AREAS OF PRACTICE
Franchising and Distribution, Civil Trial and Appellate Practice, Arbitration and Mediation, Drafting and Negotiating Distribution Agreements with Foreign and Domestic Entities, Experience in Food, Liquor, Beer, and Spirits, Manufacturing and Distribution Industries
For over 32 years, Ricardo has practiced complex commercial litigation, ADR, and corporate counseling involving First Amendment defense, product liability, lender's liability, distribution, franchising and trade regulation issues.
Since 1987, Ricardo has appeared as lead counsel in over 70 reported federal cases, including civil jury trials in federal court. Of the 22 civil cases as lead or co-counsel of record in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, his clients are 17-0 in appeals that Ricardo has argued or briefed as lead counsel, including 7 appeals won for the appellant.
Ricardo has represented prevailing parties obtaining among the largest jury verdicts and arbitration awards for dealers in Law 75 termination cases of first impression. Ricardo has authored articles on Puerto Rico Law 75 for the ABA’s Franchise Law Journal and his blog remains a leading online source of PR’s relationship statutes.
Ricardo has served as party-appointed arbitrator under the auspices of the AAA and the ICC in commercial and personal injury disputes. Ricardo serves as a mediator for the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. As mediator, Ricardo has settled 80% of the cases.
Chief Judges of the federal court in P.R. have appointed Ricardo to Chair numerous Merit Selection Panels for nominations of U.S. Magistrate Judges. Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit appointed Ricardo to Chair the Standing Local Rules Committee of the court.
Ricardo has been keynote speaker at CLE federal practice conferences to the FBA, the General Counsel Association in San Francisco, Cal., and the Pharmaceutical Industry Association in P.R. on topics of federal trial and appellate practice, franchising, distribution and antitrust law.
He is a past-president of the Puerto Rico Chapter of the FBA and taught for many years federal bar review courses on civil local rules and federal appellate practice.
Ricardo has been consistently recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers Latin America, and Best Lawyer’s as a leading lawyer in dispute resolution, franchising and litigation in Puerto Rico.
B.A., cum laude, Washington and Lee University, 1982
J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1985
Hon. Juan R. Torruella, U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit Hon. José A. Fusté, U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico Hon. Justo Arenas, Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico
Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First and Eleventh Circuits, U.S. Supreme Court
Certified Mediator, U.S. District Court, Puerto Rico
Commercial and Construction Industry Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association and Int'l Center for Dispute Resolution
HONORS AND AWARDS
Recognized by The Best Lawyers as the 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” for Appellate Practice and Franchise Law in Puerto Rico.
Ranked by Chambers and Partners, Latin America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (2012-2019)
Appointed by Chief Judge Hon. Sandra Lynch, First Circuit Advisory Committee on Rules (2012)
Appointed by Hon. José A. Fusté, then Chief U.S. District Judge, P.R., as Chair of Merit Selection Panel for the Appointment of a U.S. Magistrate Judge (2011)
Appointed by Hon. Aida Delgado, Chief U.S. District Judge, P.R., as Chair of Merit Selection Panel for Re-Nomination of U.S. Magistrate Judge Camille Vélez (2011)
Fellow, Foundation of the Federal Bar Association
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Appointed by Hon. José A. Fusté, Local Rules Committee, U.S. District Court, P.R. (2005)
Blog, Casellas Alcover & Burgos, P.S.C. on Puerto Rico Law 75
Co-author, “Litigation Dealer Termination Cases in Puerto Rico,” Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 36, No. 4 (ABA Spring 2017)
Co-author, “Puerto Rico’s Dealer and Franchise Statute Adapts to the Latest Developments in Law, Commerce, and Technology,” Vol. 30 Franchise Law Journal No. 1 (ABA Summer 2010)
P.R. Law Section, Monograph, “Covenants Against Competition in Franchise Agreements,” American Bar Association (2d ed. 2003)
Co-author, “When a Substantive Rule of Puerto Rico Law for the Issuance of Preliminary Injunctions in Dealer Contract Cases Clashes with a Federal Procedural Rule, Is There a Doubt as to Which One Should Apply?” From the Bar, Issue 40 (Spring 2008)
“Puerto Rico Dealerships and Permanent Injunctions Do Not Mix,” 32 Inter. Am. U. L. Rev. 67 (1997)
"The Substantial Contact Requirement for Jurisdiction Under the FSIA,” 55 U.P.R. L. Rev. 1 (1986)
The following reported cases, dating from 1989 to the present, were briefed or argued by Ricardo before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit:
Torres v. NBC Universal, Civil No. 12-2352 (1st Cir. 2013) (summarily affirmed dismissal of defamation claim brought against client NBC/Telemundo);
Bacardí International Limited v. V. Suarez & Co. Inc., 719 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2013) (argued as lead counsel for rum producer-appellant)(reversed and remanded dismissal for lack of jurisdiction in proceeding to confirm commercial arbitration award);
Wells Real Estate Inv. Trust v. Chardón Hato Rey, 615 F. 3d 45 (1st Cir. 2010) (co-counsel for real estate company-appellant; reversed grant of summary judgment dismissing complaint for insurance coverage);
R&G Mortg. Corp. v. Federal Home Loan, 584 F. 3d 1 (1st Cir. 2009) (co-counsel for financial institution-appellee; affirmed order denying motion to intervene);
B. Fernandez & Co. v. Kellogg USA, 516 F. 3d 18 (1st Cir. 2008)(argued as lead counsel for cereal manufacturer-appellee; affirmed judgment dismissing complaint for lack of indispensable party and in cross-appeal affirmed denial of costs and fees);
In re Advanced Cellular Systems Inc., 483 F. 3d 7 (1st Cir. 2007) (argued as lead counsel for telecommunications carrier-appellant; reversed orders disallowing proof of claim in bankruptcy court);
B. Fernandez & Hmnos v. Kellogg USA, 440 F. 3d 541 (1st Cir. 2006) (argued as lead counsel for cereal manufacturer-appellant; reversed denial of motion to intervene and order granting preliminary injunction);
Z&B Enterprises Inc. v. Taste Freez, 162 Fed. Appx. 16 (1st Cir. 2006) (lead counsel on briefs for restaurant franchisor-appellee; affirmed judgment dismissing franchising action);
Jomar Packaging Corp. v. Kobel Intern., 229 F. 3d 1133 (1st Cir. 2000) (lead counsel on brief for appellee supplier; affirmed dismissal of complaint as a sanction for discovery violations);
Gil de Rebollo v. Miami Heat Ass’n, 137 F. 3d 56 (1st Cir. 1998) (argued as lead counsel for NBA team-appellee-cross-appellant; affirmed judgment denying motion for third new trial; vacated in part order denying expert witness fees and costs to appellee);
Casas Office Machines, Inc. v. Mita Copystar America, Inc., 42 F. 3d 668 (1st Cir. 1994) (argued as lead counsel for copier manufacturer-appellant; reversed judgment granting permanent injunction for dealer in Law 75 action);
Lopez v. Commonwealth Oil Refining Co., 29 F. 3d 619 (1st Cir. 1994) (lead counsel on brief for oil refining company-appellee; affirmed dismissal of ERISA claim);
Hill Construction Corp. v. American Airlines, 996 F. 2d 1315 (1st Cir. 1993) (Breyer, J.) (argued as lead counsel for airline-appellant; vacated judgment for shipper);
Mariani v. Doctor’s Associates, 983 F. 2d 5 (1st Cir. 1993) (co-counsel for franchisor-appellee; affirmed order imposing Rule 11 sanctions);
Quinones Pacheco v. American Airlines, 979 F. 2d 1 (1st Cir. 1992) (argued as lead counsel for airline-appellee; affirmed take nothing jury verdict);
Gonzalez v. John Hancock, 927 F. 2d 659 (1st Cir. 1991) (argued as lead counsel for insurer- appellee; affirmed judgment for insurer);
Cumpiano v. Banco Santander P.R., 902 F. 2d 148 (1st Cir. 1990) (co-counsel for bank-appellant; affirmed in part and reversed in part judgment in pregnancy discrimination case);
Mendez v. Banco Popular de P.R., 900 F. 2d 4 (1st Cir. 1990) (co-counsel for bank-appellee; affirmed summary judgment in ADEA case);
Seguros de Servicio de Salud v. McCauto Systems, 878 F. 2d 5 (1st Cir. 1989) (argued as lead counsel for health insurer-appellant; reversed order consolidating commercial arbitrations);
Rodriguez Antuna v. Chase Manhattan, 871 F. 2d 1 (1st Cir. 1989) (lead counsel on brief for bank-appellee; affirmed order denying relief from judgment);
Federal Insurance Company v. Housing Investment Corp., 887 F. 2d 259 (1st Cir. 1989) (argued as lead counsel for construction lender-appellee; affirmed judgment for lender).