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

Tax Relief in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

In order to combat the adverse economic effects in which many individuals and businesses are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the federal government and the State of California will provide tax...

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Event

Berkeley Boosts Shorts: Financial Crises and Insurance

In light of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on work and financial markets, Berkeley Law will be hosting short, live daily video interviews with leading voices from law and business. Farella's Tyler Gerking...

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Event

Advising Businesses and Practicing Law During COVID-19

Rebecca Stephens is speaking on employment law issues on the Barristers Club of The Bar Association of San Francisco live webinar, "Advising Businesses and Practicing Law During COVID-19." Details: A comprehensive, one-stop shop CLE on the...

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Publication

Trademark Office Deadlines and Coronavirus-Related Delays

With all of the business interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many worldwide trademark offices have taken steps to recognize the issues caused by the crisis. The offices in which applicants from the U.S...

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Event

7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop

Brian Donnelly is presenting the case study session, "Managing Partner Performance" at Fairfax Associates' 7th Annual Partner Compensation One-Day Workshop. Click here for more information.

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News

Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line

Mary McCutcheon was quote in the Claims Journal article,"Insurers Brace for Coronavirus Hit to ‘Event Driven’ D&O Line." Link to read the full article .

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News

Daily Journal Names Farella Lawyers Among Top IP Lawyers in California

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that partners Jeffrey M. Fisher and James L. Day were named to the 2020 list of “Top Intellectual Property Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal...

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News

Farella COVID-19 Update: A Message From the Managing Partner

To our clients, alumni and friends, During these unsettling times, Farella Braun + Martel is focused on protecting the health and safety of our firm members, clients, and communities and doing our part to...

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Publication

Impacts of Recent PTAB Precedential Opinions Addressing Its Discretion to Reject Petitions for Review of Issued Patents

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) recently designated two more opinions as “precedential” dealing with its discretion to reject petitions for inter partes review (IPR) or similar post-grant reviews. Under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d...

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Publication

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Insights and Resources

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing disruption throughout the US that we have not seen in generations. Governmental entities, academia, and the private sector are working diligently to contain COVID-19 while it...

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