Richard S. Baron
Top Rated Environmental Litigation Attorney in Livonia, MI
Mr. Baron is a founding member of Foley, Baron & Metzger PLLC. He has a national civil litigation practice with special emphasis on environmental law and compliance issues, products liability and chemical exposure matters. He has considerable experience in spill response and forensic analysis at historical sites of contamination. His experience also includes property transactions including environmental due diligence, hazardous waste, CERCLA and RCRA issues, and Michigan's Natural Resources Environmental Protection Act (NREPA). Mr. Baron's extensive practice also includes business issues and commercial litigation, real property litigation and zoning, construction law, mass torts, real estate, product liability and aviation law.
After practicing law for more than 30 years, Rich has developed the distinctive ability to quickly get to the heart of the matter, identify and recommend a strategy and integrate his client’s goals into the path forward. He is frequently complimented by clients for his ability to make complicated scientific and technical issues simple and understandable. He has found that eliminating the noise and honing in on what really matters is a key to successful results. He believes that this approach saves time, money and heartache and resolves the project or litigation. An educational background in the environmental area (he likes science), provides a solid backdrop for his practice.
Rich is the former Chairperson of the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, where he served on the environmental Law Section Council for many years. He has been the editor of the Michigan Environmental Law Journal and the American Bar Association, Environmental Litigation Committee Newsletter. Rich is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and carries Martindale-Hubbell’s “A-V” rating. He has served as an adjunct professor of Environmental Law and Aviation Law at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Rich has served as lead counsel for an industry leader in chlorinated solvent matters, handling products liability, administrative and litigated matters from California to Texas to the U.S. Virgin Islands. As he told a client once at a major groundwater contamination site in Wisconsin, “I have to be as comfortable in hiking boots as I am in wingtips.” He believes that sitting in the office is no substitute for “boots on the ground,” when warranted, to evaluate the contentions being made, identify alternate theories and in understanding potential areas of concern better than the opposition.
In addition to making the complex simple, Rich believes the details matter. After difficulties with their insurance carrier, the CEO of large solvent recovery equipment company was prepared not to like Rich when he was brought in to defend a serious injury claim regarding his equipment. However, when Rich started asking detailed instrumentation questions and discussing potential weak spots in the allegations, the client quickly changed his preconceived opinions and relied on Rich for the successful handling all of their environmental work for over 30 years.
Because not all matters are litigated, Rich believes that getting to “yes” is important to resolution whether in permit negotiation, a real estate transaction or contract issue. Rich represented an international manufacturer in a customer contract dispute that threatened significant existing and future business and cash flow. He was able to identify a contract provision between the two companies which turned the balance of power completely in his client’s favor and brought the dispute to a speedy resolution. Not only did the client keep the business, but they remained the customer’s sole source as well.
- 40%Environmental Litigation
- 20%Real Estate: Business
- 10%Cannabis Law
- 10%Class Action/Mass Torts: Defense
- 10%Construction Litigation: Business
- 10%Personal Injury - Products: Defense
Class Actions, Construction Defects
- Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2019, 2022
About Richard S. Baron
First Admitted: 1982, Michigan
Professional Webpage: https://fbmjlaw.com/expertise/people/posts/baron-s-richard/
- Pilot, Single Engine Land and Sea; Instrument; Scuba: PADI Advance Open Water, FEL
- Awards in Indy International Wine Competition and the American Wine Society
- Super Lawyers: 2016 - 2019
- Top Rated Environmental Litigation Attorney in Livonia, MI
- Speaker, Perrin Conference Environmental Panel, New York City, “’ Don’t Drink the Water!’ Lead, Vapor Intrusion and Groundwater Developments”, 2017
- Speaker, Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, "Environmental Auditing and Reporting Law in Michigan.", 1996
- Author, "Environmental Audits" chapter, Michigan Environmental Law Desk book
- Co-author, "Comments Sought on State Court Plan to Address Asbestos Suits", Washington Legal Foundation, Counsel's Advisory, 2006
- "The Governmental Contractor Defense: A New Standard in the 6th Circuit," Products, General Liability and Consumer Law Committee News of the ABA, 2010
- Presentation, "Factually Speaking", 2011
- Presentation, "Frack & Fiction", 2013
- Speaker, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Annual Meeting, Vienna Austria, "Fracking: Litigation Coming Soon to a Firm Near You", 2014
- Co-author, A Tragedy On Tap: Making Sense of the Insurance Claims and Litigation Facing Flint and Its Water Crisis," Claims Management Magazine, Issue 5, Volume 5, 2016
- Achieved the highest rating for legal ability in Martindale-Hubbell. Presentation, "All Sums" - Re-Allocation Strategies to Cavell (a division of the Randall Group) relating to the handling of complex and contentious environmental and toxic tort claims (December 2006). Co-author, "Comments Sought on State Court Plan to Address Asbestos Suites," Washington Legal Foundation, Counsel's Advisory (November 2006). Co-Author: "Environmental Law Practice Guide," Chapter 64, "Michigan," Matthew Bender & Co., 1999 Edition; chapter "Environmental Audits," Co-Author, "Be Diligent About Due Diligence," 19 Detroiter, No.2, Page 12 (February 1997). Michigan Environmental Law Desk book, Environmental Law Section, State Bar of Michigan and the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 1992; "Environmental Audits-What Are They and Can the Results Be Kept Confidential," Michigan Bar Journal, Vol. 73, No. 10, 1994; Editor: State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section, Michigan Environmental Law Journal, 1988-1996; American Bar Association Environmental Litigation Committee Newsletter, 1989-1996.
- Speaker, State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section, “Environmental Considerations Affecting Cannabis Operations”, 2018
- Co-author, "Maintaining MIOSHA Compliance in the Rapidly Changing COVID-19 Environment", 2020
- Co-author, "Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) – What the Stay at Home Order Means for Michigan Citizens and Businesses", 2020
- Co-author, "Governor Whitmer’s New Stay-At-Home Order (Executive Order 2020-42) Has Legal Requirements for Business Owners to Fulfil Before Starting In-Person Operations", 2020
- Co-author, "Executive Order 2020-77 Emphasizes the State’s Requirement for COVID-19 Specific Preparedness Plan to Protect In-Person Workers", 2020
- Co-author, "Executive Order 2020-86 Relaxes Restriction on Telemedicine for Physicians Certifying Medical Marihuana Patients", 2020
- Co-author, "Executive Order 2020-104 Authorizes Pharmacists, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners to Establish and Administer COVID-19 Testing Services With Proper Safety Protocols in Place", 2020
- Vienna, Austria: Speaker, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Annual Meeting, Vienna Austria, "Fracking: Litigation Coming Soon to a Firm Near You" (July 2014)Participant of an International panel discussing the scientific and technical aspects of hydraulic fracturing and areas of risk for handling claims., Speaker, "Fracking: Litigation Coming Soon to a Firm Near You", International Association Of Defense Counsel, 2014
- "Frack & Fiction" (June 2013), Presentation to the insurance company, Atlanta, GA, Speaker, Frack & Fiction, Insurance Carrier, 2013
- Nebraska, pro hac vice
- United States Virgin Islands and the Bankruptcy Courts of New York, pro hac vice
- Texas, pro hac vice
- Ohio, pro hac vice
- Nevada, pro hac vice
- New York, pro hac vice
- Montana, pro hac vice
- Indiana, pro hac vice
- Illinois, pro hac vice
- California, pro hac vice
- State Bar of Michigan (Chairperson, Environmental Law Section, 1997-1998); State Bar of Wisconsin; American Bar Association (Member, Sections on Aviation Law; Litigation); Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association; Thomas Cooley Legal Authors Society.
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- Michigan State University, B.S. Environmental Education 1978
- cannabis licensing and operations in state-legal areas
- Product Manufacturers
- Property transactions
- Risk Management
Last Updated: 5/17/2022