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Rick Braun

Biography

Rick Braun is a problem solver. He represents clients in contentious litigation and advises C-level executives and in-house counsel on litigation and related business strategy. As a cultivator of relationships in the manufacturing and legal sectors, he is highly regarded for his abilities to lead and communicate in high-stress environments involving many stakeholders. Manufacturers of a wide range of products turn to Rick for counsel, guidance, and advocacy in product liability, toxic tort, and asbestos litigation.
 
For more than 20 years, Rick has managed a national practice in asbestos litigation. He defends premises owners, non-manufacturing suppliers, and manufacturers of industrial equipment, friction products, and electrical components through discovery, motion practice, negotiation, and trial. As national coordinating counsel, Rick develops and manages expert witnesses in various scientific and technical disciplines, including industrial hygiene and medical causation. He coordinates discovery for all jurisdictions nationwide and trains local counsel on the technical aspects of defending a company's product lines and on strategies for effective depositions.
 
As a registered lobbyist with the State of Michigan, Rick has advocated for clients at the Michigan Legislature and engaged in lobbying activities at the state and federal levels. He was part of the successful effort that lobbied for Michigan’s Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claims Transparency Act. He testified before the Michigan House of Representatives Competitiveness Committee on House Bill 5456 related to disclosure of asbestos bankruptcy trust submissions.
 
Rick served as liaison counsel for all defendants in Michigan asbestos litigation in discovery and pretrial matters. He has also been a member of the Wayne County Asbestos Litigation Steering Committee. In addition, he was on the State Bar of Michigan Special Committee which rewrote the Michigan Court Rules related to discovery and pre-trial procedure. Rick currently serves as a case evaluator in Oakland County Circuit Court, sitting on both the General Liability and Product Liability panels.

Services

Education

  • Harvard Law School
    • Executive Education, Harvard Negotiation Institute (2015)
  • Michigan State University College of Law  (J.D., cum laude, 1999)
  • Michigan State University  (B.A., with honors, 1996)

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Professional Affiliations

  • DRI
    • Asbestos Medicine Seminar
      • Vice Chair, Marketing Committee
      • DRI for Life Committee Liaison
    • DRI for Life Committee
    • Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
    • Product Liability Committee
    • Litigation Skills Committee
  • Oakland County Bar Association
    • Energy, Sustainability, and Environmental Law Committee
      • Chair (2016-2017)
      • Vice Chair (2015-2016)
  • State Bar of Michigan, Special Committee on Civil Discovery Court Rules, Scope and Course of Discovery Subcommittee

Charitable & Civic Involvement

  • American Lung Association of Midland States, Board of Directors (2015-2018)
  • Member, City of Rochester Hills Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (November 2016-present)

Honors

  • AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (2018-2021)
    • Litigation – Environmental
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
    • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Action – Defendants
  • OCBA Frances R. Avadenka Memorial Award (2016)
  • Super Lawyer "Rising Star," Super Lawyers Magazine (2012-2014)
  • DBusiness® Top Lawyer in Product Liability (2012-2013)

Presentations

  • "Asbestos Medicine 101: Asbestosis and Other Cancers," DRI, Asbestos Medicine Seminar (2019)
  • "Coming Soon to a Drinking Water Source Near You: EPA Regulation of Perchlorate," National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI) Annual Conference (2018)
  • "WARNING: This Subject Contains a Discussion of Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer – Proposition 65 and Labeling Laws: Who Actually Benefits In the Age of Over-Warning?" Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association (EECMA), Annual Conference (2018)
  • “Take Home 101," DRI, Asbestos Medicine Seminar (2017)
  • "Homeward Bound: The Rise of Household Exposure Claims in Asbestos Litigation," Environmental and Emerging Claim Manager Association (EECMA), Annual Conference (2017)
  • "OCBA-U, Environmental Law," Oakland County Bar Association (2016)
  • "Take-Home Asbestos Cases: The Exposure Defense," National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), Annual Conference (2016)