Richard A. Kaplan.jpg

Direct: 801.639.0954

Richard A. kaplan

Rick specializes in complex commercial litigation and regulatory matters, conducting arbitrations and mediations, and assessing civil litigation risk for businesses. He has a background in business, including work at a Fortune 500 company, ownership of his own small businesses, and a Harvard MBA. His business background and training is invaluable in recognizing and managing risk, and in communicating with in-house counsel and executives about how best to avoid or handle legal problems. His approach to litigation strategy and management has always been driven by client goals and objectives and is guided by seasoned judgment.  Before entering private practice, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, had the honor of clerking for two distinguished federal judges, and in law school was elected President of the Law Review.


  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, 1976

    • Order of the Coif

    • President, University of Minnesota Law Review

  • M.B.A., with distinction, Harvard University, 1970

  • B.B.A., George Washington University, 1968


  • Minnesota, 1976 (inactive)

  • District of Columbia, 1979

  • Utah, 2011

  • U.S. District Courts and Circuit Courts throughout the country

  • U.S. Supreme Court

Representative Matters

  • Assembled and led team of lawyers, experts, and executives in developing effective theory of defense and favorable settlement for major natural gas processor in multi-million dollar contract dispute with major natural gas production company.

  • Developed theory of defense for publicly traded, regulated corporation that resulted in summary judgment defeating $37 million employment and compliance litigation. (This matter is ongoing).

  • Represented regional restaurant chain in developing and successfully arguing merits of constructive eviction claim for loss profits against global real-estate developer. (This matter is ongoing).

  • Represented GE Capital in achieving favorable resolutions of claims for hundreds of millions of dollars, one broughtby a foreign corporate purchaser of Canadian business unit of GE subsidiary alleging fraud, another brought by borrowers asserting fraud and lender liability in connection with a buyout financed with GE Capital funds.

  • Represented GE Capital, its business units and various subsidiaries in defense of class actions based on purported violations of federal and state regulations, achieving favorable settlements and avoiding parallel regulatory enforcement actions.

  • Represented American Airlines as plaintiff in complex trade secrets litigation involving yield management system.

  • Represented Guidant Corporation in completely successful defense at trial of employment and IP litigation brought by competitor to protect trade secrets associated with implantable medical device technology.

  • Represented business client in successful constitutional challenge to North Dakota regulatory scheme on commerce clause grounds.

  • Represented Japanese corporation that did business in the U.S. in successful defense of federal civil and criminal securities law claims.

  • Have handled matters involving the Clean Air and Water Acts, RESPA, ERISA, various FTC regulations, the Securities laws, toxic torts and many other areas of substantive law.

Commercial Arbitrator & Mediator

  • Since 2005, has handled nearly 30 cases as arbitrator, panel member or chair of a panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association

  • Mediator, Utah ADR Services

Judicial Clerkships

  • Hon. William B. Bryant, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia

  • Hon. David L. Bazelon, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia


  • Toward Better Communications Between Executives and Lawyers, 24 Utah Bar Journal No. 4 (July/August 2011)

  • A Business School Model for Presenting Your Case, 24 Utah Bar Journal No. 3 (May/June 2011)

  • Thorsen, Kaplan & Hakala, Rediscovering the Economics of Loss Causation, 6 J. BUS. & SEC. L. 93 (April 2006)

Related Activities

  • Writing articles and teaching CLE courses on subjects of interest including an MBA model for trying lawsuits and improving communications between lawyers and executives

  • Board of Directors of e-commerce company