For three decades, Richard has been driven by a finely honed skill set, empathy, and the tenacity to achieve resolution. With his dedication to the legal field and commitment to ethical standards, it is no surprise that he has quickly become a highly sought-after mediator.
Richard specializes in business, employment, insurance, and all types of tort cases, with settlements ranging from five to eight figures. He was recognized as a Super Lawyer for ADR in Southern California in his third year as a mediator and has been honored as such every year since. As President of both the San Diego County Bar Association and the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, he further demonstrated his pragmatic leadership style, creativity, and integrity.
Throughout his career, Richard has garnered the experience, temperament, and wisdom to resolve disputes professionally and expeditiously. An attorney described Richard’s approach to mediation stating, "He was fully prepared, understood the complexities of the case and the client’s needs, and focused on resolving the matter to the satisfaction of both sides.”
- All Types of Personal Injury including Mass Tort/Wrongful Death
- Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith
- Professional Negligence
- Real Property
Richard enjoys playing golf, spending time with his family, and going out for sushi.
- Full-time Mediator, Judicate West (2016-Present)
- The Huver Law Firm (2009-2018)
- Partner, Levine, Steinberg, Miller & Huver (1998-2009)
- Associate, Levine, Steinberg & Miller (1994-1998)
- Law Clerk & Associate, Law Offices of Ned Good (1982-1994)
- J.D., Southwestern University School of Law (1987)
- B.B.A., University of San Diego (1982)
- Pepperdine Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case (2015)
- National Conflict Resolution Center, Mediation Skills Training (2015)
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego; President (2006); Board of Directors (1998-2009)
- San Diego County Bar Association; President (2015); Board of Directors (2012-2016)
- Louis M. Welsh Inn of Court; Master (2007-2014); Senior Master (2015-Present); Executive Committee (2019-Present)
- Lawyers Club of San Diego; Fund For Justice Committee (since 2009); Co-Chair Mediation Task Force
- California Women Lawyers, Member (since 2019)
- Super Lawyers, Alternative Dispute Resolution, San Diego (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
- An Insider's View: Effective Mediation Strategies (2019)
- Super Lawyers, Top 50 Lawyers, San Diego (2018)
- Why You Need The Power Of The Pause (2018)
- Super Lawyers, Personal Injury, San Diego (2012-2017)
- The Daily Transcript, Top 10 San Diego Personal Injury Attorney (2011)
- The Daily Transcript, Top 10 San Diego Insurance Attorney (2009)
- San Diego Magazine, Top San Diego Personal Injury Attorney (2010-2016)
- Top San Diego Personal Injury Attorney, Our City San Diego (2010 – 2012)
- Top San Diego Personal Injury Attorney, San Diego Metro (2011, 2012)
- Outstanding Advocacy Award, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (2011)
- Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (2000)
- Martindale-Hubbell, Highest Rating for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards
- Avvo, Super Rated Attorney, Highest Rating Possible, 10.0
- Insurance bad faith/breach of contract against an insurance company for denying the damages claim of a greenhouse/nursery business, as well as a negligence claim against the broker/agent for misrepresentation regarding the scope of coverage. Global settlement reached on the day of mediation.
- Alleged default on purchase agreement for business, complicated by multiple stock transfers, lien agreements and personal guarantees using real estate. Suit brought by former owners of the once successful business enterprise.
- Emotionally charged dispute between former friends who joined together to form a business alleged by one partner to be successful and the other partner to be failing.
- Breach of purchase agreement alleged by major cellphone manufacturer against retail supplier with cross-complaint for allegedly providing defective products. 7-figure settlement negotiated after significant follow up.
- Alleged breach of contract and contract termination between company and vendor, with confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions that consumed the challenging mediation process.
- Complaint for breach of contract of joint business venture with cross-complaint for negligent workmanship. Mediation resulted in settlement of both claims.
- Complicated 7-figure business dissolution proceeding with claims and cross-claims for alleged mismanagement, breach of fiduciary duties, and fraud with default judgments, arbitration judgments, creditors' liens, tax liens among the issues at play. Complete resolution after 13 -hour mediation session.
- Allegations surrounding delivery and installation of a manufactured home, with claims including damage during delivery, improper grading, failure to protect from elements, and delayed completion of improvements. Plaintiff sought rescission of the contract or significant damages. Resolution required creative outside-the-box ideas.
- Parties to commercial lease involving restaurant renovation project met early to resolve disputes and disagreements concerning numerous aspects of the lease and operational agreements that could have exploded into costly litigation.
- Friends went into multiple business arrangements, corporations, and LLCs, centered on purchasing and managing rental properties. A significant breakdown in trust severely damaged their personal and business relationships, requiring managing both the broken friendship and the termination of their business relationships. Case resolved during the first mediation session.
- Alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, unjust enrichment and breach of fiduciary duty by one partner against another involved in multiple business ventures.
- Highly contentious dissolution between longtime business partners with allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duties.
- Complicated fraud; breach of contract and defamation case arising out of federal grant money administered by non-profit, with coverage issues and strong emotions.
- Challenging employment case with alleged disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliatory termination, and emotions running high. A 12-hour mediation resulted in complete settlement of all claims.
- Mediated a highly emotional and extremely contentious case involving a husband and wife that worked for the same company against their employer. The plaintiff (wife) claimed pregnancy discrimination, harassment based on gender, retaliation, and defamation, and the plaintiff (husband) alleged defamation and disclosure of private facts. The defendants alleged defamation and theft of business. Through calmness and perseverance, a settlement was reached at the end of a 12-hour mediation day.
Whistleblower Wrongful Term
- Complex employment case involving whistleblower retaliation claims against City by former employee, contending she was fired after reporting illegal accounting activity in violation of Proposition 218. Plaintiff was terminated just six months before her City pension vested.
- Whistleblower/retaliation claims against government employer based on alleged complaints by a long-term employee who had challenged established practices and procedures in their department. Case settled on the eve of trial.
- Plaintiff worked at an industrial company for a year and a half before suffering an on-the-job injury. He alleged failure to accommodate, delay in submitting a worker's compensation claim, and ultimate wrongful termination. The employer claimed the layoff was a result of a drop in business as a result of Covid. After a full-day mediation, the parties were successful in reaching resolution.
- Five party insurance bad faith and broker negligence claims against insurer, multiple brokers/agents and an alleged independent adjustment company for losses sustained in fire.
- 6-figure settlement of first party breach of contract and bad faith claims handling for denial of homeowner’s claim for damages.
- First party claim of breach of contract and bad faith arising out of losses at condominium complex, as well as cross-complaint for alleged defective manufacturing and/or installation of fire sprinkler systems.
- First party insurance bad faith claim arising out of handling of insured’s Uninsured Motorist Claim.
- First party insurance bad faith claims combined with third-party claims for property damage allegedly occurring at residential home. Both claims resolved at mediation.
- First party insurance bad faith claim against homeowners insurance company, and broker/agent negligence claims arising out of loss to highly upgraded home. Issues included allegations against third party adjuster, extent of necessary repairs and significant content damage claims.
- A broker malpractice claim asserted by RCFE, alleging the liability policy provided failed to provide coverage required by California law, as requested by the insured and as the broker expert in RCFE facilities knew or should have known. Insured was sued and a nearly 7-figure judgment was entered against the facility. Mediation resulted in a settlement shortly before the case was to start trial.
Insurance Broker Agent Malpractice
- Mediated serious injury claim versus an uninsured restaurant employer while concurrently mediating broker malpractice claim alleging failure to reinstate workers' compensation insurance following the Covid pandemic.
Medical Mal Dental
- Mother and minor daughter alleging dental malpractice, including failure to properly administer sedation, and extensive and unnecessary extractions, resulting in emotional trauma to minor daughter necessitating hospitalization.
- The plaintiff was admitted to the ICU with arterial thrombosis in the right leg. Plaintiff alleged hospital, doctor, and nurse failed to properly monitor tPA infusion, resulting in a massive blood clot leading to above-the-knee amputation of the right leg. Follow-up led to a second mediation session, resulting in a global settlement.
- Wrongful death claim by surviving minor alleging mother died during rhinoplasty surgery because of excessive anesthesia without adequate advanced airway training for staff, failure to monitor, and failure to commence immediate CPR.
- Alleged failure to diagnose breast cancer that had metastasized, including failure to utilize proper detection studies based on the plaintiff’s unique physical characteristics, as well as failure to comply with statutory disclosure requirements.
- Combined med mal and elder abuse wrongful death claim brought by surviving daughter alleging multiple post-acute rehabilitation locations had severely neglected care for her months, resulting in the development of massive pressure sores, along with malnourishment, over medications, and over-billing.
- The plaintiff brought a claim alleging malpractice against the podiatrist for post-surgical splinting after bunion surgery, resulting in permanent nerve damage leading to foot drop.
Prof Malpractice Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical malpractice alleged against major pharmacy/pharmacist for dispensing incorrect dosage of high blood pressure mediation, resulting in loss of consciousness, post-traumatic panic attacks, anxiety disorder and hospitalization.
Breach Of Contract
- Foreign-based real property owners alleged a breach of contract arising from an extensive restaurant remodel project being completed as part of the long-term lease agreement. Contractor purchaser and owner had different expectations and understandings of what the project actually entailed. The case resolved after renewed trust was rebuilt during the in-person mediation, culminating in face-to-face meetings and handshakes at the conclusion of the case.
- Allegations of fraud against a real estate agent and brokerage under agency theories of liability involving property purchases in high six-figure range. Sales documents were forged and the agent fled the country with the money under criminal indictment. The case proceeded against the brokerage alleging it knew and approved of transactions the agent was running out of the broker’s office using the broker’s forms.
- The plaintiff purchased a flipped home and subsequently alleged a slew of defects allegedly either not disclosed and/or from serious misrepresentations on the work actually performed versus claimed to have been performed.
- The renter (parent and minor children) brought claims of breach of contract, fraud, and conversion against a cousin with complicated family dynamics, high emotions, and dramatically opposite explanations of what had happened and why. The case was successfully resolved during a single mediation session.
- Highly contentious and emotionally charged residential home ownership dispute between family members. Mediation between competing family member, some still living in the same home, also involved issues related to trustor/trustee relationships.
- Siblings battling over ownership rights to family home with financial and emotional relationship issues hanging over entire mediation.
- Partition action between couple who bought home together while engaged, but whose relationship subsequently ended after years of payments toward home by both parties.
Warranty of Habitability
- Habitability claims mixed with alleged carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty wall heater. The case involved a medical diagnosis of poisoning based on brain MRI findings, which were heavily disputed by the property owner.
- Warranty of habitability lawsuit centered around the claim of developmental and intellectual harm to a toddler from alleged exposure to lead-based paint chips in the rental unit.
- Renters alleged significant mold exposure and illness to themselves and young children. The case had significant scientific and causation issues and coverage exclusion challenges and was only settled because both personal and insurance defense counsel agreed to participate in the monetary negotiations.
Assault and Battery
- Plaintiff alleges mall security guards attack him sexually and verbally while on the property, hurling racial epithets, resulting in physical and emotional injuries. Plaintiff’s complaint against the security company under theories of vicarious liability settled on the day of mediation.
- Auto accident resulting in alleged traumatic brain injury, with significant cognitive, psychological and emotional deficits. Damages were hotly contested and after multiple sessions, case ultimately resolved shortly before trial.
- 7-figure settlement in premises liability case with involving falling merchandise with alleged Grade III concussion, significant brain damage resulting in cognitive and neurologic deficits
- A multi-party traumatic brain injury case involving a cyclist alleging certain defendants failed to identify and correct a dangerous condition, while others were negligent. Indemnity, tender, and allocation issues. A 7-figure settlement was reached on the day of mediation.
- Traumatic brain and orthopedic injuries in a bike accident allegedly caused by an improperly filled trench in the roadway. Liability and damages issues were heavily disputed, as well as insurance and tender issues between the landowner, general contractor, and subcontractor. Case globally resolved.
- The plaintiff was injured when a metal construction fence fell over, causing head and spinal issues necessitating surgery. Claims against multiple defendants, including city, contractor, and fence company, with express defense and indemnity claims.
- An unusual case involving a shotgun that was fired/discharged in a garage resulting in a claim by the gun owner against a colleague, who then cross-complained against the gun owner. Both claims settled.
- Plaintiff alleges that two students continuously harassed the plaintiff and the high school district failed to take any action. Although it was a highly emotional lawsuit, through listening to the parties and using the mediation process, the case was resolved to the satisfaction of all.
- Trip and fall outside restaurant resulting in significant orthopedic injury, with claims against business owner and governmental entity. Global resolution achieved after significant follow up.
- Challenging liability case involving slip and fall on dance floor during New Year’s Eve dance, resulting in concussion and fractured wrist. Case resolved after significant follow up.
- 4-vehicle accident involving 11 parties, 8 unrepresented by counsel at mediation, with policy limits demands against 2 primary defendants for various levels of claims, including brain damage/MTBI, differing severities of orthopedic injuries and emotional distress damages. Global resolution of all claims on behalf of all represented and unrepresented parties before expiration of statute of limitations.
- 4-vehicle accident with allegations of orthopedic and neurologic injuries. Mediation involved significant policy limits issues caused by the competing claims for recovery. Global resolution achieved in one session.
- 4-vehicle accident with 4 passengers in 1 vehicle, all with varying levels of orthopedic and neurologic injuries. Resolution of all claims achieved in single mediation.
- Major accident causing injuries leading to cervical and lumbar fusion surgeries. Case resolved with mediator’s proposal.
- 3 different accidents occurred with surgical recommendations after the first accident, and surgery was completed after the second accident. There were multiple defendants and UIM coverage issues. After 2 mediations and extensive follow up, a global settlement was achieved with all parties.
- Two separate trip and fall incidents occurring within weeks of each other, one vs. governmental entity, the second vs. apartment complex. Significant follow-up resulted in settlement during motions in limine.
- Combined governmental entity premises liability resulting in alleged serious injuries, followed shortly thereafter by auto accident with claims of exacerbation of prior injuries/residual conditions. Lengthy mediation session with follow up ultimately resolved both claims shortly before trial.
- 6-figure settlement of alleged slip and fall incident, followed 16 months later by auto collision, with each defendant blaming the other for the major injuries and resulting surgery. Both claims resolved on mediator’s proposal.
- Dangerous condition of public property alleged against 2 separate cities arising out of injuries sustained by bicyclist. Case resolved against both cities.
- A glass mug with hot coffee shatters, causing burns to the plaintiff. A lawsuit against the distributor, with a cross-complaint against the manufacturer, involves claims of defective manufacture and/or negligent failure to warn. Defendants claim the mug was never intended to hold hot liquids, consistent with language on marketing materials.
- Mediated a high-profile Civil Rights case that reached a multi-million dollar settlement, and averted a trial in federal court. The plaintiff asserted a wrongful death claim against the county and a sergeant for failing to have appropriate procedures in place to prevent her husband’s suicide in prison, including placing him in a safe cell. The defense claimed that they did not know that the decedent was suicidal. This was a complex, front-page news case, with a lot of evidence, competing experts, and huge potential damages.
- Wrongful death claim brought by the parents for the death of their son in his twenties who was riding a motorcycle at night without headlights on at a remote ranch. Defendant alleged no liability based on the decedent's autopsy findings and riding without lights on a dirt road. Plaintiff claims lack of adequate lighting on the premises, and on the forklift involved in the accident.