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Richard E.  Buck, Esq.

Richard E. Buck, Esq.

General Biography
Practice Areas
Construction Defect
Personal Injury/Torts
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Richard E. Buck, Esq., joined JAMS following a widely respected 38-year legal career and is available as a full-time mediator, arbitrator and special master/referee. As a litigation attorney, Mr. Buck specialized in complex commercial and residential projects (including long-cause matters), insurance coverage, real estate (disclosure, misrepresentation and flipper cases), class actions, homeowners’ associations, major land subsidence/geotechnical defects, medical malpractice, wrongful death/catastrophic personal injury, subrogation, and general tort/negligence and product defect cases. He is extremely knowledgeable of the litigation and mediation processes. He is best known for his calm demeanor and relentless pursuit of civility in litigated and mediated matters. He has a keen awareness of risk management and the necessity of cost containment in legally and factually complex, expert-driven matters.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Mr. Buck has been counsel in approximately 1,300 mediations, served as mediator in approximately 100 cases and litigated approximately 600 cases in the following areas:

  • Residential single-family home and condominium projects representing the developer/general contractor (including Right to Repair/SB800 claims), many involving hundreds of units in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento, San Francisco, Kern, King and Tulare counties
  • Commercial buildings, including hotels, medical offices, hospitals, airplane hangar and high-rise/mixed use condominium projects
  • Class action involving galvanized pipe product defect allegations, representing five developers/general contractors in Los Angeles County
  • Luxury custom homes and remodeling disputes, including numerous cases involving celebrity owners
  • Construction claim disputes concerning delay damages, liquidated damages, mechanic’s liens, bond claims and stop notices
  • Risk transfer among contractors and design professionals
  • Insurance coverage
  • Wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases involving commercial trucks and motor carrier liability
  • Over 500 automobile and premises liability cases, mold/asbestos litigation and bed bug cases
  • Risk transfer disputes concerning “additional insured” carriers, primary and excess carriers, and express contractual indemnity
  • Nuisance, inverse condemnation and dangerous conditions under Government Code Section 835 cases
  • Multipurpose athletic fields
  • Fire sprinkler cases
  • Breach of partnership agreements
  • Noise/acoustical engineer claims
  • Assault and battery; intentional torts

Representative Matters

  • Construction Defect
    • Residential: Single-Family, Condominium and Luxury Custom Homes
      • Construction defects concerning roofs, windows, framing, concrete, stucco, plumbing/HVAC, balconies, electrical, pools and soils subsidence
      • Represented five builders/developers in class action claim for pinhole leaks in galvanized pipe involving approximately 5,000 homes in Los Angeles County
      • Right to Repair/SB 800 claims
      • Violations of Business & Professions Code Sections 7100 et seq.
      • Soils subsidence/slope creep; water-cement ratio, water vapor barrier, and soils sulfates and complex geotechnical issues
      • Subrogation claims involving plumbing and fire losses
      • PEX plumbing connections and copper pipe defect claims
      • WRAP/OCIP policies
      • Homeowners’ association (HOA) claims involving defects in roofing, stucco, concrete flatwork and slope failures
      • Defect allegations concerning sewer main pipes

      • Curtain wall/glazing and window defects in high-rise medical office building
      • Hotel structural steel defects
      • Claims for defective waterproofing on decks, walkways and planters in mixed-use building
      • Commercial storage buildings: claims of withdrawal of subjacent and lateral support
      • Allegations of defective installation of caissons/columns
      • Hotels: construction defect, delay damages, loss of business/rents and business interruption
      • Low-income apartment housing projects
      • Airplane hangar: alleged construction defects, delay damages and mechanic’s lien
      • Subterranean parking garages: water damage/intrusion
      • Fire sprinkler failure

      Risk Transfer/Indemnity
      • Interpretation and scope of express contractual indemnity in residential and commercial cases
      • Implications of Crawford v. Weathershield and defense exposure
      • Additional insured obligations under CGL insurance policies with focus on “completed operations” and “ongoing operations” provisions
  • Employment
    • Wrongful Termination
      • Multiple wrongful termination matters, including whistleblower retaliation
      • Sexual harassment and Gender Discrimination matter between Team Supervisor and Manager, including hostile work environment and disparate treatment
      Separation Agreement
      • Matter between corporate officers concerning alleged violation of confidentiality provision
  • Personal Injury/Torts
      • Traumatic brain injuries sustained in commercial trucking incidents
      • Motor carrier liability
      • Vehicle liability
      • Premises liability/slip and fall in commercial retail establishments
      • Dog bites
      • Negligence and intentional tort allegations asserted against churches and religious organizations

  • Professional Liability
    • Professional Negligence in Construction
      • Architectural design defects and structural design defects
      • Claims against mechanical engineers involving HVAC systems
      • Claims against geotechnical engineers for failure to properly test soils and soil compaction, failure to properly design residential slabs/foundations

      Medical Malpractice

      • Claims involving standard of care issues brought against orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, OB/GYN certified specialists and general practice/family practice providers
  • Real Property
    • Real Property

      • Encroachment and neighboring walls/fences
      • Easement disputes
      • Landlord/tenant
      • Breach of implied warranty of habitability

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1985
  • Missouri, 1994
  • Texas, 2021

Completed virtual ADR training conducted by JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS

  • American Arbitration Association ADR Training includes:
    • Fundamentals of Arbitration Process; Advanced Case Management Issues; Dealing With Delay Tactics in Arbitration; Managing Cases Involving Self-Represented Parties; Efficient and Cost-Effective Arbitration; Maximizing ADR Advocacy for Today’s Economy; What Lawyers and Arbitrators Need to Know About Commercial Arbitration; Dispositive Motions in Arbitration; Ethics for Arbitrators, Mediators and Attorneys; The Art of Facilitating Settlement; Best Practices in Expedited/Fast Track Arbitrations
  • Judge Pro-Tem/Temporary Judge, Orange County Superior Court, 1995–2023
  • Judge Pro-Tem/Temporary Judge, Riverside Superior Court, 1992–1994 and 2018–2023
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, 2016
  • Speaker, Mealy’s Construction Defect Seminar, 2001
  • Warren J. Ferguson American Inns of Court, 2000
  • Member, Citizens Advisory Committee, Yorba Linda Water District, 2015–2017
  • Mock Trial Competition Judge, Constitutional Rights Foundation, 1999
  • Traffic Safety Commissioner, City of Placentia, 1995–1998
  • Court-Appointed Arbitrator, Orange County Superior Court, 1994–2000
  • Court-Appointed Arbitrator, Riverside County Superior Court, 1991–1994
  • Author, “Malicious Prosecution,” Washburn Law Journal, 1983
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, Construction Litigation, 2021
  • Riverside County Superior Court Mediation Panel, 2023

Background and Education

  • Partner, Cooksey Toolen Gage Duffy & Woog, 2000–2022
  • Associate, Cooksey Toolen Gage Duffy & Woog, 1995–2000
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association, 2003–2023
  • Partner, Tuverson & Hillyard, 1993–1995
  • Associate, Tuverson & Hillyard, 1985–1989 and 1990–1993
  • J.D., Washburn University, 1984
  • B.A., Political Science/International Relations, University of California, Los Angeles, 1977


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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