Richard E. ShevitzChair, Class Action Practice Group
Richards practice involves class action claims for securities fraud, healthcare and consumer protection matters.
In 2006, Richard served as trial counsel in a case against outside professionals for an insolvent health benefits trust that resulted in a jury verdict of $17.9 million on behalf of 8200 Hoosiers who were left with unpaid claims for health care treatment. In 2008, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the verdict in all respects, and the matter was settled with the defendants' insurer later that year for $16.5 million which, when combined with earlier settlements, produced a recovery for the victims of almost 90 cents on the dollar. In 2007, he brought a class action on behalf of purchasers of prepaid cemetery arrangements seeking to recover millions of dollars of missing trust funds that had been paid in advance for burial goods and services. The matter was settled in 2009 through the establishment of an escrow fund and an agreement with a former owner of the cemetery to provide the burial goods purchased by the class members. In 2010, Richard negotiated a partial class action settlement that provided for over $10 million to be paid into cemetery trust funds for the benefit of thousands of pre-need cemetery customers whose prepayments for burial services and merchandise had been looted from cemetery trusts. The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by a non-settling defendant to object to that settlement in 2011. In 2005, he negotiated a class action settlement that provided for payments to hundreds of residents of Anderson, Indiana who were forced to evacuate their homes in response to an explosion at a local magnesium processing plant. The prior year, Richard negotiated a class action settlement valued at over $40 million which provided for the remediation of moisture and mold problems in thousands of homes in central Indiana which had been improperly constructed by a national builder.
He played an active role in the historic class action litigation against Swiss banks, which was resolved for $1.25 billion, as well as the prosecution of Holocaust-related claims against leading German industrial enterprises, which were resolved through a $5 billion fund.
Prior to joining Cohen & Malad, LLP, Richard served as Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, where he represented the Indiana Securities Division, the Indiana Department of Insurance, and other government agencies both at trial and on appeal, and presented oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals.
From 1987 to 1990, Richard served as Assistant Director of the Legal Affairs Department of the Anti-Defamation League, where he litigated First Amendment cases and civil rights actions. In 1988, he represented one of the plaintiffs before the U.S. Supreme Court in American Civil Liberties Union et al v. County of Allegheny, 492 U.S. 573 (1989). In 1990, he served as co-counsel with Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center in bringing a wrongful death action against white supremacists who murdered an Ethiopian immigrant in Portland, Oregon, that resulted in a $12 million jury verdict.
Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes. Case results vary dramatically depending on specific facts and circumstances.
J.D., Ohio State University College of Law, 1985
Editor, Ohio State University Journal on Alternative Dispute Resolution
B.A. with Honors, Indiana University, 1982
Jurisdictions Admitted to PracticeIndiana, 1985
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 1988
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 1988
United Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1987
United States Supreme Court, 1988
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
Indiana State Bar Association
Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
Indianapolis Bar Association
- Jewish Welfare Federation of Greater Indianapolis
Board of Directors
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – Indianapolis Chapter
Board of Directors