Richard O. Faulk concentrates his practice in complex toxic tort and environmental litigation, including class actions and other mass tort cases involving multiple plaintiffs and defendants.
Mr. Faulk has defended claims for a variety of injuries and illnesses allegedly caused by exposures to asbestos, various solvents, coal tar pitch, gasoline additives, lead paint and pigments, and other toxic substances. Mr. Faulk is also experienced in environmental litigation, including groundwater contamination cases, cost recovery and contribution actions under CERCLA and state environmental laws, and "neighborhood" exposure cases alleging residential toxic exposures, property value diminution, remediation of alleged pollution released by manufacturing facilities, and abatement of environmental contaminants in residences.
Mr. Faulk is a board-certified specialist in appellate practice. He has briefed and argued cases before numerous federal and state appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He briefed and presented oral arguments regarding CERCLA’s contribution and cost recovery provisions before the en banc Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Aviall Services, Inc. v. Cooper Industries, 312 F.3d 677 (5th Cir. 2002), rev’d and remanded, Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services, Inc., 543 U.S. 157 (2004).
Mr. Faulk has published more than forty scholarly articles in his areas of practice, a number of which reflect intensive research in legal and scientific issues involving asbestos, global climate change, and public nuisance litigation. He has written and spoken extensively regarding the need for reforms in asbestos litigation and has testified in legislative hearings regarding those concerns. He has also been active in reform efforts regarding public nuisance, climate change, and lead paint liability. In 2005, Mr. Faulk addressed the National Academy of Sciences regarding the reliability of admissibility of scientific evidence in the courts.
Mr. Faulk’s work on issues relating to climate change includes the unique honor of attending and serving as a certified journalist for the United Nations Climate Change Conferences, most notably at the pivotal Copenhagen meetings. He served as counsel for amicus curiae in all of the major climate change tort actions that were filed in the Second, Fifth, and Ninth Circuits and in the United States Supreme Court. He has authored important scholarly papers and has lectured and participated in a number of mock Supreme Court arguments regarding climate change liability. He has also chaired and spoken at conferences of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Legal Foundation, and at various professional development conferences for lawyers, engineers, and businessmen.
Mr. Faulk is Senior Director of the Initiative for Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment for the Law and Economics Center at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. He is a regular lecturer at judicial education symposia and serves on the Board of Overseers for the Searle Civil Justice Institute.
Since 2004, Mr. Faulk has been listed annually in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business and as a “Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law”. He is recognized in Super Lawyers for 2013 has he has been each year since 2009, and by Best Lawyers each year since 2008. In 2012, 2009, and 2003, in ceremonies at the Library of Congress, Mr. Faulk received the Distiinguished Legal Writing Award presented by The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement.
Mr. Faulk is recognized as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer™ by American Lawyer Media & Martindale-Hubbell™.
ASSOCIATIONS & AFFILIATIONS
Advisory Board, The Class Action Litigation Report, Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)
Advisory Board, The Expert Evidence Report, Bureau of National Affairs (BNA)
American Law Institute
International Association of Defense Counsel
Schott Glas v. Adame, 178 S.W.3d 307 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2005, pet. denied) — Represented German manufacturer in class action litigation filed by Persian Gulf War veterans. Secured dismissal of claims and affirmance of dismissal order on appeal.
Ahumada v. The Dow Chemical Company, 992 S.W.2d 555 (Tex. App. [14th Dist.] 1999, pet. denied) — Affirming summary judgment for U.S. parent company against mass tort claims of Colombian fishermen on basis of affirmative defenses under Colombian law (served as lead counsel in trial and appellate courts).
In re Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 103 F.3d 1016 (5th Cir.1997)
Writ of mandamus vacating unfairly constructed mass tort trial plan.
State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Assn., et al, 951 A.2d 428 (R.I. 2008) — Represented amicus curiae The Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness and The Property and Casualty Insurance Association of America on issue of expansion of public nuisance liability. Potential $2.5 billion liability reversed and rendered with articles authored by Faulk cited multiple times in the Court’s decision.
Aviall Services, Inc. v. Cooper Industries, 312 F.3d 677 (5th Cir. 2002), rev’d and remanded, Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services, Inc., 543 U.S. 157, 125 S.Ct. 577, 160 L.Ed.2d 548 (2004)
Secured en banc 5th Circuit decision regarding federal jurisdiction over CERCLA cost recovery actions following cleanup pursuant to state agency directives, later reversed and remanded by Supreme Court to permit pursuit of other federal statutory claims. (served as lead counsel in all trial and appellate courts, including oral argument in the United States Supreme Court).