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Richard A. Muench, Jr.

Richard A. Muench, Jr.

Managing Partner
Irvine, California

Defense Verdict Highlights 

Rick is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates with the rank of Associate. He is Southern California regional litigation counsel for Costco Wholesale, Hilton, WD-40 Company, Hewlett Packard, Diamond Parking, State Farm's Special Investigations and Homeowners Units, and Swiss Re, a leading specialty public entity insurer.
In his Toxic Tort practice, he was the point person for several clients on the leading edge of a successful, aggressive new litigation strategy in which "cost of defense" settlements were no longer an option. The result has been 15 successive dismissals without the payment of any settlement money, and a significant reduction is case filings against his clients.
Rick won the largest consolidated litigation ever filed against one of the largest U.S. warehouse retail companies involving a shootout during an armored car pickup. The seven cases involved catastrophic injuries and a total exposure in excess of $10 million. He successfully obtained summary judgment for the warehouse company on all of the cases.
Rick was named a "Southern California Rising Star" in the September 2004 Edition of Los Angeles Magazine.

Speaking Engagements and Presentations

Rick was a featured speaker at the National Costco Defense Counsel Conference on the impact of Ortega v. K-Mart on defending premises liability claims.
He has been a featured presenter about premises liability at the annual meeting of the Southern California Tourism & Safety Association.
He frequently presents free training seminars to his clients on incident investigation, claim evaluation, and dynamic changes in California law effecting their business and liability.

Personal Interests

Rick was captain of the Track & Field team at the University of Notre Dame. He still ranks in the top 10 all-time performers at Notre Dame for the high jump and triple jump events. He was an All-CIF basketball player at Mission Viejo High School.
He has completed two full marathons.
He enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.

Areas of Practice

  • 30% Premises Liability
  • 30% Insurance Defense
  • 20% Toxic Tort
  • 10% Business Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • Vehicle Accident Liability
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents - Plaintiff

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1994
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1994


  • Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California
    • J.D., With Honors
    • Law Review: Consumer Law Journal, Associate Editor, 1992 - 1994
  • University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
    • B.B.A., Finance, 1988

Published Works

  • Premises and Product Liability, Western State Consumer Law Journal

Representative Clients

  • Costco Wholesale Corporation
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Hilton Hotels
  • WD-40 Company


  • Robert Carlson, Costco Claims Director
  • Nancy Johnson, Hilton Claims Director
  • Mark Bernstein, Carl Warren & Co, Director


  • Premises Liability Hot Issues and Trends, Southern California Tourism & Safety Com, 2003 - 2005

Honors and Awards

  • Los Angeles Magazine "Southern California Rising Star", 2004 - 2005

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association


  • English
  • Spanish
Our Firm Locations

Gates, O'Doherty, Gonter & Guy LLP


Office Managing Partner:
K. Robert Gonter, Jr.
E-mail the Firm | Irvine Law Office

Gates, O'Doherty, Gonter & Guy, L.L.P
38 Discovery, Suite 200
Irvine, CA 92618

Phone: 949-753-0255
Fax: 949-753-0265

San Diego Office

Office Managing Partner:
Douglas D. Guy
E-mail the Firm | San Diego Law Office

Gates, O'Doherty, Gonter & Guy, L.L.P
15373 Innovation Drive, Suite 170
San Diego, CA 92128

Phone: 858-676-8600
Fax: 858-676-8601

Los Angeles office

Office Managing Partner:
Matthew M. Proudfoot
E-mail the Firm | Map and Directions

355 S. Grand Ave, Suite 2450
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 949-753-0255
Fax: 949-753-0265

Ontario Office

Office Managing Partner:
Sean O'Doherty
E-mail the Firm | Ontario Law Office

Gates, O'Doherty, Gonter & Guy, L.L.P
3350 Shelby St., Suite 200
Ontario, CA 91764

Phone: 949-753-0255
Fax: 949-753-0265