Rick Morgan is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Products Liability Practice.
Rick has a national reputation for his aggressive defense of high-exposure litigation across a spectrum of industries. His practice encompasses product liability, commercial, class action and intellectual property litigation involving chemical and electronic products, drug and medical devices, food products and toxic torts for a host of Global 500 companies and industry leaders.
Acknowledged by his opponents as “one of the best cross-examiners” in practice, Rick honed his reputation for efficiency as a federal prosecutor, and his ability to enthrall juries as a political pundit. Clients value his skills in strategic and tactical case evaluation and the development of powerful factual and legal presentations presented with insights that humanize corporations in the eyes of judges and juries.
Rick presents such a compelling case throughout trial preparation that often his cases result in defense settlements prior to trial. Of the more than 45 cases he has tried as first-chair, notable trials include Millenkamp v. Davisco Foods (a commercial matter), in which Rick stepped in to recast the trial strategy after a plaintiff’s verdict was reversed and remanded for new trial; Smothers v. Ecolab, a highly publicized wrongful death case in Texas involving a fire ant attack in a nursing home; Williams v. Ecolab, an Arkansas case brought by a 22-year old man blinded while using chemicals; and Gamma-10 Plastics v. American President Lines, where Rick again stepped in for the retrial of a commercial matter that had also been remanded after a plaintiff’s verdict.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Products Liability
- Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
- Intellectual Property & Technology
United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits
- Center for the American Experiment, Board Member
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- Minnesota Federal District Court, Judicial Selection Committee
Awards & Honors
- Super Lawyers Magazine–Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2007–2013 and 2015 – 2018.
- Who’s Who Legal—International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence Lawyers
- Benchmark Litigation—”Local Litigation Star,” Product Liability, Minnesota, 2015
- “Client Service All-Star” in a national survey of corporate counsel conducted by BTI Consulting
University of Minnesota Law School
Juris Doctor, cum laude, 1984
University of Minnesota, Humphrey Institute
Master of Arts, 1984
Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, 1980
- First chair trial counsel in 48 cases. Has appeared on behalf of clients in courthouses in over 20 states and has defended matters for clients in over 40 states.
- National counsel for Ecolab Inc. on products liability and commercial matters.
- National counsel for 3M and Cargill on toxic tort defense programs.
- National trial counsel for Apple Computer on product liability matters involving claims of repetitive stress syndrome.
- National trial counsel for Starkey Hearing Technologies on commercial and intellectual property matters.
- National counsel for Capital Safety USA in products liability and intellectual property matters.
- National counsel for H.B. Fuller Company on products liability and commercial matters involving several product lines. Has also represented Fuller in intellectual property matters.
- Defended class actions for H.B. Fuller Company and Ecolab Inc.
- Representing government regulatory agency investigating failed banks (FDIC).
- Former federal and Army prosecutor.