• University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), (J.D., 1974)
  • Occidental College (M.A., Urban Planning, 1971)
  • Claremont Men's College (B.A., Economics, 1969), cum laude

Richard Sherman is a partner emeritus in the firm's Newport Beach office. For five years he served as Managing Partner of the Newport Beach office, serving the maximum permissible term. He has served on the Executive Committee for 14 years.

Mr. Sherman primarily represents real estate developers and airlines in all aspects of their businesses, including litigation, land development agreements, relations with federal, state, county and municipal governments and agencies, the purchase and sale of real estate (both commercial and residential), land planning, environmental issues, insurance coverage, and finance.

For several years, Mr. Sherman has been named to the Southern California "Super Lawyers" list by Los Angeles Magazine; only five percent of the lawyers in the country earn this honor. In 2007-2010 and 2012, Mr. Sherman was included among the "Top 100" lawyers in Southern California and in 2006-2014 the "Top 50 of Orange County" by Los Angeles Magazine. He has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America from 2007-2019 for Commercial Litigation, Real Estate Law and Bet-the-Company Litigation. He was also listed by Orange County Magazine as one of the top lawyers in Orange County. Mr. Sherman has recently been named by the Los Angeles Times Magazine as one of Southern California's Best Lawyers for his work in Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Law. He is the 2009 Recipient of the Judge Learned Hand Award for Community Service and was listed among the Top Lawyers in Litigation 2009, a supplement to The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel.

Representative Matters

Recent transactions and litigations include:

  • Lead counsel to NYSE listed company in all phases of its business and litigation, including compliance with securities laws and regulations;
  • Lead trial counsel in an arbitration involving dissolution of real estate entities and ownership of land. Mr. Sherman's client prevailed against the demand in arbitration alleging breach of fiduciary duty, and prevailed on a cross demand in arbitration with the client awarded more than $1 billion in land and dissolution of the ventures;
  • Lead trial counsel for a major international airline in litigation over gate access, departure slots, environmental issues, and real estate rights at numerous California airports;
  • Lead counsel for numerous real estate developers in negotiating billions of dollars of financing agreements, acquisition and disposition agreements with regard to commercial and residential real estate transactions, including age-restricted communities;
  • Lead trial counsel for numerous real estate developers and owners in connection with construction claims, construction defect claims, and environmental issues;
  • Lead trial counsel in numerous disputes relating to insurance coverage litigation and insurance coverage disputes;
  • Lead trial counsel in numerous litigations and arbitrations regarding partnership disputes and disputes between joint venturers;
  • Lead counsel in connection with the acquisition and sale of several world class antique and classic automobile collections.

For five years, Mr. Sherman was executive vice president and general counsel of The William Lyon Company, and all other Lyon-related companies. In that capacity, Mr. Sherman supervised all legal affairs and litigation, negotiated the purchase and sale of several billion dollars of real estate, and handled all aspects of real estate development transactions (including acquisition and sale of property, financing, government relations, land planning, subcontracts, bonding, and consumer sales contracts). He also supervised all aspects of employee, legal, and business relations with development partners and financial partners. He further devoted significant time to insurance coverage issues, disputes with insurance carriers, and issues related to insurance carriers for subcontractors of the Lyon entities.

Mr. Sherman has also served as general counsel and senior vice president of AirCal, including representation of AirCal in litigation, in negotiations with federal, state and municipal governments, and in the sale of the airline to American Airlines, Inc.

Mr. Sherman is honored by the recent creation of the Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professorship of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. The professorship is currently held by Pamela Samuelson, director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology.

Professional Activities

American Bar Association (Sections on Business Law, Litigation and Aviation); Federal Bar Association of Orange County (Founding Member); Orange County Bar Association

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Bar & Court Admissions

  • 1974, California
  • 1975, U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • 1983, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • 1985, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • 1987, Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth District