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Richard G. Erickson

Richard G. Erickson

Partner| Phoenix


Rick Erickson practices in the areas of construction law, commercial litigation and military law. He has the highest client and peer ratings of 5.0 as an AV® Preeminent™ attorney on Lexis‐Nexis® Martindale‐Hubbell® (2012-2018), is listed in Best Lawyers in America® Construction Law (2015-2018) and was inducted as an American Bar Foundation Fellow in 2016. He served for eight years on the Executive Council of his State Bar practice section and was Chair-Elect from 2014-2015. Rick is also a decorated military officer in his twenty-eighth year of active and reserve service in the U.S. Marine Corps and has deployed multiple times as both an infantry officer and judge advocate. Rick also serves as a leader and volunteer for local and national organizations and is further distinguished for his exceptional presentations and seminars to national audiences.

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Construction Law
  • Drafted and negotiated subcontract agreements for $1.9 billion P3 project
  • Pursued $30 million performance bond claims on state transportation project
  • Created construction documents and indemnity agreements for hotel developer
  • Special action against municipality unlawfully withholding construction permits
  • Jury trial for architect of record pursuing $1 million indemnity claim against subconsultant
  • Contested licensing citation and $600,000 fine against national drilling contractor
  • Defended contractor against $2 million breach of contract claim by materials supplier
  • Arbitrated professional negligence claims in defense of national design firm
  • Negotiated construction agreements and general conditions for $40 million project
  • Defended national homebuilder against negligent construction claims in wrongful death case
  • Complex litigation and foreclosure of $4 million lien claim by prime contractor
  • Represented Fortune 500 owner in case arising from subcontractor's mistaken bid
  • Litigated pass-through and indemnity claims for international construction manager
  • Charter school's counsel for licensing complaint and hearing against general contractor
  • Defended architect of record against claims arising from construction site administration
  • Updated construction management at risk and subcontract agreements for prime contractor
  • Special action, injunctive relief and trial of $20 million bid protest for general contractor
  • Settled $2.7 million fire loss claim and subrogation agreement for custom homebuilder
  • Mediated resolution of $3 million final payment claim for builder of luxury condominiums
  • Pursued general contractor's $1 million performance bond claim against the surety
  • Negotiated bond takeover agreement for prime contractor on large public project
  • Represented structural engineer and his national design firm in roof collapse case
  • Pursued resort owner-developer's claims in dispute over prompt payment and overbilling
  • Sought $1 million in change order damages for contractor claiming unforeseen site work
  • Assisted prime contractor with equitable adjustment claim on large public project
  • Represented heavy equipment contractor in lease dispute with its landlord
  • Counsel for subcontractor in wrongful termination case against the general contractor
General Civil Litigation
  • Trial team for Fortune 500 homebuilder awarded $111 million verdict against former executive
  • Defended international restaurant in high-exposure case involving liquor service liability
  • Defended major insurer against bad faith claims arising from denial of business coverage
  • Argued jurisdictional dispute for corporate client before the Arizona Court of Appeals
  • Jury trial for corporate client pursuing non-compete claims against former software engineer
  • Litigated contract claims of realtor association against its software development contractor
  • Jury trial for joint venture partner accused of fraud and breaching fiduciary duties
  • Pursued collection of corporate client's seven-figure judgment against foreign and U.S. assets
  • Defended national tire company against personal injury and wrongful death claims
  • Directed hearing for provisional remedies against controller who embezzled corporate funds
  • Handled administrative hearing for office supply company contesting award of state contract
  • Negotiated resolution of code of conduct violation for Division 1 scholarship athlete
  • Litigated property title dispute for sixty-year-old Episcopal parish against its Diocese
  • Administrative appeal of student-athlete contesting ineligibility from his high school transfer
Military Law
  • Advised public utility concerning potential liabilities from deadly force defense of its nuclear facility
  • Drafted and negotiated use agreements for military base facilities and training areas
  • Assisted large defense contractor with evaluation of government contract provisions
  • Advised Fortune 500 employer concerning rights under Service Members Civil Relief Act
  • Chief advisor on detainee collection points and holding facilities in Anbar Province, Iraq
  • Primary rules of engagement training officer for Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-07
  • Authored rules for the use of deadly force during post 9/11 military operations in the U.S.
  • Advised combatant command on ethics regulations during defense contractor conference
  • Drafted point papers for Joint Staff on civil-military relations and domestic operational law
  • Issued legal opinions on policy provisions affecting criminal tribunals of terrorist detainees
  • Presided as Investigating Officer in capital case referred to General Court Martial
  • Defense counsel for senior military officer accused of compromising classified information

Rick Erickson is a leading partner in the firm’s construction litigation practice group, which is rated nationally as Tier 1 by U.S. News-Best Lawyers® (2018). Rick represents owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors and design professionals in state and federal courts, mediation, arbitration and administrative tribunals. Rick also uses his litigation and trial experience to help our clients in negotiating and drafting construction agreements, general conditions and corresponding project documents. He served on the Arizona State Bar Construction Section Executive Council from 2007-2015 and was Chair-Elect from 2014-2015. Rick speaks and writes frequently on construction law topics nationwide and was recently recognized by JD Supra® for one of its most read blogs in 2018.

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  • Drafted and negotiated subcontract agreements for $1.9 billion P3 project
  • Pursued $30 million performance bond claims on state transportation project
  • Created construction documents and indemnity agreements for hotel developer
  • Special action against municipality unlawfully withholding construction permits
  • Jury trial for architect of record pursuing $1 million indemnity claim against subconsultant
  • Contested licensing citation and $600,000 fine against national drilling contractor
  • Defended contractor against $2 million breach of contract claim by materials supplier
  • Arbitrated professional negligence claims in defense of national design firm
  • Arbitrated professional negligence claims in defense of national design firm
  • Negotiated construction agreements and general conditions for $40 million project
  • Defended national homebuilder against negligent construction claims in wrongful death case
  • Complex litigation and foreclosure of $4 million lien claim by prime contractor
  • Represented Fortune 500 owner in case arising from subcontractor's mistaken bid
  • Litigated pass-through and indemnity claims for international construction manager
  • Charter school's counsel for licensing complaint and hearing against general contractor
  • Defended architect of record against claims arising from construction site administration
  • Updated construction management at risk and subcontract agreements for prime contractor
  • Special action, injunctive relief and trial of $20 million bid protest for general contractor
  • Settled $2.7 million fire loss claim and subrogation agreement for custom homebuilder
  • Mediated resolution of $3 million final payment claim for builder of luxury condominiums
  • Pursued general contractor's $1 million performance bond claim against the surety
  • Negotiated bond takeover agreement for prime contractor on large public project
  • Represented structural engineer and his national design firm in roof collapse case
  • Pursued resort owner-developer's claims in dispute over prompt payment and overbilling
  • Sought $1 million in change order damages for contractor claiming unforeseen site work
  • Assisted prime contractor with equitable adjustment claim on large public project
  • Represented heavy equipment contractor in lease dispute with its landlord
  • Counsel for subcontractor in wrongful termination case against the general contractor

Rick Erickson has broad and significant background in commercial litigation, including his trial experience in defense of our corporate clients in a number of areas including personal injury and wrongful death, professional negligence, insurance bad faith and breach of contract.

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  • Trial team for Fortune 500 homebuilder awarded $111 million verdict against former executive
  • Defended international restaurant in high-exposure case involving liquor service liability
  • Defended major insurer against bad faith claims arising from denial of business coverage
  • Argued jurisdictional dispute for corporate client before the Arizona Court of Appeals
  • Jury trial for corporate client pursuing non-compete claims against former software engineer
  • Litigated contract claims of realtor association against its software development contractor
  • Jury trial for joint venture partner accused of fraud and breaching fiduciary duties
  • Pursued collection of corporate client's seven-figure judgment against foreign and U.S. assets
  • Defended national tire company against personal injury and wrongful death claims
  • Directed hearing for provisional remedies against controller who embezzled corporate funds
  • Handled administrative hearing for office supply company contesting award of state contract
  • Negotiated resolution of code of conduct violation for Division 1 scholarship athlete
  • Litigated property title dispute for sixty-year-old Episcopal parish against its Diocese
  • Administrative appeal of student-athlete contesting ineligibility from his high school transfer

As a senior officer and certified judge advocate with twenty-eight years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Marine Corps, Rick Erickson presently serves as a military liaison to FEMA for emergencies impacting Region IX (Arizona, California and Nevada). Rick also has an active Top Secret SCI security clearance. In 2017, he concluded his judicial appointment on the Arizona Court of Military Appeals, where he presided in National Guard appeals subject to review by the Arizona Supreme Court. Rick relies on his experience in military law and operations to advise the firm's clients in a number of complex areas including national security and international law, reservist reemployment rights, discovery of military records and protection of classified information.

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  • Advised public utility concerning potential liabilities from deadly force defense of its nuclear facility
  • Drafted and negotiated use agreements for military base facilities and training areas
  • Assisted large defense contractor with evaluation of government contract provisions
  • Advised Fortune 500 employer concerning rights under Service Members Civil Relief Act
  • Chief advisor on detainee collection points and holding facilities in Anbar Province, Iraq
  • Primary rules of engagement training officer for Operation Iraqi Freedom 2006-2007
  • Authored rules for the use of deadly force during post 9/11 military operations in the U.S.
  • Advised combatant command on ethics regulations during defense contractor conference
  • Drafted point papers for Joint Staff on civil-military relations and domestic operational law
  • Issued legal opinions on policy provisions affecting criminal tribunals of terrorist detainees
  • Presided as Investigating Officer in capital case referred to General Court Martial
  • Defense counsel for senior military officer accused of compromising classified information
  • University of the Pacific (J.D., Certificate in Governmental Affairs, 1998)
  • University of Arizona (B.S., Politics, 1990)
  • U.S. Joint Forces Staff College, Joint & Combined Warfighting School (2016)
  • U.S. Naval War College (Strategy and War, 2012; National Security Decision Making, 2008)
  • U.S. Marine Corps Command & Staff College (2005)
  • U.S. Naval Justice School (Military & Operational Law, 2002)
  • Arizona Court of Military Appeals
    • Military Judge (appointed by Governor of Arizona 2011-2017)
  • American Bar Association
    • Fellow, American Bar Foundation (2016-present)
  • State Bar of Arizona
    • Executive Council, Construction Law Section (2006-present); Chair-Elect (2013-2014)
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
    • Construction Law Section (2004-present)
  • Associated General Contractors of America
    • Arizona Chapter Affiliate Affairs Committee (2008-present)
  • Arizona Builders’ Alliance (2004-present)
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel (1998-present)
  • Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations
  • "Cybersecurity in Construction," Presenter, London Build (2018)
  • "Voir Dire and Jury Selection," Presenter, National Business Institute (2018)
  • "Real Estate Development and Construction Law," Presenter, National Business Institute (2017)
  • "Inside the Minds: Protecting the Homeland," Author, Aspatore Books (2016)
  • "Synchronizing Joint Ventures and Project Delivery," Presenter, Lorman Education Services (2016)
  • "Another Opinion on Economic Loss Doctrine—Where Do We Go from Here?" Panelist, Arizona State Bar (2016)
  • "Avoiding and Managing Construction Defect Litigation," Presenter, USI Insurance Services (2016)
  • Joint Venture Agreements in Construction,” Presenter, Lorman Education Services (2015)
  • “When Do Contract Terms Flow-Down to Subcontractors,” Presenter, Arizona State Bar (2015)
  • "Is OSHA Exoneration and Workers Compensation Immunity Enough to Protect you from Tort Liability and Indemnity Claims?" Presenter, Associated General Contractors of America, 96th Annual Convention, San Juan, PR (2015)
  • "Embracing the Future of Construction," Panel Chair, Arizona State Bar Convention President’s Award (2014)
  • "Understanding Ethics in Government Contracts," Presenter, Associated General Contractors of America, AZ Chapter (2014)
  • "P3 101-Is Your Local Legal Team Ready to Help on a P3 Project?," Co-Author, JDSupra (March 26, 2014)
  • "Keeping up with Trends in Construction Contracts," Presenter, Lovitt & Touche (2013)
  • "Lien Law & Prompt Payment Statutes," Presenter, First Solar (2013)
  • "Identifying & Resolving Ethical Issues in Construction," Presenter, American Institute of Architects (2012)
  • "Technological Advances & Social Media in Construction," Faculty Panel, Arizona State Bar Convention (2012)
  • "Construction & Social Media - Do You Have a Plan?" Presenter, Associated General Contractors of America, Honolulu, HI (2012)
  • "Construction Site Data Disclaimers: Who Really Carries the Risk?" Presenter, Lorman Education Services (2011)
  • "E-Discovery Rules in Construction Litigation," Presenter, Associated General Contractors of America, Las Vegas, NV (2011)
  • "Legal Strategies for Construction Project Records Retention," Panel Moderator, Strafford Publications (2011)
  • "Maximizing Your Investment in Experts for Construction Litigation," Presenter, Computer Guidance Corporation (2010)
  • "Military Operational Law & Counterinsurgency," Presenter, Arizona State University College of Law (2010)
  • "Understanding Arbitration Agreements in AIA & ConsensusDOCS Contracts," Presenter, Associated General Contractors of America, Orlando, FL (2010)
  • "Terminating a Construction Contract: Legal Issues and Considerations," Presenter, Lorman Education Services (2009)
  • "The Service Members Civil Relief Act: What Judges Should Know," Presenter, Arizona Judicial Conference (2009)
  • "Beating the Odds: Mastering The Law of War During The Surge in Anbar Province," Author, U.S. Naval War College (2009)
  • "Managing Electronic Discovery in Construction Litigation," Presenter, Associated General Contractors of America, San Diego, CA (2009)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law (2015-2019)
  • LTG Paul G. Cerjan Distinguished Writing Award, U.S. Joint Forces Staff College ("Cyberwarfare – Making the Case for Deadly Force," 2016)
  • Congressional Advisory Committee for Nomination to U.S. Military Academies
    • U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (2013-present)
    • U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (1998-2012)
    • U.S. Congressman Trent Franks (2003-2017)
    • U.S. Congressman John Shadegg (1996-2010)
  • Arizona Corporate Council on Veterans Careers (2016-present)
  • U.S. Vets, Advisory Council (2014-present)
  • Christ Lutheran School Board of Directors, Phoenix, Arizona (2010-2016)
  • 97th Arizona Town Hall, Participant (2010)
  • Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserve
    • Marine Corps Liaison Chief, MARFORNORTH, FEMA Region IX (2017-present)
    • G-3 Operations Staff, I Marine Expeditionary Force (2017)
    • Command Staff Judge Advocate, Force Headquarters Group (2013-2017)
    • Staff Judge Advocate, Marine Corps Installations-West (2010-2012)
    • Operational Law of War Advisor, The Pentagon (2008)
    • Staff Judge Advocate, Detainee Operations Task Force, Iraq (2006-2007)
    • Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, NORAD-U.S. Northern Command (2003)
    • Company Executive Officer, 6th Engineer Support Battalion (2000)
    • Infantry Platoon Commander, Mogadishu, Somalia (1994)
  • Arizona
  • Supreme Court of Arizona
  • United States District Court, District of Arizona
  • United States Navy, Courts Martial
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • Arizona Court of Military Appeals