Rich became an Equity Partner in1994 and has been with the firm since 1980. He was Head of the Complex Claims and Litigation Department for almost 15 years and was a past Member of the Firm’s Management Committee from 2010 to 2014. Rich’s high-profile legal experience and his innovative approach to complex insurance coverage disputes, long-tail claims, and product liability matters has helped elevate the prominence of Mendes in these areas. He is respected by Insurers and Assureds and is often called upon to assist with the resolution of complex litigation matters.
Rich has been at the forefront of cutting-edge initiatives, settlements, and litigation involving asbestos and other health hazard claims. Rich’s leadership qualities and unique problem-solving abilities have been showcased repeatedly through his legal career when dealing with extremely controversial issues such as asbestos, silica, benzene, and other toxic chemicals.
Rich spent his first 10 years with Mendes in its Aviation Department where he became a Non-Equity Partner. Rich was involved in numerous product liability matters and assisted in a variety of complex trials involving many well-known airlines, aircraft product manufacturers and suppliers, aviation maintenance facilities, and other unique aviation-related products such as airships, hot air balloons, and helicopters.
A substantial portion of Rich’s career has involved the handling of complex asbestos coverage matters. Rich has negotiated numerous Coverage-In-Place Agreements as well as Commutations, Structured-Buybacks, and Schemes of Arrangement. Rich was instrumental in the creation of an innovative Protocol and Database which assists assureds and insurers with exposure-related claims to better defend, manage, allocate and fund such matters.
Rich has now stepped down as Equity Partner and has earned the title of Partner Emeritus. He is still primarily involved with the defense and supervision of a large volume of aviation-related exposure claims on behalf of a variety of assureds and continues to handle a number of complex asbestos and health hazard coverage matters.
As Partner Emeritus, Rich focuses his time on Asbestos and Health Hazard matters, as well as Aviation Asbestos and Product matters. He is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York, the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the United States Supreme Court.
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- Manhattan Collegem B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1977
- Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1980
- New York, 1981
- U.S. District Court – Eastern District of New York, 1981
- U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York, 1981
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2007