Biography

Rick Van Duzer is chair of Farella’s Construction Practice Group and maintains a multifaceted civil trial practice, with an emphasis on the construction, real estate, and wine industries.

Over the past 30 years, Rick has represented wineries, grape growers, vineyard nurseries, and many other wine industry businesses in a variety of matters, including grape contract disputes, defective cork and rootstock litigation, negligent wine processing claims, trademark infringement actions, and ABC/TTB trade practice negotiations and litigation, as well as partnership dissolution and real estate disputes. His practice is a general one, and encompasses the full spectrum of legal issues related to the wine industry.

In his construction practice, Rick has represented contractors, owners, subcontractors, and design professionals in connection with disputes over delay and cost overrun claims and construction defects arising out of a variety of projects, including commercial office buildings, hospitals, mixed-use developments, hotels and resorts, underground subway stations, rail systems, dams, and cogeneration power plants. Although every case is different because every project is different, Rick has a particular knack for understanding how projects are built, working with experts to marshal the facts and analyze important technical issues, and distilling every dispute, regardless of project size, to a handful of key bones of contention which will drive the outcome. Rick’s approach is to identify and focus on the key issues as early as possible, so as not to waste his clients’ time and money pursuing needless or irrelevant details.   

Outside of the Wine Country, Rick is experienced in counseling clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in a variety of real estate matters, including sales/purchase disputes, partnership disagreements and dissolutions, partition actions, commercial landlord/tenant claims and disputes, easement and boundary claims, CC&R enforcement actions, and entitlement protests.

Rick sees himself as a practical problem-solver and a “peddler” of good judgment. Although some cases need to be tried and Rick is very capable of trying them, he believes that if you reach the point of having to try a case, someone has in all likelihood failed along the way. Through the exercise of sound business judgment, common sense, and legal skill and acumen, Rick helps clients get what they need, even if it is not always exactly what they want.

Rick regularly speaks on construction and wine industry issues of interest. He is a past member of Farella’s Advisory Board. He is recognized by Northern California Super Lawyers (2011-2018), The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2019 Litigation – Construction) and in The Legal 500 United States (2016-2018) in the Construction practice area.

Distinctions

  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2011-2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2013-2019 Litigation – Construction)
  • Legal 500 United States 2016 in the Construction practice area

Memberships and Affiliations

  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry and Litigation Section
  • Building Futures Council
  • Western Council of Construction Consumers

Firm Highlights

Event

Bloomberg Law In-House Forum West: The Trigger: Internal Investigation Trends

Jessica Nall will speak at the Bloomberg Law In-House Forum West program, "The Trigger: Internal Investigation Trends." For companies that are rapidly evolving, becoming more digital and global, staying aware of developments that may...

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Publication

California's Bold Step Forward Into the Contentious World of Wetlands Regulation

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News

Aviva Gilbert Selected as 2019 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinder

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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Publication

Cannabis Companies and the California Consumer Privacy Act

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Event

2019 Forum for State Appellate Court Judges: Aggregate Litigation in State Courts - Preserving Vital Mechanisms

At the Pound Civil Justice Institute's 2019 Forum for State Appellate Court Judges, Jim Bruen will discuss recent impediments to aggregate litigation implemented on the federal level, emerging trends in aggregate litigation in the United States,...

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News

For Jerry Braun, a Career of Addiction in Law

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Publication

“That Particular Part” – Yet More

Massachusetts Appeals Court Gets It Right – Mostly Hot on the heels of the Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in MTI, Inc. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau , __ F.3d __,...

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Former City of Napa Planner Rick Tooker Joins Farella Braun + Martel

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Publication

Damages for Permit Revocation Constitute Covered “Loss of Use”

Insurers often claim “economic damages” are not covered under a standard commercial general liability (CGL) policy.  The Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Thee Sombrero, Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 28 Cal. App....

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