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Ronald L. Richman

General Counsel , San Francisco

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Ronald L. Richman

General Counsel , San Francisco

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Ron Richman partners with clients to resolve their most complex civil, commercial and contract disputes that affect their business. Skilled in multiple approaches to resolution, he litigates, arbitrates and mediates in state and federal courts throughout California. Ron has served in several leadership positions at Bullivant Houser, including  member of the Board of Directors, Practice Group Leader, Shareholder in Charge of the San Francisco office and member of the Governance Committee. Ron currently serves as the General Counsel for Bullivant. 

He has extensive experience defending cases in the real estate and construction industries, especially those involving breach of contract and lease disputes, property and boundary disputes, construction litigation and mechanic liens, and surety bond litigation. He’s also skilled at analyzing and advising on a wide variety of commercial contracts to help clients avoid conflicts in the future. Ron also represents multi-employer union Trust Funds in ERISA compliance and litigation.

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Ron believes in forging relationships with clients by working with them as a team so they are part of the process in developing strategies for resolving disputes. He helps them understand what is happening in their case and is diligent about providing updates to avoid surprises.

Ron’s litigation experience goes back to his days in the military when he served as a legal officer with the U.S. Navy JAG Corps for three and a half years. He handled criminal litigation for local and regional Navy and Marine bases while stationed at the former Naval Station, Treasure Island, San Francisco. A highlight of Ron’s service came when he successfully defended a sailor in a case of first impression for the Navy that made national news.

Types of disputes/projects and clients

Real estate and land use issues, including property and boundary disputes, easements, and encroachments representing owners, title insurers, and developers

Commercial lease and contract disputes representing owners, developers, landlords, property managers and tenants, including restaurateurs

Construction disputes, including construction defect, breach of contract, delay claims, and contractors’ remedies such as mechanics’ liens, surety payment, and performance bonds and stop notices representing sureties, owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers

ERISA multi-union employer trust funds, representing state and multi-union employer trust funds

Third-party policies including fiduciary liability, directors, and officers (D&O), and errors and omissions (E&O) representing national and international insurance companies and their insureds


Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1984
  • California, 1989

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


  • University of Dayton, School of Law – J.D., 1984
  • Bowling Green State University – B.S., 1981


  • Successfully prosecuted a property/boundary/easement and commerical contract dispute involving a mulit-million dollar highrise in San Francisco
  • Successfully defended a national surety in a multi-million dollar claim under a performance bond issued for a new residential high rise project in San Francisco

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  • Successfully defended a national insurer by seeking and obtaining terminating sanctions against the plaintiff for a series of discovery abuses
  • American Bar Association (Member, Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Litigation Section  
  • Bar Association of San Francisco (Member) 
  • San Francisco Superior Court (Mediation Panelist, Early Settlement Program) 
  • U.S. Navy Reserve Force (Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, 1985-1988) 
  • University of California, Davis (Member, Parent and Family Council)
  • Co-Chair and Panelist, Surety Claims Institute, Annual Program, Ethis Panel (2020)
  • Panelist, “Mediation and Negotiation Strategy,” Thomson Reuters Webinar (2016) 
  • Moderator, “Emerging Issues in Trial Practice Now and in the Next 10 Years,” American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Annual Meeting (2016) 
  • Author, “Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easements – Get off of My Property! Can’t You Read the Sign?” California Land Use Reporter (2006) 
  • Program Chair, “A Mighty Wind or Just a Lot of Hot Air? – The Newest Coverage Arguments Being Asserted by Insurers and Policyholders,” American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) (2005) 
  • Author, “Is the Grass Really Greener on the Other Side? A Primer on Property Boundary Disputes for the Land Use Practitioner,” California Land Use Reporter (2005) 
  • Program Chair, “Insurance Coverage in the Aftermath of 9-11 and the Growing Accounting Nightmare in Corporate America,” American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) (2003) 
  • Panelist, “A New World for Insurance Coverage Attorneys,” American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) (2002) 
  • Panelist, “How to Grab the Jury in Your Opening Statement through Development of Themes Early on in the Case,” American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) (2001) 
  • Author, “Insurance Coverage for Defective Construction,” American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), The Brief (2000) 
  • Nominated and appointed by the San Francisco Superior Court to serve as a panelist for the Court’s Early Settlement Program in recognition of his skills in resolving complex litigation cases
  • Recipient of the 2014 Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award from the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) of the American Bar Association (ABA) 
  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers (2010-2023 — Business Litigation)


Serving in the military is a proud tradition in Ron’s family. He comes from a long line of family members who served in WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. His father served in WWII as a pilot and finished his career as a legal officer in the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps.

Ron feels that his own positive military experience in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps was instrumental in setting the foundation for how he approaches his work and his philosophy on serving clients. It taught him how to be a leader and part of a team, understanding people’s roles, earning respect and establishing rapport. He learned to take on tremendous responsibility for his team members in the military and has that same sense of responsibility when working with clients. Ron sees representing someone as an honor and brings a broader perspective having worked in this capacity.

Over the past few years, Ron has taken an interest in photographing the sky, as opposed to landscapes, what he calls “sky-scapes”.  He looks for interesting patterns in the clouds or colors in the sky and tries to capture those sky-scapes.  His hope is to one day put together a book of sky-scapes, just for fun and to share with family and friends.

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