Rick’s practice focuses on financial services and commercial litigation, copyright and trademark litigation, and media law. Rick has more than 20 years of experience representing banks in consumer dispute litigation, including cases involving check fraud, employee embezzlement, wire and ACH fraud, debit card fraud, business email compromise, elder financial exploitation, and discrimination. Rick has also represented both large and small businesses in contract and warranty disputes, trucking companies in accident claims, newspapers in battles over public meetings and public records, and athletes seeking to protect and enforce their trademark rights.
Rick has served as Section Chair for both the Litigation Section and the Sports and Entertainment Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.
Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Rick worked in the Office of the State Attorney in Orlando, Florida; the Education Section of the North Carolina Department of Justice; The Detroit Free Press in Detroit, Michigan; and The Dispatch in Lexington, North Carolina.
A native of Lexington, North Carolina, Rick is a Morehead Scholar and an Eagle Scout.
- Obtained summary judgment for a banking client in a case involving a large dollar wire transfer received by the bank that was induced by business email compromise.
- Led a team investigating allegations of fraudulent sales practices and advised a banking client on remediation of affected customers and employment decisions for involved employees.
- Defended a major financial institution sued as drawee bank and as depository bank in a $100 + million claim brought by a city government in which an employee of the city embezzled millions by causing the city to issue hundreds of bogus property tax refund checks.
- Advised a court-appointed Receiver in a Ponzi scheme case on dealing with dishonored personal checks, cashier’s checks, teller’s checks, personal money orders, and bank money orders, as well as how to investigate and resolve claims that some distribution checks issued by the Receiver to victims were misappropriated.
- Advised a bank on terminating its relationship with a troublesome vendor and defended the bank in various lawsuits arising out of that relationship.
- Defended an industrial supplier in a warranty action involving products incorporated into vehicles sold to the U.S. military.
- Defended a real estate development company against construction defect claims.
- Defended an appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in a defamation action against an Internet service provider.
- Prosecuted a trademark infringement action on behalf of a specialty food business.
- Defended an alliance of hospitals and health care systems in a contract action relating to medical supplies.
- Obtained a directed verdict for a banking client in a case alleging that the bank improperly permitted plaintiff’s new business partner to deposit checks payable to a business into the account of a different company.
- Represented a North Carolina college and a member of its faculty in civil and criminal proceedings to identify a cyber stalker.
- Represented a golf cart manufacturer in breach of warranty claims.
- Defended a specialty foods manufacturer in a software dispute involving trade secrets.
- Defended a prominent restaurant franchisor in a contract dispute.
- Represented a NASCAR driver in trademark opposition proceedings before the USPTO.
- Advised a NASCAR team on driver contract rights and obligations.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a consumer product manufacturer in a lawsuit alleging breach of implied and express warranties, negligence, fraud and unfair trade practices.
- Assisted an industrial cleaning services company with a mechanic’s lien and recovery of amounts owed.
The University of North Carolina School of LawJD
with High Honors, Order of the Coif2002
The University of North Carolina at Chapel HillBA
with Highest Distinction; Phi Beta Kappa1999
Chair, Litigation Section, North Carolina Bar Association, 2020-2021
Chair, Sports and Entertainment Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association, 2012-2013
Council Member and Communications Committee Chair, Litigation Section, North Carolina Bar Association
Member, Mecklenburg County Bar Lawyers Teaching Justice Program
- Instructor, "Utilizing Social Media in Litigation," NCBA CLE Webinar, June 2015
- Speaker, "Ethics in Media," 54th Annual National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association & Hall of Fame Awards Weekend, 2013
- North Carolina
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Named to “North Carolina Rising Stars,” Business Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2012
- Co-author, "The Applicability of Privilege and Work Product Protection to Communications With Former Corporate Employees," The Litigator, August 2015
- Co-author, "Utilizing Social Media in Litigation," The Litigator, April 2014
- Author, "Former Justice Orr Helps UNC Fullback Clear His Name and Get Back in the Game," Sports & Entertainment Law Section Newsletter, June 2011
- Author, Fourth Circuit Adopts New Injunction Standard, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, August 6, 2009
- Co-author, "Rights of Publicity Statute Considered in North Carolina," Sports & Entertainment Law Section Newsletter, June 2009
- Author, "Liability Releases and Waivers in North Carolina," Sports & Entertainment Law Section Newsletter, June 2008