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 (2011-2019)
  • Best Lawyers in America in the area of Construction Litigation (2013-2020)
  • 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

Practices to Protect Trade Secrets in Failed Acquisitions and Customer Relationships

Published on  ACCDocket.com . By Walt Norfleet, Smiths Group plc and Eugene Y. Mar, Farella Braun + Martel LLP In part one of this three-part series on best practices for protecting trade secrets and guarding...

Read More
Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

Read More
Publication

California’s New Ban on Mandatory Employment Arbitration: How We Got Here and What This Means

All employers should be aware that their use of mandatory employment arbitration agreements is prohibited in California effective January 1, 2020 under recently signed Assembly Bill No. 51 (AB 51). Under current California law...

Read More
News

Chris Locke Joins Marin County Bar Association Board of Directors

Read More
News

Farella Assists Patagonia With Challenge to Federal Agencies’ Weakening of ESA Protections

Read More
Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

Read More
Publication

Downtown Oakland Slated for Increased Development

The City of Oakland spent the last four years developing the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan to address growth and revitalization of the downtown area over the next 20 years and to ensure that development...

Read More
Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

Read More
Publication

Newly Adopted California Housing Laws - Senate Bill 330 Housing Crisis Act

Ahead of the January 1, 2020 effective date for several housing-related bills recently signed into law by the Governor, we will explain upcoming changes in housing law through a series of updates. Our first...

Read More