David Richman is of counsel in the Philadelphia office of Pepper Hamilton LLP and a senior member of the firm’s Health Effects Litigation, Environmental, and White Collar and Corporate Investigations practice groups. He has been a Pepper lawyer since 1974 and was a partner from 1978 to 2012.
Mr. Richman chaired Pepper’s Litigation Department in 1993 and 1994, and chaired or co-chaired the Environmental Practice Group from 1986 to 1996.
Mr. Richman is a trial and appellate lawyer of many years’ experience. He has tried numerous commercial and products liability actions, jury and non-jury, and has argued scores of appeals in civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. He has served as national coordinating counsel in toxic tort or medical device liability litigation for multiple clients, and he counsels clients on products liability, product recalls, and sale of goods disputes, and on the risks involved in the acquisition of businesses that historically manufactured or sold asbestos-containing products. He has taught trial advocacy at regional programs of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and served as a mediator and arbitrator for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He is an adjunct professor of law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, where he teaches Advanced Civil Procedure and Remedies in the Evening Division, and he has lectured and published on topics in the fields of environmental law, professional responsibility and evidence.
From 1982 to 2000, Mr. Richman served as court-appointed counsel to the inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System in a federal class action. For 14 of those years, he negotiated, enforced and participated in the implementation of consent decrees requiring improvements in conditions of confinement. Martin Harris v. City of Philadelphia is the subject of eight opinions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 2006 he was co-counsel to a class of Philadelphia inmates subjected to atrocious conditions of confinement in police lock-ups and in the receiving areas of Philadelphia’s jails. Following a trial on plaintiffs’ motion, the court granted a preliminary injunction that decreed the abatement of the complained-of conditions. Bowers v. City of Philadelphia, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5804 (E.D. Pa. 2007). Mr. Richman is again co-counsel to the inmates of Philadelphia’s Prison System in Williams v. City of Philadelphia, an action seeking relief from conditions of confinement arising from acute overcrowding.
Mr. Richman joined Pepper in 1974, following five years as an assistant district attorney for the City of Philadelphia, the last as chief of the appeals division, and following service as counsel to an ad hoc committee of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives investigating corruption in state government contracting.
In 2008, he co-founded The Pennsylvania Innocence Project, and he has served as the organization’s president since its inception. Mr. Richman also is a member and former vice president of the board of trustees of the Defender Association of Philadelphia and is an officer of the board of directors of the Mary Louise Curtis Branch of Settlement Music School. His past service as a board member of public interest nonprofit organizations has included chairing the board of directors of the Education Law Center from 1993 through 2008 and serving as a director of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia from 1992 through 2006, and of the Pennsylvania Prison Society from 2000 through 2012. Mr. Richman also served as president of the Law Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2002 and 2003, and he was an original master of the Delaware Valley Environmental Inn of Court. In 2009, Mr. Richman was honored by the Alumni Society of the University of Pennsylvania Law School with the first Howard Lesnick Award for pro bono service by a lawyer in private practice.
Mr. Richman is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was selected for inclusion on the 2013 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.