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Stuhan, Richard G. Information

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Stuhan, Richard G.
North Point 901 Lakeside Avenue Cleveland, OH
Phone: 1.216.586.7148 (Business Phone)
Fax: 1.216.579.0212 (Business Fax)


Current Employment Position(s)


Lawyer Overview

Rick Stuhan has devoted a substantial portion of his practice for the last several years to the representation of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in state and federal courts throughout the United States in cases brought by smokers seeking to recover for illnesses allegedly caused by cigarette smoking. That representation included serving as trial counsel in Kueper v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al. (Cir. Ct., St. Clair County, Ill.), the first smoking and health case to proceed to trial in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Cipollone decision. In that case, Rick obtained a defense verdict following a highly publicized three-month trial. Rick has also served as lead counsel for Reynolds in cases brought in Alabama, New Hampshire, Montana, New York, Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island. More recently, Rick has been involved in "lights fraud" class actions in Illinois, Missouri, and Florida.

During the mid-1990s, Rick served as national coordinating counsel for Fruehauf Trailer Corporation in its product liability litigation. In that capacity, he managed a multistate docket of cases raising design, manufacturing, and warnings issues — including such problems as underride, conspicuity, rollover, detachment, rupture, structural collapse, explosion, electrocution, asphyxiation, mechanical failure, and falls. Following the departure of the company's general counsel, Rick assumed overall responsibility for the company's litigation docket and supervised, in addition to product liability matters, contract, warranty, employment, environmental, and other cases; coordinated the company's contacts with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; and served as the company's representative to the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association's Products Liability Committee.

Rick served as trial counsel for Northern Ohio Red Cross Blood Services in a series of cases brought by persons who claimed to have developed AIDS as a result of blood transfusions. He also assumed lead responsibility for the defense of The Lincoln Electric Company in a high-profile case in which plaintiffs alleged that defective weld wire contributed to damage to structural steel buildings during the January 1994 Northridge (California) earthquake. More recently, Rick coordinated the defense for the Firm's eight hospital-system clients in class actions brought by uninsured patients who claimed that the hospitals did not provide enough charity care to justify their tax exemptions. Rick wrote the lead brief on the successful opposition to plaintiffs' petition for multidistricting and contributed to successful motions to dismiss on the merits.

Rick currently represents New England Motor Freight in several nationwide class action lawsuits alleging that motor carriers conspired to fix fuel surcharges in violation of federal antitrust laws. In addition, Rick is representing Monier, Inc. in a corporate governance dispute under the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act.

In the course of his work, Rick has developed substantial experience in the handling of scientific and medical issues. His experience in those areas has included analysis of medical records, identification and preparation of medical and scientific expert witnesses, discovery of medical and scientific experts, presentation of medical and scientific expert testimony at trial, cross-examination of opposing experts, and the design of demonstrative exhibits for use at trial.

Rick also has had extensive experience in jury research techniques and strategies. That experience includes the design and conduct of focus group exercises and mock trials, jury selection, and post-verdict debriefing. Rick currently serves as chairman of the Cleveland Bar Association's Jury Service Project.

In addition to his work on product liability matters, Rick has extensive litigation experience in the areas of food and drug law, antitrust and trade regulation, federal securities, and franchising. He also has experience in government contracts, employment discrimination, insurance, bankruptcy, and general business and commercial litigation. He has appeared in a variety of state and federal courts on behalf of such clients as Tandy Corporation, Southland Corporation, and the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Besides litigation, Rick has been involved in federal agency adjudicative, investigative, enforcement, and rulemaking proceedings; commercial arbitrations; grand jury proceedings; special committee inquiries; and internal investigations. He has counseled corporate clients and trade associations on antitrust questions, franchising matters, and food and drug law issues.

During the past few years, Rick has devoted more time to publishing articles in legal journals and magazines. In addition to the articles listed on the Firm's Web site, Rick has written an article on the conflict of interest problem raised by sibling class actions that has been accepted for publication in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. Rick is also featured in a series of videotaped presentations sponsored by the Corporate Government Alliance. As part of its "Conversations That Build a Bridge of Trust" program, Rick addressed a range of topics, including the Class Action Fairness Act, steps to take when a suit is filed, and recent amendments to the Federal Rules regarding electronic discovery.

Rick has been president of his local community association, was chairman of a successful citywide referendum campaign that overturned a city council decision to convert a public school building into luxury condominiums, was chairman of the board of trustees of Womankind Maternal and Prenatal Center, has coached a variety of youth sports, and is active in his church. He is a member of the Ohio, Virginia, and District of Columbia Bars. Rick has been profiled in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America, and Men of Achievement. He has been recognized as an Ohio "Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics magazine and is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Areas of Practice

  • Product Liability & Tort Litigation
  • Class Action and Multidistrict Product Liability Litigation
  • Consumer Goods Product Liability Litigation
  • Transportation Product Liability Litigation
  • Coordination of Product Liability Litigation
  • Trial Experience in Product Liability Cases
  • Trial Practice
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Consumer Fraud & Warranty Litigation

Representative Cases

  • Brock v. Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Inc. (10th Cir. 2007)
  • Gloria Rios, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • In re LTL Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation (2007 – 2008)
  • In re Not for Profit Hospital Litigation
  • Monier, Inc. v. Boral, Inc. (Del. Ct. Chancery 2007- 08)
  • Sheri Collora, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Turner, et al. v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Insurance Settlement

West Practice Categories

Alcoholic Beverages, Apparel, Asbestos, Bankruptcy Litigation, Business & Commercial Law, Chemicals & Cosmetics, Class Actions, Collections & Repossessions, Commercial Leasing, Complex Litigation, Consumer Protection, Contracts, Debtor/Creditor, Federal Appellate Practice, Federal Claims Court, Federal Trial Practice, Firearms, Food & Agricultural Products, Franchising, International Trade Litigation, International Transactions, Joint Ventures, Lemon Law, Litigation & Appeals, Machinery & Tools, Medical Products & Devices, Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures, Military & Veterans Appeals, Motor Vehicle Defects, Multidistrict Litigation, Patent Litigation, Pharmaceutical Products, Products Liability Law, Recreational Products, Secured Transactions, State Appellate Practice, State Trial Practice, Tax Litigation, Tobacco, Transactions, Uniform Commercial Code, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, US Supreme Court, Warranties


Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Ohio
  • Virginia


  • U of Virginia- C'ville (Main)

Published Works

  • Making the Most of Oral Voir Dire, The Practical Litigator, 2009
  • Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: The Conflict of Interest Problem in Sibling Class Actions, coauthor, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 2008
  • The Appeal Bond - What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Needs To Be Factored Into Your Litigation Strategy, coauthor, Practice Perspectives: Product Liability & Tort Litigation, 2008
  • Written Juror Questionnaires in Civil Cases, Drug and Device Law Blog, 2008
  • Best Practices: Jury Selection" National Institute for Trial Advocacy ("NITA") Notes, 2007
  • It's Not as Devastating as You Might Think, Impeaching with Prior Inconsistent Statements, For The Defense, 2007
  • Rule 30(e): What You Don't Know Could Hurt You - Beware the sham errata sheet - or any other errata sheet!, The Practical Litigator, coauthor, 2006
  • Decisions to Date on Dispositive Motions in the Charity Care Litigation, Health Lawyers News, 2005
  • The Class Action Fairness Act: Enough Rope to Pull Class-Action Defendants Out of 'Judicial Hellholes' or Just Enough to Hang Them?, Andrews Toxic Torts Litigation Reporter, Thomson/West, also published iAndrews Insurance Coverage Litigation Reporter, 2005
  • The Not-for-Profit Hospital Litigation: Using the Courts to Reform the Health Care System, Cleveland Bar Journal, Vol. 76, No. 5, page 14ff, coauthor, 2005