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Rick Van Duzer to Receive Keta Taylor Colby Award at MLK Luncheon

January 9, 2004 Accolades

Annual award to be presented by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights at 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon on January 28, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 12, 2004):  Richard A. “Rick” Van Duzer, a partner with Farella Braun + Martel LLP, has been selected to be the recipient of the Keta Taylor Colby Award at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon on January 28 at noon at the San Francisco Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The award honors an attorney who provides outstanding representation to the poor and under-represented through his/her involvement in the Legal Services Project, also known as the Tuesday Night Clinic.

Mr. Van Duzer has been the Tuesday Night Clinic Coordinator for nearly 15 years and has handled either directly or supervised more than 50 cases over the years.

“It is always a great honor to be recognized by one’s peers and even more so when the recognition is bestowed by an organization such as the Lawyers’Committee for Civil Rights,” said William J. Schlinkert, chair, Farella Braun + Martel.  “Rick has not only been a tireless advocate for the Legal Services Project, he has provided hands-on representation at the clinic to assure those who cannot afford legal assistance the highest quality counsel. We are proud of Rick’s work and his representation of the firm in providing access for indigent clients to the legal system.”

Founded in 1968 by senior partners from San Francisco law firms following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the mission of the Lawyers Committee is to provide quality legal representation to all people, with particular emphasis on the African American community.  In 2002, (the most recent year for which figures are available), the Committee contributed over 31,000 hours of free legal assistance – services valued at more than $7.1 million – to people of color, poor people, immigrants and refugees. 

Mr. Van Duzer joined Farella Braun + Martel in 1988.  He has a complex civil litigation practice, with an emphasis on the construction, real estate and wine industries.  He is a past member of the firm’s Executive Committee and head of the firm’s litigation practice in its St. Helena office.

In the construction field, Mr. Van Duzer has represented contractors, owners (both public and private), subcontractors, and design professionals in connection with a number of large construction claim and complex construction defects disputes arising out of a variety of projects, including underground subway stations, entertainment centers, dams, cogeneration power plants, and mixed-use developments.

In the real estate field, Mr. Van Duzer has represented parties in a variety of matters, including residential sales disputes, real estate partition actions, commercial landlord/tenant disputes, easement and boundary claims, alleged CC&R violations, and local fee assessment protests. 

As head of the firm’s litigation practice in St. Helena, Mr. Van Duzer has represented a number of wineries (among them Robert Mondavi Winery, Franciscan Vineyards, R.H. Phillips, Chateau Montelena and Fetzer Vineyards), grape growers, nurseries and other wine industry businesses in a variety of matters, including grape contract disputes, defective rootstock claims, negligent wine processing claims, trademark infringement actions, and ABC/BATF negotiations and litigation. 

Mr. Van Duzer has written and lectured extensively before the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, the Building Futures Council, the Western Council of Construction Consumers and the Construction Industry Superconference.       

Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, the high profile cases of its complex commercial litigation practice and its prestigious client base.  With 120 attorneys in the firm’s San Francisco office, the firm serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses including VISA International, VISA U.S.A. Inc., Dolby Laboratories Inc., The Robert Mondavi Corporation, McKesson HBOC, Inc., the University of California, Round Table Pizza, Universal Studios, Silicon Valley Bank, Verizon Wireless and Dainippon Screen Manufacturing Company Limited. 

Press Contact:
Phyllis Gillis, 415 954-4917

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