- Meet Richard
Richard’s practice involves class action litigation involving a variety of matters, including consumer protection, antitrust, and claims against state and local government entities.
In 2017, Richard obtained a recovery of approximately $5 million in favor of a class of truck drivers who had been overcharged for fuel purchases, in a class action that he handled at the trial court level and argued on appeal. Celadon Trucking Services, Inc. v. Charles Wilmoth and Kent Vassey, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, 70 N.E.3d 833 (Ind.Ct. App.). That same year, he negotiated a class action settlement which provided for $60 million in refunds and credits to Indiana motorists who had been overcharged for license and registration fees by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, after a judgment was obtained in favor of the class at trial. In 2017, Richard also obtained a nationwide recovery of excessive fees that had been overcharged to beneficiaries of a trust headquartered in Indiana. In 2016, Richard obtained a $5.7 million recovery in a class action against an insurance company for breaching a refund provision in 6,847 automobile insurance policies, which resulted in cash payments averaging over $550 to the policyholders.
In 2014, he played an instrumental role in pursuing a class action on behalf of Indiana families who had been denied state-owed subsidies for their adoption of special needs children from the state’s foster care system, which was resolved through a cash settlement of more than $15 million. In 2013, he negotiated a class action settlement that provided for a refund of $30 million to Indiana motorists who had been overcharged for driver’s licenses. During this time period, he also obtained class action recoveries for borrowers who had been victimized by predatory lenders in violation of Indiana’s payday loan statutes, as well as for elderly Hoosiers who were sold improper estate plans by a trust-mill. In 2010, Richard negotiated a 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 in Indiana whose prepayments for burial services and merchandise had been looted from cemetery trusts. That year, he was also involved in a $60 million recovery for Indiana purchasers of ready-mixed concrete in an antitrust action that was resolved after years of litigation.
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 2005, he obtained 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. Earlier in his career, he played an active role in the historic class action litigation bringing Holocaust-era claims 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.
- Practice Areas
- Class Action, Chair
- Appellate Law
- Education and Awards
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
AWARDS AND HONORSIndiana Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters 2005-2019, Top 50 List 2008-2009, 2016-2018Leadership in Law Distinguished Barrister, Indiana Lawyer Newspaper, 2014Distinguished Fellow, Indianapolis Bar Foundation, 2013Indiana Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Plaintiffs– 2013-2015, Class Action, Securities, Consumer ProtectionBest Lawyers, Woodward/White Inc., — Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action, Plaintiff 2015- 2018
- Professional Memberships
PROFESSIONAL & BAR ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIPS
Indiana State Bar Association
Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
Indianapolis Bar Association
Richard is a regular presenter on class action litigation topics at continuing legal education seminars, and co-authors the Indiana section of the American Bar Association’s Annual Survey Class Action Law.
JURISDICTIONS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 1985
United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, 1985
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 1987
United States Supreme Court, 1988
- Community Involvement and Presentations
- Jewish Welfare of Greater Indianapolis, Board of Directors
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Indianapolis Chapter Board of Directors
- Indianapolis Bar Association “Advanced Business Litigation Roundtable” panelist, September 12, 2018