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Overview

Rick’s practice is focused on litigation involving product liability, mass torts and premises liability. Rick has served as trial counsel for companies in the petrochemical, agricultural, construction and automotive industries.

As a trial counsel in one of the first remote jury trials since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rick has first-hand trial experience selecting a jury and conducting witness examinations via Zoom. His thought leadership in this area led to an article in Law360 and CLE presentations providing advice on overcoming the challenges inherent in remote trials.

Rick is well-versed in defending clients against claims of mesothelioma and other malignancies, as well as handling matters of catastrophic death and catastrophic injury. As part of the firm’s Asbestos Litigation team, Rick is among the recognized innovators and award winners when handling complex tort claims with a business solutions approach.

In 2013, Mr. Norris completed the prestigious Trial Advocacy Program (TAP) through the Los Angeles Bar Association. In this program he served as a Volunteer Prosecutor with the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. During his time with the District Attorney's Office, Mr. Norris prosecuted two cases to verdict.


Industries

Services

Recognition

  • Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2014-2019
  • Daily Journal, 40 Under 40, 2019

Education

  • J.D., Southwestern Law School
    • magna cum laude
    • Southwestern Law Review
    • Dean’s List
    • Dean’s Merit Award and University Scholarship
  • B.A., University of California, San Diego
    • Political Science

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
Experience

Prior to joining Husch Blackwell, Rick was involved in the following significant litigation:

  • Trial counsel for contractor defendant in one of the first Zoom jury trials conducted anywhere in the nation and which involved the jurors and all counsel appearing remotely. Robert Fenstermacher v. 3M Company, et al. Alameda County Superior Court.
  • Served on California trial team for agricultural company in lawsuits where plaintiffs claimed their cancer was caused by exposure to herbicides.
  • Lead trial counsel for talc supplier to Johnson & Johnson in living mesothelioma matter. After multiple weeks of trial, secured complete dismissal of supplier defendant during plaintiffs' case-in-chief. Von Salzen v. Imerys Talc America, Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Lead trial counsel for contractor defendant in living mesothelioma matter where plaintiff claimed defendant installed and removed asbestos-containing refractory material in his presence while serving in the U.S. Navy. After two-week trial, verdict entered resulting in only a 1 percent finding of fault for defendant. Joseph and Kathryn Houpt v. A.K. Steel Corporation, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Trial counsel for contractor defendant in wrongful death mesothelioma matter where plaintiffs claimed defendant disturbed asbestos containing insulation in decedent's presence causing his mesothelioma. Judgment entered in defendant's favor after a six-week trial. Rose Marie Ganoe, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Trial counsel for premises owner in Petitpas v. Ford Motor Company, which was selected by the Daily Journal as one of the "Top Defense Verdicts of 2012."
  • Trial counsel for major petrochemical company in living mesothelioma matter where plaintiff claimed asbestos exposure at defendant's premises. Nonsuit motion granted in favor of defendant at the close of plaintiff's case. William Marvin Webster v. 3M Company, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court (affirmed on appeal).
  • Member of trial team for asbestos supplier in living mesothelioma matter. Defense verdict after two-week trial. Kalil v. ABB, Inc. et al., Los Angeles Superior Court.

Appeals

  • Petitpas v. Ford Motor Company (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 261. Published decision affirming verdict in favor of defendant premises owner.
  • Murat v. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc., Second Appellate District Case No. B247889
Outside the Office

Rick, his wife and their two children love to travel. A former member of his college golf team, Rick still plays. Rick also likes to escape to the mountains for fly fishing.

Community Leadership

Rick participates in his neighborhood council and coaches his children’s softball team.

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