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Admitted to Practice

  • District of Columbia
  • Texas, 1977
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit, 2015
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas, 1978

Richard Faulk

FaulkRichard
Counsel
T202.973.4286
F202.973.4486
Rick Faulk is a seasoned litigator with over three decades of trial and appellate experience in environmental and toxic torts, including air and water pollution class actions, international water pollution claims, mass tort cases, oilfield pollution class actions, claims of environmental justice, CERCLA cost recovery claims, underground storage tank litigation, and defense of toxic tort cases arising from occupational exposures at refineries and petrochemical manufacturing facilities. He has significant federal and state appellate experience, including arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, and en banc Courts of Appeals, especially in environmental and mass tort cases.

Rick is a regular speaker and published author regarding U.S. Supreme Court energy and environmental cases, climate change, environmental law, mass torts, class and group actions, complex environmental and toxic tort litigation, trial and appellate strategy and tactics, and scientific and technical evidence issues.

Representative Experience

Litigation

Defense of alleged breach of title insurance policy*

Member of trial team that secured defense jury verdict against plaintiffs seeking over $50 million in damages under Mexican law in Texas state court. 

Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding*

Worked with debtor to challenge thousands of toxic tort claims based upon comprehensive failure to allege adequate factual basis for claims and authority of counsel to pursue them.

Defense of vapor intrusion claims*

Successfully defended vapor intrusion litigation filed against a microelectronics manufacturer in Dallas federal and state court. 

Aviall, Inc. vs. Cooper Industries*

Served as lead trial, appellate, and U.S, Supreme Court counsel for Aviall Inc. against Cooper Industries in major contract, CERCLA, and Texas environmental claims.

Alcoa*

Defeated a mass tort controversy for Alcoa in state court in Seattle by employees who claimed injuries from exposure to asbestos, silica, and coal tar pitch.

Alcoa*

Led a trial team that successfully obtained a defense jury verdict and judgment for Alcoa against a living mesothelioma plaintiff in Seattle state court.

Mobil Corporation, Atlantic Richfield Corporation, and Lyondell Chemical Company*

Obtained summary judgments against a series of toxic tort claims in Texas state courts by demonstrating unreliability of plaintiffs’ evidence of medical causation.

Citgo Petroleum*

Defeated class certification of a putative medical monitoring class action involving residents claiming toxic exposures against a local refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas state court.

Appellate

Volvo Powertrain Corporation v. United States*

Member of team that represented Volvo in certiorari petition to U.S. Supreme Court from decision by U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirming awards of penalties under consent decree. (2015)

Appellate counsel for a title insurance company*

Secured affirmation of defense verdict for a title insurance company. in suit for breach of Mexican title policies. (2013)

Aviall Services, Inc. v. Cooper Industries*

Served as lead appellate counsel for Aviall in panel and en banc 5th Circuit proceedings that denied cost recovery and contribution claims under CERCLA. Also served as lead counsel on briefs and in oral arguments to U.S. Supreme Court which reversed and remanded decision to permit pursuit of federal and state statutory claims. Ultimately obtained summary judgment and settlement for Aviall on claims under Texas environmental statutes. (2004) 

Schott Glas v. Adame*

Obtained dismissal of mass tort claims against German manufacturer made by Gulf War veterans for lack of personal jurisdiction and secured affirmance of dismissal order on appeal. (2005)

Frias v. Atlantic Richfield Company*

Secured affirmation of summary judgment finding plaintiffs’ experts’ evidence legally insufficient in case alleging death from aplastic anemia caused by occupational exposure to benzene. (2003)

Daniels v. Atlantic Richfield Company*

Secured affirmation of summary judgment holding plaintiffs’ expert opinions legally insufficient in case alleging death from lung cancer caused by occupational exposure to benzene. (2003)

Amicus Curiae Representation

Bible v. United Student Aid Funds, Inc.*

Represented National Association of Manufacturers and other trade associations in U.S. Supreme Court supporting grant of certiorari and overruling of Auer v. Robbins, and Bowles v. Seminole Rock, which authorized judicial deference to regulatory agencies’ interpretations of their own vague and ambiguous regulations. (2015)

Antero Resources Corp. et al. v. Strudley*

Represented National Association of Manufacturers and other trade associations in Colorado Supreme Court supporting use of “Lone Pine” case management orders. (2015)

Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA*

Represented 75 state and local Chambers of Commerce in U.S. Supreme Court opposing EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from small business operations. (2014)

Grain Processing Corp. v. Freeman*

Represented National Association of Manufacturers and other trade associations in Iowa Supreme Court and supporting  certiorari to U.S. Supreme Court regarding preemption of state nuisance lawsuits by federal Clean Air Act. (2014)

Bell v. Cheswick Generating Station*

Represented National Association of Manufacturers and other trade associations on certiorari to U.S. Supreme Court supporting preemption of state nuisance lawsuits by federal Clean Air Act. (2013)

Connecticut v. American Electric Power, et al*

Represented National Association of Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council, American Coatings Association, National Petrochemical Refiners Association, Property Casualty Insurance Association, and Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness in support of petition for certiorari to U.S. Supreme Court and in merits amicus brief challenging justiciability of climate change tort litigation. (2011)

Atlantic Richfield Company v. County of Santa Clara, et al.*

Represented National Association of Manufacturers, American Chemistry Council, American Coatings Association, National Petrochemical Refiners Association, Property Casualty Insurance Association, and Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness support of petition for certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court by defendants challenging California Supreme Court decision allowing public authorities to use contingent fee counsel to prosecute public nuisance cases. (2011)

Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil, et al.*

Represented American Chemistry Council, American Coatings Association, American Petroleum Institute, Property Casualty Insurance Association of America and Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness in 9th Circuit on issue of application of public nuisance liability to climate change claims, including standing and political question concerns. (2010)

Comer v. Murphy Oil Co.*

Represented American Chemistry Council, Texas Chemical Council, American Coatings Association, National Petrochemical Refiners Association, Property Casualty Insurance Association of America, and Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness on en banc rehearing in 5th Circuit re application of public nuisance liability to climate change claims. (2010)

State of Rhode Island v. Lead Industries Assn., et al.*

Represented The Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness and The Property and Casualty Insurance Association of America on issue of expansion of public nuisance liability in Rhode Island Supreme Court. Plaintiffs’ verdict reversed and rendered with articles authored by Faulk cited four times in the court’s decision. (2008)

County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court of California*

Represented American Chemistry Council, National Association of Manufacturers, Coalition for Public Nuisance Fairness, and Property Casualty Insurers Association of America in California Supreme Court on issue of legality of county’s retention of private contingent fee counsel to prosecute public nuisance litigation. (2008)

City of St. Louis v. Benjamin Moore & Co., et al.*

Represented American Chemistry Council in Missouri Supreme Court on issue of viability of “market share liability” in public nuisance cases. (2007)

In re Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC*

Represented American Chemistry Counsel in Texas Supreme Court in support of mandamus petition regarding application of Texas evidentiary standards regarding scientific evidence to causation in asbestos litigation. (2007)

ExxonMobil Corp. v. Altimore*

Represented American Chemistry Council in Texas Court of Appeals on issue of expansion of duties owed by premises owners in asbestos litigation. (2006)

Dennis Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC*

Represented American Chemistry Council in U.S. Supreme Court on issue of scope of federal preemption under FIFRA – amicus brief cited in court’s opinion. (2005)

Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co. v. City of Houston*

Represented American Chemistry Counsel in Texas Court of Appeals on appeal of condemnation and other property concerns regarding rail lines serving local industries. (2005)

Gray v. Badger Mining Co.*

Represented American Chemistry Counsel in Minnesota Supreme Court regarding applicability of “sophisticated user” defense to product liability cases. (2004)
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Partner, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP, Houston, 2016-2017
  • Partner, Hollingsworth LLP, Washington, D.C, 2013-2016
  • Senior Director for Energy and the Environment, George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia, 2013-2016
  • Partner, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, Houston, Texas  1996-2013
  • Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Houston, Texas 1990-1996
  • Senior Litigation Counsel, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas, 1982-1990
  • Associate, Foreman & Dyess, Houston, Texas, 1978-1982

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Law Institute, 2011-present
  • Council Member, International Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 2010-2013
  • American Bar Association, 1978-present
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, 2012-present
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, 2010-present
  • State Bar of Texas, 1977-present
  • Houston Bar Association, 1978-present
  • Board of Overseers, Searle Civil Justice Institute, Searle Center for Law, Regulation and Economic Growth, Northwestern University
  • School of Law, 2008-2010
  • Board of Advisors, Class Action Litigation Reporter, Bureau of National Affairs, (2010-present)
  • Board of Advisors, Expert Evidence Report, Bureau of National Affairs, (2010-Present)
  • Co-chair, Camp for All Gala, 2011
  • Chair, American Diabetes Association, 2005-2008; Board Member, 2004-2011.
  • Board of Trustees, Houston Grand Opera, 1996-2002
  • Board of Advisors, College of Music, University of North Texas, 2008-present

Professional Recognition

  • William Burton Award for Legal Achievement, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 2003, 2009, 2012, 2015
  • Received the “AV Preeminent” peer review rating, Martindale Hubble Lawyer Directory,  (2010-present)
  • Named one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” and “Leading Lawyer in Environmental Law” by Chambers USA, 2005-2016
  • Named one of the “Top 100” lawyers in Houston" by Texas Monthly Magazine, 2011
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America” in Environmental Law by Best Lawyers, 2007-present
  • Named to Lawdragon 3000’s list of Leading Lawyers in America, 2007-2008
  • Named one of “Houston’s Top Lawyers” by H Texas Magazine, 2006-2007
  • Selected to “Texas Super Lawyers,” Thomson Reuters, 2003-2016
  • Selected to  "Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers,” Thomson Reuters, 2013-2016
    Governor’s Award, “Outstanding Service to the Oil and Chemical Industry,” Louisiana, 1990
  • Recognized as “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in American Law,” and “Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America,” 
  • “Outstanding Author” Award, Texas Tech School of Law, 1986
  • “Distinguished Service Award," American Diabetes Association, 2009