Richard L. Righi
Rick Righi is a founding member of the Righi Fitch Law Group. The firm provides a full range of transactional and litigation services to builders, developers, contractors, businesses, individuals and the insurance industry.
Rick has tried over 60 cases to verdict in Courts throughout the State of Arizona. His trials have involved major felonies including vehicular homicide (in his early experience as a prosecutor), significant injury cases, product liability, economic loss, breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, misrepresentation, destruction of real property, and construction defect. In over 90% of the civil cases Rick has tried, he has obtained verdicts and awards in amounts less than pre-trial offers made on behalf of his clients, entitling Rick to argue prevailing party status.
Rick is one of only a few Arizona lawyers to have successfully tried multiple construction defect cases. Notably, Rick obtained a defense verdict, attorney's fee and cost award on an $850,000.00 contract claim involving the catastrophic failure of Northland Pioneer College in Holbrook, Arizona. His next trial resulted in a defense verdict and cost award on behalf of a general contractor on a six figure claim alleging negligent re-direction of storm water in Sedona, Arizona. His next trial on behalf of a commercial general contractor resulted in a defense award and eventual Judgment against the Plaintiff on a 1.7 million dollar job-site injury claim in Phoenix.
Rick's next trial on behalf of a general contractor involved a $950,000.00 breach of contract, fraud and negligent misrepresentation claim. Rick secured a defense verdict on all intent based claims, and brought in the jury verdict for $20,000.00 less than a nineteen month old statutory offer made on behalf of his client. Because Rick beat his earlier offer, the Plaintiff walked away from the verdict; Rick's client paid nothing. Rick's latest jury trial (May, 2012) in Flagstaff involved the defense of a 4 million dollar construction defect claim on behalf of a commercial general contractor. Rick obtained a defense verdict after the plaintiff turned down a 1.3M offer. Later, the Court awarded Rick's client 1.3M in fees, costs and other sanctions. The Plaintiff eventually settled the case by paying Rick's client and the involved carriers several hundred thousand dollars.
Mr. Righi has also taken many significant cases to binding arbitration. Notably, Rick obtained a seven figure arbitration award in favor of D.R. Ward Construction against Weatherguard Roofing. In June, 2010, Rick successfully defended a national homebuilder against claims of soil movement and resulting architectural and structural damage in a case involving several hundred homes. One of the homes was randomly picked as a "test case" for binding arbitration. Rick brought in an arbitration award of approximately $18,000.00, a fraction of the claimant's $150,000.00 demand. The remainder of the case resolved favorably on the strength of the arbitration result.
Mr. Righi often represents the interests of clients at the request of national insurance carriers and understands how to effectively manage third-party litigation. He also has experience pursuing primary and additional insurance coverage for his clients, equitable contribution on behalf of insurance carriers, and litigating insurance bad faith issues that arise from complex litigation including defect and toxic tort litigation. Rick has pursued cases to Judgment, filed Amicus briefs on behalf of industry groups, and argued before the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Rick is a mediator and arbitrator. He serves as a Judge Pro Tempore of the Maricopa County Superior Court and has conducted mediations for the Arizona Supreme Court Disciplinary Committee.
Areas of Practice
- Personal Injury
- Insurance Litigation and Bad Faith
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction Law
- Construction Defect Litigation
- Premises Liability
- Product Liability
- Professional Malpractice
- Ohio, 1992
- Arizona, 1993
- U.S. District Court District of Arizona, 2001
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2001
- Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio
- J.D. - 1992
- Honors: Delta Theta Phi
- Honors: Moot Court
- Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
- B.S. - 1989
- Honors: Rugby Club
- Major: Business
- “The Argument for ADR”, CLM, published in the inaugural Litigation Management magazine
- Construction Defect Chapter in 2012 Arizona Tort Law Handbook, Co-author
- “Extending Warranties”, CLM, published in the Winter 2013 Litigation Management magazine
Honors and Awards
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
- A.M. Best’s Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys
- Southwest Super Lawyer, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of Arizona and Ohio, Member
- Arizona Association of Defense Counsel (AADC), Past President
- Maricopa County Bar Association, Construction Law Section, Former Board Member
- Arizona Superior Court - Attorney, Discipline Hearing Panelist, 2006 - Present
- Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Phoenix Chapter, President; Construction and ADR Subcommittees
- Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- Fellow with the Federation Foundation
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
- Judge Pro Tempore, Maricopa County Superior Court, 2005 - Present
- Fiesta Bowl Committee, Former Member and Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl/Phoenix Suns 3-on-3, Basketball Tournament
Past Employment Positions
- Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Prosecutor
- Broening, Oberg, Woods, Wilson & Cass, PC
- Turley, Swan, Childers, Righi & Torrens, PC