J.D., with high honors (graduating first in class), 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
North Carolina 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 North Carolina, Eastern District of Virginia, Northern District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Northern District of Texas, Western District of Michigan, Western District of North Carolina, and Western District of Virginia
Rick has a national trial court and appellate practice, with an emphasis on claims against lawyers, accountants, and other professionals in malpractice and disciplinary cases and defense of insurers in insurance coverage/“bad faith” cases. He also has represented individuals (including White House officials and a U.S. Senator) in connection with criminal and congressional investigations.
Rick has substantial jury and bench trial experience and has acted as lead appellate counsel in ten of the federal Courts of Appeals, and in state appellate courts in California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. He has handled a number of cases that received substantial press attention. Rick is a member of the Firm's Management Committee, and was an Adjunct Instructor in Trial Advocacy at the University of Virginia School of Law from 2003 to 2017.
The Legal 500 US regularly rates Rick as a “recommended lawyer” in Insurance Law, noting he is “fantastic” (2016) and a “great analyst recommended for his ability to comprehensively understand business” (2015). He is also recognized as an “excellent appellate and trial court advocate” (2014).
Prior to private practice, Rick served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (under U.S. Attorneys John Martin and Rudolph Giuliani). He also held positions in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice (under Assistant Attorney General Theodore Olson), in the Office of Independent Counsel Curtis Emery von Kann, and in the Office of Independent Counsel James C. McKay.
- As appellate counsel, obtained a decision by the Connecticut Supreme Court (on certified question from the Second Circuit) that the statute of repose barred a claim against an insurer adjuster. The decision will be an important precedent for professionals and other defendants regarding the continuing course of conduct and related wrongful act doctrines. Essex Ins. Co. v. William Kramer & Assocs., LLC, 205 A.3d 534 (Conn. 2019). Rick’s oral argument can be heard here (October 16, 2018).
- Represented insurer on appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court from a nearly $14 million judgment against the insurer in a case involving whether a comprehensive general liability policy provided coverage for hundreds of asbestos claims, obtaining decision reversing and directing that judgment be entered for the insurer. Travelers Indemnity Co. v. CNH Industrial America, LLC, 2018 WL 3434562 (Del. July 16, 2018). Rick’s oral argument can be viewed here (May 9, 2018).
- 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.
- In a 2016 jury trial, obtained a verdict of “NO!” in response to the question whether the insurer had unreasonably delayed thereby waiving its right to rescind an accountants professional liability policy. Before trial, obtained published opinions granting partial summary judgment for the insurer on several important issues of New York law regarding rescission. Cont’l Cas. Co. v. Marshall Granger & Co., 921 F. Supp. 2d 111 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), 6 F. Supp. 3d 380 (S.D.N.Y. 2014). The Second Circuit affirmed the judgment for the insurer. Cont’l Cas. Co. v. Marshall Granger & Co., No. 16-2384, 2017 WL 2416902 (2d Cir. June 5, 2017).
- As appellate counsel, obtained affirmance by the Ninth Circuit of a summary judgment in favor of a Washington State law firm in a claim alleging millions of dollars in damages arising from the handling of an underlying lawsuit relating to an international ship charter arrangement (2017).
- Prevailed on motion to dismiss a claim asserted against a New York law firm alleging millions of dollars of damages arising from an underlying securities transaction, with the court holding that the claims were barred both by the doctrine of in pari delicto and judicial estoppel (2017).
- Prevailed on a motion to dismiss claims seeking damages in excess of $10 million asserted against a lawyer in his capacity as a chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee (2017).
- 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, 790 S.E.2d 657 (N.C. Sept. 23, 2016).
- Represented an insurance broker for post-trial motions 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. 2016).
- Represented 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., 600 F. App’x 792 (2d Cir. 2015), aff’g, 933 F. Supp. 2d 354 (D. Conn. 2013).
- Acted as trial counsel for a District of Columbia lawyer in a closely watched legal malpractice case brought by a Nobel Prize laureate, obtaining a defense jury verdict following a nine-day trial (2011).
- Retained as appellate counsel following a large jury verdict against a law firm in Ohio. On appeal, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed and directed entry of judgment for the law firm in an opinion that is now an important precedent often used to defend legal malpractice claims. Envtl. Network Corp. v. Goodman Weiss Miller, LLP, 893 N.E.2d 173 (Ohio 2008). Rick’s oral argument can be heard here ( April 22, 2008).
- 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 the disciplinary proceedings before State Bars and the U.S. Patent Office.
- 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 (2003-2017)
- 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)
- Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability (2019-Present)
- Member, ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability (2015-2018)
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, Committee on Litigation and Legal Priorities (2011-Present)
- Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
- Board of Governors, University of North Carolina School of Law Alumni Association (2017-Present)
- Defense Research Institute
- Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
- Virginia Bar Association
- Received International Municipal Lawyers Association's Amicus Service Award for advocacy in the Supreme Court (2017, 2018, and 2019)
- Named by The Legal 500 US a "recommended lawyer" in Insurance Law (2014-2016, 2018) and Supreme Court and Appellate Law (2015, 2019)
- Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for Appellate by Super Lawyers magazine (2013-2018)
- Named one of Washington's "Best Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine (2011)
- 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
- September 27, 2019 | PRESS RELEASE
- July 1, 2019 | PRESS RELEASE
- June 3, 2019 | PRESS RELEASE
- May 2, 2019 | New York, NY | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENT2019 ABA Section of Litigation & Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division CLE ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- March 20, 2019 | Webinar | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTNational Association of CountiesRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- December 5, 2018 | Covington, KY | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTCouncil of State GovernmentsRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- November 28, 2018 | PRESS RELEASEWiley Rein Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief for States and Local Governments in 21st Amendment Challenge to Dormant Commerce Clause Restrictions on Durational-Residency Requirements for Retail Liquor Licenses
- October 31, 2018 | Webinar | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTCommon Mistakes 101: Avoiding Legal MalpracticeAmerican Bar AssociationRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- October 19, 2018 | PRESS RELEASE
- June 28, 2018 | PRESS RELEASEWiley Rein Represents “Juvenile Lifers” in Challenging Constitutionality of Maryland Statute That Grants Governor Boundless Discretion in Parole Decisions
- June 12, 2018 | Webinar | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTNational Conference of State LegislaturesRichard A. Simpson, Speaker
- June 1, 2018 | PRESS RELEASE
- May 15, 2018 | PRESS RELEASE
- November 7, 2017 | PRESS RELEASE
- September 14, 2017 | Colorado Springs, CO | SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTEZ ESI: Hands-on Advice for Handling and Using ESI in a Legal Malpractice ClaimFall 2017 National Legal Malpractice ConferenceRichard A. Simpson, Moderator
- September 11, 2017 | PRESS RELEASEWiley Rein Files Amicus Brief with Supreme Court Supporting State and Local Governments in Tenth Amendment Challenge to Federal Law Regarding Sports Betting
- May 11, 2017 | PRESS RELEASEWiley Rein’s Richard A. Simpson Interviews Prominent Criminal Defense Attorney Alan Dershowitz at ABA Spring Legal Malpractice Conference
- 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 JournalRichard A. Simpson
- 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 JournalRichard A. Simpson
- 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. 8Richard A. Simpson
- 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 eAdvisoryRichard A. Simpson
- 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 ENGAGEMENTPreventing a Legal Malpractice Claim in Family Law MattersABA 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