Chair, Environmental Law and Litigation Practice
When environmental litigation and regulatory issues threaten to severely impact their businesses, clients turn to Rich Ricci for his ability to quickly synthesize and resolve those issues. As chair of the practice, he has been in the environmental law trenches almost as far back as the enactment of the federal Superfund law. His expansive practice encompasses Superfund, toxic tort and hazardous waste litigation; cleanup and cost-recovery actions; injunctive and penalty proceedings; and construction, insurance coverage and related commercial litigation issues. Rich has been lead counsel in many high-stakes environmental matters, and clients are quick to acknowledge that his commitment to them and concern for their business outcome is the gold standard in working with outside counsel.
Rich has a national reputation. He has successfully tried cases from New York to Illinois to Arkansas as well as in New Jersey. He also provides counseling and transactional support on corporate and real estate transactions with environmental components.
Rich is an active member of the Chemistry Council of New Jersey and frequently speaks at their events. He also serves as co-chair of the board of Kids Corp., a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving educational and health care opportunities for disadvantaged children in Newark.
· Acted as lead trial counsel to a real estate investment trust landlord in a trial that resulted in a determination that the client was entitled to complete contractual indemnification, including reimbursement of all attorneys' fees, from its tenant for claims of the State of New Jersey for the costs of investigating and remediating environmental contamination.
· Represented a major oil company in obtaining summary judgment compelling the purchaser of an oil refinery to comply with the terms of an asset purchase agreement.
· Acted as lead trial counsel for a specialty chemical manufacturer in an environmental cleanup cost-recovery case in Little Rock, Arkansas, which resulted in a no-cause verdict for the client.
· Served on an audit team appointed by a former governor of New Jersey to investigate the state's $500 million auto emissions testing contract in an effort to root out waste and mismanagement in state government.
· Served as lead counsel for a publicly traded real estate investment trust in a fraud/professional liability suit arising from the unlawful construction of a building in federally regulated wetlands.
· Acted as lead counsel on behalf of a large public university in the remediation of a DDT-contaminated former airstrip (including the bidding, contract negotiation and execution of a 20,000-ton soil removal action) and a subsequent cost-recovery action against the State of New Jersey, which resulted in a substantial recovery for the client.
· Acted as lead trial counsel in a Superfund cost-recovery case in East St. Louis, Illinois, which resulted in a substantial recovery for the client.
· Acted as lead trial and appellate counsel in a Superfund cost-recovery/municipal liability case in Central Islip, New York, that resulted in a no-cause verdict in favor of the client. The verdict was ultimately affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
· Serving as group counsel in the investigation and remediation of a number of federal and state lead waste disposal sites.
· Represented a large public university in the successful prosecution of multiple construction defect claims relating to the construction of an athletic facility.
· Published Opinions
· AMW Materials Testing, Inc., v. Town of Babylon, 584 F.3d 436 (2nd Cir. 2009)
· AMW Materials Testing v. Town of Babylon, 348 F. Supp. 2d 4 (E.D.N.Y. 2004)
· American Trucking Associations, Inc. v. Whitman, 136 F. Supp. 2d 343 (D.N.J. 2001), affirmed 437 F.3d 313 (3rd Cir. 2006)
· United States v. Vertac Chemical Corp., 966 F. Supp. 1491 (E.D. Ark. 1997)
· Rutgers, the State University v. Grad Partnership, 269 N.J. Super 142 (App. Div. 1993)
· Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2007-2012) - Noted in the area of environmental law as "a top choice for clients" and described as an "intensely pragmatic and knowledgeable regulatory attorney" with a "strong tactical streak with sound practical instincts."
· The Best Lawyers in America (2005-2013) - Recognized in the environmental law section.
· Super Lawyers (2005-2013) - Consistently acknowledged in the environmental/land use and construction litigation sections.
· Emergency Coastal Permitting Rules To Be Published, Opening 30-Day Public Comment Period
Environmental Law & Litigation, May 2, 2013
· No Class: Tougher Certification Standards in Environmental Mass-Tort Cases
New Jersey Law Journal, November 28, 2011
Richard Ricci, Adam Lavinthal
· NRD - The New Jersey Experiment
ABA Environmental Litigation and Toxic Torts Committee Newsletter, April 2007
Richard Ricci, Adam Lavinthal
· New Jersey Takes the Lead On Chemical Plant Security
New Jersey Law Journal, February 6, 2006
· Cooper Industries Inc. v. Aviall Services Inc.: Whither (Or Is It Wither) Superfund?
The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, April 2005
· Interpreting Recent NRD and Brownfield Amendments
Commerce Magazine, April 2005
· Ramifications of Recent NRD and Brownfield Amendments
New Jersey Law Journal, March 7, 2005
· Natural Resource Damage Claims Remain At The Forefront of New Jersey Environmental Law
Environmental Law Alert, April 2004
Richard Ricci, Lynda Bennett
· Winter of 2003-2004, Hot One For Superfund Developments
Environmental Law Alert, March 2004
Richard Ricci, Michael Caffrey
· Top Ten Reasons Why New Jersey Businesses Should Be Concerned About Natural Resource Damages
The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, April 2003
Michael Rodburg, Richard Ricci, Timothy L. Borkowski, Esq.
· Who's in Charge Here?
New Jersey Law Journal, February 25, 2002
· New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Re-adopts and Amends the Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act Rules
Environmental Law Alert, December 2001
Richard Ricci, Christopher D. Hopkins, Esq.
· You Too Could Be A "Responsible Corporate Officer"
Environmental Law Alert, July 2001
Michael Dore, Richard Ricci
· New Jersey To Require Tests Of Private Wells
Environmental Law Alert, June 2001
Richard Ricci, Michael Caffrey
· Supreme Court Breathes New Life Into Citizen Suits Under The Clean Water Act
Environmental Law Alert, March 2000
· Lowenstein Sandler is highlighted for successfully defending the town of Babylon, New York and the North Amityville, New York Volunteer Fire Company in a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In AMW Materials Testing, Inc. v. Town of Babylon, 584 F.3d 436 (2d Cir. 2009), the Court held that the CERCLA statutory scheme provides immunity to firefighters and emergency first responders from CERCLA liability arising from actions taken in response to emergencies relating to the release of hazardous substances, unless they act with gross negligence or intentional misconduct. The Lowenstein team consisted of Richard Ricci, Priya Masilamani and Alyson Powell., Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February 1, 2010
· Richard F. Ricci reacts to a recent Mercer County decision dismissing a claim by the State of New Jersey for natural resource damages arising from the contamination of groundwater., Bergen Record, October 2, 2007
· New Jersey State Bar Association
· American Bar Association
· Environmental Editorial Advisory Board, Law360