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Richard (“Rick”) Schwartz litigates a wide variety of high-stakes and complex disputes on behalf of clients that have included rapidly expanding technology startups, sophisticated investors, and companies with sensitive business-driven demands. Mr. Schwartz has obtained first-rate results on complex claims ranging from misappropriation of trade secrets, defamation, employment discrimination, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, sexual misconduct, 
constitutional challenges under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and tax controversies.

In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Schwartz also serves as the Secretary and General Counsel for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Prior to joining Ross LLP as a founding partner, Mr. Schwartz was a partner at Browne George Ross O’Brien Annaguey & Ellis LLP, a senior associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice.

Notable Representations

  • Prevailing at trial in a case of first impression involving claims for willfully failing to disclose an interest in foreign bank accounts;

  • Obtaining a first-of-its-kind trial court ruling and preliminary injunction that Los Angeles County had acted arbitrarily and capriciously in banning outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic;

  • Negotiating eight-figure settlement with multiple defendants in favor of a victim of a highly publicized sexual assault, implicating international tax issues;

  • Securing a confidential and favorable, multi-million dollar resolution in favor of a high profile actor who had asserted claims against a major television network for failing to accommodate the actor’s disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act;

  • Winning dismissal of a multi-million dollar defamation claim brought by Michael Avenatti against mass media defendants at the pleadings stage;

  • Serving as class counsel to represent class of medically fragile children in California who asserted claims that they had not received sufficient services required under Medi-Cal;

  • Successfully defending the constitutionality of the "parsonage allowance," Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code;

  • Defeating a multi-million dollar putative class action alleging fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations in connection with the sale of certain “smart” televisions;

  • Obtaining preliminary injunctive relief that led to a favorable settlement on behalf of a lawyer who had departed his former law firm without receiving a termination payment;

  • Steering an executive through her departure from a failing publicly traded company while asserting and favorably settling multi-million dollar claims of employment discrimination;

  • Successfully obtaining millions of dollars in relief against multiple private schools on behalf of child victims of sexual assault;

  • Representing and obtaining injunctive relief on behalf of a wearable device designer and producer asserting misappropriation of trade secrets against its chief competitor and former employees;

  • Arbitrating claims of breaches of contract and breaches of fiduciary duties in managing a venture capital fund on behalf of defrauded investors;

  • Negotiating the resolution of putative trademark claims without the client paying a cent;

  • Litigating a variety of housing discrimination claims on behalf of dozens of tenants across several apartment buildings, which culminated in a record-setting settlement on behalf of the tenants;

  • Defending the constitutionality of a tax statute against allegations that the allowance violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment;

  • Drafting and filing numerous amicus curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Fourth Circuits;

  • Advising a game developer in its defense against a putative class action alleging claims of improper user-tracking; and

  • Assisting a technology company navigate various controversies with local taxing authorities; and

  • Defending an insurance company against claims by the California Insurance Commission.

Public Involvement & Recognition

  • Member of the Business Litigation Committee of the California Lawyers Association

  • Author of initial draft of AB 272, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on August 31, 2021, now codified at California Code of Civil Procedure section 1002.7

  • Author of A Lack of Closure on Bot Disclosure, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Report (Los Angeles), January 2019

  • Recipient of the Fair Shake Award, Western Center on Law and Poverty, 2018

  • Speaker on the topic of Trade Secrets Audits, Institute of Internal Auditors Conference, June 2018

  • Recipient of the Outstanding Attorney Award, U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, 2012


  • U.S. Supreme Court

  • California Supreme Court

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


  • J.D., Columbia Law School, 2009 (James Kent Scholar, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar)

  • B.A., Claremont McKenna College, 2006 (Philosophy, Politics & Economics / Government double major, cum laude)

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