that the clients were entitled to an award of attorneys' fees based on their success in the litigation. Project Vote/Voting for America, Inc. v. Dickerson, 444 F. App'x 660 (4th Cir. 2011).
- Represented a methadone clinic on a pro bono basis in an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case, obtaining a decision that affirmed the trial court's rulings for the clinic on the key legal issues presented, including the clinic's standing to assert an ADA claim based on its association with its patients, while remanding for a new trial on a fact issue that the trial judge had decided in the clinic's favor as a matter of law. A Helping Hand, LLC v. Baltimore County, Md., 515 F.3d 356 (4th Cir. 2008).
- Prevailed at a bench trial in the Eastern District of Virginia obtaining a decision that an insurer was entitled to rescind three crime insurance policies, and obtained an affirmance by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Koger Mgmt. Group, Inc. v. Continental Cas. Co., 363 F. App'x 982 (4th Cir. Feb. 12, 2010) and No. 1:08-cv-301 (LMB/JFA), 2009 WL 577597 (E.D. Va. Mar. 3, 2009).
- Acts as national extra-contractual counsel for one carrier, advising on extra-contractual claims generally and acting as lead counsel on more substantial or complex claims.
- Retained in 2011 to act as lead defense counsel for an insurer in a pending case in Kentucky state court in which the insured asserted bad faith claims arising out of a $42 million default judgment, where the insured’s commercial general liability (CGL) policy had a $1 million limit. The insured, which was represented by a nationally-recognized West Coast policyholder “bad faith” firm and a prominent Kentucky trial lawyer, sought “bad faith” damages as a multiple of the $42 million judgment. Case resolved by a confidential settlement.
- Retained in 2009 and 2010 to act as lead counsel for an insurer in two unrelated bodily injury actions pending in Florida state court in which the claimants sought "bad faith" damages because the insurer assertedly failed promptly to initiate settlement negotiations, where the insured’s liability purportedly was clear and the claimants’ damages, which were permanent and catastrophic, far exceeded the limits of liability of the applicable CGL umbrella policy. Both cases were resolved by confidential settlements.
- Retained six weeks before trial in 2012 to act as lead trial counsel in a CGL coverage and a related “bad faith” case in California with an underlying default judgment of over $50 million in favor of a claimant who suffered catastrophic injuries in a workplace accident. The case was resolved by a confidential settlement on the night before trial was set to commence.
- Represented a U.S. Senator and high-ranking White House officials in connection with criminal and congressional investigations.
- View a summary of decisions in some of Mr. Simpson's other cases.
- 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.
- American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, Committee on Litigation and Legal Priorities.
- Defense Research Institute.
- Fairfax County Bar Association.
- Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.
- Virginia Bar Association.
HONORS & AWARDS
- Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for Appellate by Super Lawyers magazine (2013).
- 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 U.S. Supreme Court).
- 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).
PUBLICATIONSCURRENT | CHOOSE YEAR | VIEW ALL
- Gunn v. Minton Will Impact Future Patent Malpractice Cases
Richard A. Simpson and Justin D. Heminger
January 14, 2013 | Law360
- Navigating the Matrimonial Malpractice Minefield: Strategies for Avoiding Legal Malpractice Claims
Richard A. Simpson, Mary E. Borja and Kimberly A. Ashmore
June 21, 2012