J. Ric Gass Trial Presentation Award
J. Ric Gass, 2012 President of the Litigation Counsel of America, was one of the five founding members of Gass Weber Mullins LLC, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as both national trial and supervising counsel for a number of insurers and self-insured corporations. Ric tried cases in virtually every civil substantive area, but his specialty areas included catastrophic injuries, trucking, product liability, and bad faith. His practice was nationwide, with cases from Miami to Hawaii. During his renowned career, he tried more than 300 cases to verdict, mostly defending corporations and insurers. The defense verdict he secured in Las Vegas in Hassanali v Custom Fiberglass was recognized as one of the “Top Ten Defense Verdicts of 2015” by Courtroom View Network. He also represented corporations and insurers as plaintiffs, and while representing a municipality and manufacturer as plaintiffs, he secured the largest jury verdict in the history of the State of Wisconsin: $104.5 million.
In addition to being a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, Ric was a Fellow in both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers, and was elevated to the rank of Diplomate in the American Board of Trial Advocates. He was also a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, the International Association of Defense Counsel, and the Defense Research Institute. He was a past president of both the FDCC and Lawyers for Civil Justice.
Ric enjoyed an AV Preeminent® rating in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ for over two decades. He was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and was also selected as a Master of the Bench in the American Inns of Court. He was board certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and held the rank of Senior Counsel in The College of Master Advocates and Barristers. Ric was also one of the inaugural inductees to the Wisconsin Law Journal’sLeaders in the Law.
His firm, Gass Weber Mullins, was named a “Litigation Powerhouse” in the BTI Litigation Outlook Report, one of the “Top Ten Litigation Boutiques” by National Law Journal, ACQ’s “Wisconsin Litigation Law Firm of the Year,” as a “Go-To Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies” by ALM, selected as a “Tier 1 Best Law Firm” by U.S. News and World Report, named “Wisconsin Firm of the Year” by Benchmark Litigation, and was featured in Corporate Counsel Magazine.
Ric received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, with a major in chemistry and minors in education and mathematics, and his J.D. cum laude from Marquette University Law School in 1970, where he was a Thomas More Scholar. He was a member of the Milwaukee Bar Association and the American Bar Association, admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Wisconsin, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court, and was admitted pro hac vice to practice in more than 30 state and federal courts. He served as an adjunct associate professor of law at Marquette University Law School, lecturing from 1977 to 1988 in trial practice and basic and advanced evidence.
He was a national legal speaker on trial practice topics, including “Winning at Trial,” “Handling Sympathy in Jury Trials,” “Handling Catastrophic Injury Cases,” and “Bringing It Together For Trial.” Frequently a keynote speaker for state and national defense and plaintiffs’ organizations, Ric published over 28 articles and book chapters on trial techniques and tactics and gave over 225 invited presentations. He was also frequently asked to provide expert testimony on bad faith, legal malpractice, and insurance issues.
Ric served as Life Dean of the Trial Law Institute, was a charter member of the Diversity Law Institute, was the creator of the LCA’s Renaissance Symposium series, and served on the LCA’s Advisory Board.