Rick is a Director in charge of the Firm’s San Antonio, Texas office and is a Past Chair of the Construction Law Section of the Texas State Bar. He holds Martindale Hubble’s highest peer review rating of “Preeminent AV” and Martindale Hubble’s designation as a Top Rated Lawyer in Construction. Rick was selected by his peers as a Texas Super Lawyer for 2013 and chosen for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and Texas Best Lawyer® in the specialty of Construction Law each year since 2010. Under his leadership, the San Antonio office of Coats Rose has been ranked by U. S. News & World Report as a top Tier I law firm for Construction Law for 2013.
Rick serves as an Arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Arbitration Panel of Neutrals and is a member of the Association of Attorney Mediators. He also teaches Construction Law as Senior Lecturer/Adjunct Professor for the Construction Management Degree Program at The University of Texas at San Antonio, College of Architecture. Rick represents Coats Rose as a member on the University of Texas at San Antonio Construction Industry Advisory Council. Prior to joining the Firm, he served as Assistant General Counsel to a large privately owned construction firm.
Rick is licensed to practice in all Texas State Courts and in the Western Federal District Court, the Fifth and Eleventh Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He serves as a Special Advisor to the Editorial Board of the South Texas College of Law Construction Law Journal. Rick is certified by Associated General Contractors of America as a BIM Instructor for AGC’s Unit 3: BIM Contract Negotiation & Risk Allocation.
Rick is a frequent speaker on construction law issues, with significant experience in the development of strategies for the formation of business entities, the drafting and negotiating of all types of commercial contracts, including engineering, procurement and construction contracts for major industrial projects, industrial maintenance contracts, commercial construction contracts, and U. S. Government projects (for which he was required to hold a Top Secret security clearance).
Rick also has extensive experience in developing strategies for and managing complex construction litigation matters, as well as commercial, labor and employment law disputes. Through his work with the State Bar Construction Law Section, Rick has established relationships with numerous, highly competent construction litigators and expert witnesses across the country.
- Walking the High Wire While Juggling: Strategies to Manage Litigation Costs and Meet Client Expectations (presented to the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, April 2010)
- Emerging (and some Not-so-New) Dispute Resolution Techniques (presented to Construction Owners Association of America, February 2010)
- Professional Liability Risk for the Contractor – Does Assisting with Design Cross the Line? (San Antonio ConstructionNews, December 2009)
- Indemnity Clauses – Why so much Fuss? (San Antonio ConstructionNews, November 2009)
- My Immersion into DRB World (Presented to 13th Annual Meeting and Conference Dispute Resolution Board Foundation, Houston, Texas, October, 2009)
- Consequential Damages – Waiving Them May be of No Consequence (San Antonio ConstructionNews, October 2009)
- Joint Venturing Issues for GC’s and A/E’s (Presented to the 17th Annual Associated General Contractors /American Institute of Architects Building Communities Conference, South Padre, Texas, September 2009)
- ConsensusDocs – An Overview (Presented to the International Facilities Management Association, San Antonio Chapter – May 2009)
- Termination of a Construction Contractor (Presented at the “How to Keep Construction Projects From Going Bad – And What to Do When They Do” Lorman Seminar, San Antonio, Texas, January 2009)
- Associated General Contractors /American Institute of Architects Contract Series: Comparison of ConsensusDocs and AIA Forms on Key Issues (Topics: (1) General Overview and Dispute Resolution Practices and Processes; (2) Traditional Roles & Responsibilities: Owner/Architect/Contractor/Subs; (3) Liability Risk Transfer: Consequential & Liquidated Damages, Limitations of Liability, Indemnity and Insurance; (4) Delays, Changes & Change Management; and (5) Default, Termination & Suspension (Presented to the Associated General Contractors, San Antonio Chapter, August – December 2008)
- Following the Money: Managing The Risk Of Owner Non-Payment Under The New Texas Statutory Restrictions On Contingent Payment Clauses (Presented to the 21st Annual Construction Law Conference, San Antonio, Texas, 2008)
- ConsensusDocs – There’s a New Kid in Town (Associated General Contractors, San Antonio ChapterNewsletter 2008)
- ConsensusDocs: Good for Owners? (Presented to the Construction Owners Association of America, Texas Chapter, September 2008)
- Environmental Liability in Construction Contracts (Presented to Houston Bar Association, Construction Law Section, November 2007)
- The Basics of Contracts for Financial Managers (Presented to Construction Financial Management Association, November 2007)
Health Facility — Represented a government owner in the resolution of a major scope dispute for the delivery of professional services for the procurement a major health care facility. By using a dispute review board process and developing expert testimony to provide an in-depth explanation of the standard of care in the industry, Rick helped the public owner quickly reach a settlement that enabled the project to get back on track without ever having to mediate, file suit or engage in costly discovery.
Contractor vs. Subcontractor — Represented a general contractor whose subcontractor installed a defective light pole that collapsed across the owner’s building. The clear cause: a manufacturing defect, not installation. The manufacturer went into bankruptcy. The owner’s property insurer still sued the general contractor (the client) and subcontractor, alleging they were “sellers of a defective product” and strictly liable under Texas law. Rick got the subcontractor’s insurer to assume the cost of defense for the client, and he persuaded all parties to agree to non-suit of the case to allow early mediation to resolve all claims. Rick then established the general contractor, as construction manager for the project, could not be a seller, and was not liable as a matter of law. The general contractor client successfully avoided all liability and cost of defense.
Mechanical Contractor — Represented a large mechanical contractor in recovering most of its contract balance for completed work on a remodeling project for a major internet servicing and data center facility, including a retrofit of the facility’s air conditioning system. The private owner claimed the system, as designed by a third party, failed to operate properly. In fact, the owner had obstructed progress of the work and expanding the scope and schedule far beyond the work originally required. After filing suit on behalf of the contractor, arranging key interview of a key former employee of the owner, and developing a multi-million dollar claim against the owner to demonstrate the bulk of the claimed defects were largely extra work, a settlement was finalized resulting in the client recovering more than 90% of its contract balance, all without taking a single deposition or even having to go to mediation.