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

Publication

Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

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News

How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

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News

Daily Journal Names Jeff Fisher Among Top IP Lawyers in California

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Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

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Publication

Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

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Publication

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

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Event

Non-Profits, #MeToo and Talent Management in 2019

Barbara Murphy, Chandra Andrade and Rebecca Stephens, speakers, Non-Profits, #MeToo and Talent Management in 2019

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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

The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Named Among the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area 2019

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