Rick L Shackelford is co-chair of the firm’s food, beverage and agribusiness practice. As an experienced trial litigator, he represents his clients in complex litigation, including consumer class actions, product liability, false advertising and commercial law. He has considerable experience in consumer class action litigation, having been involved in class actions in federal courts in several states. In addition, his practice includes trials and appeals, in many instances involving cases he has handled from their initial pleading stages. He has defended clients in consumer product liability cases, including Proposition 65 claims. He has also represented debtors and creditors in bankruptcy actions throughout California, as well as in Ohio, Texas and Nevada, and has defended and prosecuted avoidance actions.
Rick has represented consumer product companies in sophisticated product liability cases. His experience includes the defence of manufacturers of asbestos-containing products in several cases in California state courts (with several that went to trial); the representation of tobacco companies in numerous product liability cases, including both individual smoking cases and smoker class actions in California, Arizona, Nevada and Minnesota; and the defence of a Fortune 500 toy company in consumer claims of lead paint in toys and on California’s Proposition 65. He also counsels clients on potential consumer claims based upon the marketing of food products and California’s Proposition 65.
Rick represents food and beverage companies in consumer class and individual actions alleging deceptive trade practices and false advertising, including challenges to nutrition, ingredient and health claims made in a variety of media. His experience includes defending three clients in federal jury trials for alleged false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act, all three of which resulted in defence judgments.
He is recognised for setting precedent in applying the “safe harbour” laws in two different district courts to bar consumer deception claims levelled against his client’s alcoholic beverage labels – the first such rulings ever applied to distilled spirits. Rick also handles claims for makers of dietary supplements, weight loss products, cosmetics, and skin care products in California based upon claims that the products are ineffective or unlawfully marketed as unapproved drugs.
He was listed as a team member for The American Lawyer’s Products Liability Litigation Department of the Year in 2018; was selected as The Law360 MVP for food and beverages in 2016; and was co-chair of the practice selected as the Law360 Food and Beverage Practice Group of the Year in 2015. He was recognised by The Legal 500 US for dispute resolution: product liability, mass tort and class action (consumer products, including tobacco) in 2018; and by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal in its list of the top 20 defence verdicts of 2011. Rick was recognised by Acritas Stars Independently Rated Lawyers as a “Star Lawyer” in 2018 and 2019, and was named a “Client Service All Star” by the BTI Client Service All-Star Report in 2011.