Richard T. ("Dick") Williams is a partner in the General Commercial Litigation Practice Group in the Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight, and a member of the firm's Antitrust, Class Action and Product Liability Teams. In several dozen federal and state trials, both jury and non-jury and in arbitrations, both domestic and international, Mr. Williams has represented foreign governments and a wide variety of domestic and international corporations.
Complex Litigation. Mr. Williams has been directing a multi-office team of Holland & Knight lawyers defending a large raw-materials supplier defendant in federal and state False Claims Act litigation involving thousands of transactions for more than 15 years with numerous states and municipalities as intervenor plaintiffs, and several hundred additional real parties in interest. He and his team have obtained dismissals with prejudice of a majority of the FCA claims against our client.
Mr. Williams led a team of Holland & Knight lawyers that obtained the 15th largest jury verdict in the United States in 2002, as well as the 32nd largest jury verdict in 2001 (rankings according to the National Law Journal). Mr. Williams and his team represented a Japanese real estate developer suing top tier Japanese and Korean construction companies for breach of contract and negligence in their work on a 240-unit, 12-story luxury condominium hotel and resort in Guam that partially collapsed, owing to defects, following a large earthquake in 1993. After an eight-month trial in a courtroom specially built by the parties to handle this matter, the largest trial in Guam's history, the jury unanimously awarded our clients compensatory damages of $73.4 million and, following a separate trial, punitive damages of an additional $73.4 million.
Class Actions. For 35 years, Mr. Williams has been involved in resisting class actions in cases both state and federal. Presently, he is defending a major manufacturer of consumer goods against multi-billion dollar claims by a putative nationwide-class asserting design and manufacturing defects. He has swiftly resolved several actions, involving cruise lines, writing instruments, and stereo speakers, each claiming deceptive practices under California's broad Unfair Practices Act, avoiding class certification in each. In the antitrust field, he has defended pharmaceuticals manufacturers against claims by classes of retailers and consumers, as well as defeating claims by ice cream store franchisees against their franchisor. On behalf of air carriers, he helped litigate and then negotiate settlement of the restitution of billions of dollars of overcharges by crude oil producers; he helped win judicial approval of the massive settlement and then administered approval of claims and distributions of funds to air carriers. He has represented air lines and other companies in resisting employment discrimination class actions. He has represented officers and directors of publicly-traded companies in the pharmaceuticals and adult education fields against investor class allegations of securities fraud.
Antitrust. Mr. Williams has represented oil refiners and gasoline retailers against civil and criminal antitrust claims of price-fixing, defended pharmaceuticals manufacturers against price fixing allegations, defended a large ice cream franchiser and a leading bicycle transmission manufacturer against tying actions, prosecuted and resisted attempted monopolization claims with respect to petroleum products pipelines, and patented bicycle components. He has represented companies accused of international, as well as domestic, anticompetitive activities. Mr. Williams has defended camera manufacturers against Robinson-Patman lawsuits and defended companies in a variety of industries against deceptive trade practice and unfair competition claims. He has counseled businesses on pricing and distribution practices so as to minimize and avoid litigation risks.
Product Liability. Mr. Williams effectively represented a major tire maker in overcoming claims of defects in several lines of its products, both in national and state class actions. As well, he has defeated class claims involving pricing of prescription pharmaceuticals and resolved class actions involving telephone test sets. Mr. Williams has also represented defendants in a variety of breach of warranty and negligence actions.
Construction Litigation. Apart from the Guam litigation noted above, Mr. Williams is presently representing the owners of overseas commercial buildings seeking insurance reimbursement for earthquake damage; he has represented commercial and residential building owners in several construction cases involving defects of design and construction, and breach of contract, warranty and negligence claims.
Commercial Litigation. From a two billion dollar breach of contract action involving crude oil production, to frustrated computer software development contracts, to misappropriation of trade secrets actions, Mr. Williams has handled many varieties of commercial litigation. He has represented landowners in eminent domain matters, and an international labor union in imposing a trusteeship upon one of its local unions. Mr. Williams has won judicial review of administrative agency decisions, both state and federal, involving energy rates, forest firefighting helicopter contracts, and the operation of correctional facilities by private corporations.
Tax Litigation. Mr. Williams has litigated sales tax and tax exemption issues involving California sales taxation, defeating class actions brought against a large pharmacy chain and, separately, against a quick-service restaurant chain. He has also litigated dormant commerce clause issues affecting state fees and taxes for an international tobacco company. In addition, he has handled audits of worker compensation premiums and state disability insurance premiums.