Rick Harrison has more than 40 years of experience in representing clients in complex commercial litigation at trial and on appeal in a broad range of areas, including business litigation, technology, intellectual property, employment and product liability. Rick’s commercial litigation experience includes the successful defense of an international corporation in a $40 million breach of contract/fraud claim before an AAA arbitration panel and the successful prosecution of a Lanham Act false advertising case that stopped the publication of false statements about an international company. He also successfully defended a $35 million trade secret and patent infringement case while recovering $1 million in punitive damages on a defamation counterclaim. Financial institutions frequently rely on Rick to defend against allegations of misconduct or breach of fiduciary duties. Additionally, Rick has more than 30 years of experience defending automakers and other manufacturers in product liability cases.
Before joining Waller, Rick was a partner with Taube Summers Harrison Taylor Meinzer Brown, LLP, a preeminent bankruptcy and civil litigation boutique firm in Austin, Tex.
Honors and Recognitions
Rick was selected by his peers as one of the top attorneys for Business Litigation by Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters) (2007-2018). In addition, he has been recognized for his experience in Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation and Patent Litigation by Best Lawyers in America© (Levine Leichtman Capital Partners) (2007-2018). He was named one of the 500 leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers in America (2007) by Lawdragon. Rick is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and he is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.
- Prosecuted a Lanham Act false advertising case for an international company, securing an injunction prohibiting the false statements from being made
- Successfully defended an international corporation charged with breach of contract concerning an oil field directional tool with alleged damages of $250 million
- Represented a real estate developer enjoining a competitor from using an internet domain name. Successfully defended the appeal through the Supreme Court of Texas
- Successfully defended a software trade secret infringement case
- Successfully defended a $35 million trade secret and patent infringement case, securing a take-nothing judgment and a $1 million recovery of punitive damages on a defamation counterclaim
- Prosecuted a Lanham Act trade dress infringement case for a national jewelry manufacturer
Professional/Officer Liability and Fiduciary
- Secured a favorable settlement against a nationwide banking concern for the negligent handling of investments in a trust account
- Secured a favorable settlement against a major law firm for breach of fiduciary duties to a client
- Secured recovery of a $60 million foundation for the family of the original grantor
- Successfully defended an architect against allegations of copyright infringement
- Successfully represented plaintiffs in an accounting malpractice case concerning erroneous advice given to holders of incentive stock options
- Successfully defended a former officer of a venture capital firm against claims by a group of investors that investments were mishandled and that securities laws were violated
- Successfully defended an international corporation in a $40 million breach of contract/fraud claim before an AAA arbitration panel
- Successfully defended a $30 million breach of contract claim in Cameron County District Court
- Successfully represented an international corporation in a commercial fraud case wherein an injunction was obtained prohibiting the gray market sale of the client's product
- Obtained a defense judgment (take nothing) in a $30 million RICO/conspiracy claim against a franchiser
- Successfully represented a resort and real estate development corporation in several trials involving multi-million dollar damages and breach of contract.
- In January 1987, secured the largest jury verdict in Morris County, Texas' history ($8.3 million) in a breach of contract suit; reduced to $6.8 million on appeal and affirmed. Lone Star Steel v. Scott, 759 S.W. 2d 144 (Texark., 1988)
- Successfully represented a River Authority concerning a defective dam, recovering $2.4 million in settlements from the engineers and a $12.4 million judgment against the contractor. The $12.4 million judgment resulted in a $12 million settlement with a national insurer on a bad faith insurance claim.
More than 30 years of extensive product liability defense experience for a major automotive manufacturer and a manufacturer of high voltage switchgear and automotive transmissions/drivetrains. This involved multiple jury trials, examples of which are:
- Successfully defended the manufacturer of the directional components of a drilling device used for directional oil/gas wells; case was venued in Harris County, Texas
- Successfully defended a multi-national corporation in a product liability case involving a death on a drilling rig in Dubai
- Successfully defended an automobile manufacturer in a $10 million product liability case venued in Starr County, Texas
- Successfully defended an automobile manufacturer in a $3 million product liability case venued in Nueces County, Texas (directed verdict that the plaintiff take nothing)
- As a Special Assistant Attorney General of Texas, responsible for discovery, trial preparation and three-month jury trial in Houston, Texas, concerning the Howard Hughes Estate and the determination of Howard Hughes' legal domicile at death; continued with representing the State of Texas in a federal interpleader action appealed to the United States Supreme Court, and represented the State of Texas in the resulting Original Action involving the States of California and Texas. This Original Action settled two weeks before trial in the summer of 1984 with a $50 million payment to the State of Texas.
- As Chief of the Taxation Division for the Attorney General of Texas, represented the State of Texas in several multi-million dollar test cases involving franchise taxes and state sales taxes
- Obtained a jury verdict and judgment against the State of Texas negating a sales tax audit, recovering all taxes paid under protest, plus attorneys' fees
Labor & Employment
- Successfully represented a number of individuals in defeating non-competition clauses in their employment agreements
- Negotiated the resolution of stock option and severance packages for departing executives of various high-tech companies
- Successfully represented an employer charged with sexual discrimination in the workplace
- Member, Austin, Texas and American Bar Associations
- Member, American Board of Trial Advocates
- Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry of Pre-eminent Lawyers
- Partner, Taube Summers Harrison Taylor Meinzer Brown, LLP, Austin, Tex.
- Partner, Fritz, Byrne, Head & Harrison, LLP, Austin, Tex.
- Partner and Litigation Section Head, Jones Day, Austin, Tex.
- J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1968
- B.B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 1966
- United States Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, All Districts of Texas
Born in Marfa, Texas, Rick is a dedicated University of Texas Longhorn fan. He enjoys bicycling, hiking and snow skiing.