Richard L. Richards is a Florida aviation attorney with over twenty-two years of experience in the practice of law, and whose practice focuses on aviation and airport legal issues. Mr. Richards is Florida Bar Board Certified in Aviation Law. Mr. Richards' extensive experience includes litigation, transactions, trustee services for foreign ownership of U.S. registered aircraft, representation of fixed base operators and other airport tenants/developers in leases and land use/development on or near an airport, corporate restructuring and bankruptcy, airport counsel, airline general counsel, aircraft sales and leasing, transactions with aircraft manufacturers, aviation fuel issues, aviation finance, repossessions and seizures, FAA and DOT regulatory compliance, aviation insurance and claims, air carrier certification and aviation labor & employment issues including defense of FLSA claims and EEOC charges.
Prior to establishing Richards Goldstein LLP, Mr. Richards chaired the Aviation Department at the law firm of Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhade & Sitterson, P.A. in Miami, Florida. Mr. Richards has also served as airport counsel to an airport authority and vice president/general counsel to several airlines. Mr. Richards was also partner with Jarvis and Richards, P.A., a local aviation law firm.
- General representation of clients in aviation and airport related litigation in State, Federal, Bankruptcy, FAA, DOT, OFAC, and EEOC proceedings.
- Extensive experience in the areas of aircraft transactions (purchase, sale and leasing) including trustee services in title and voting trusts for foreign ownership of U.S. registered aircraft, restructuring, bankruptcy, repossessions, insurance, air cargo claims, and general representation involving airlines, aircraft leasing companies, negotiations and dealings with aircraft manufacturers, governments and entrepreneurs in complex aviation transactions as well as all aspects of commercial litigation.
- General representation of Fixed Base Operators and other airport tenants including negotiations and presentationswith airport sponsors, aviation departments, and County commissions regarding leases, development, fueling/vendor contracts, and litigation.
- General representation of developers in land use and approvals for construction on or near an airport.
- General representation of municipalities related to airport noise issues.
- General representation of banks and lenders in aircraft transactions, financing, and repossessions.
- General representation in insurance appointed defense including wrongful death claims.
- Airport counsel to an airport authority, including representation at monthly televised public board meetings, legal advice to Airport Manager and staff, representation of the authority in all legal facets of airport operations including contracts/leases, land use, government grants, tenant issues, aircraft noise abatement programs, and representation of the authority before the FAA including the Airports Division in Washington D.C. and the FAA Airports District Office in Orlando, Florida.
- General Counsel to two international airlines with 500+ employees and annual revenues of over $150 million, including oversight of two successful bankruptcy Chapter 11 reorganizations.
- Negotiations of various commercial loan and finance agreements including, extensive aircraft and engine lease agreements, credit agreements, restructuring agreements with bondholders, and general financing agreements with trade creditors.
- Effectuate corporate mergers and acquisitions, advice of proper corporate structure, advice to human resources departments, investigate violations of company policy with respect to sexual harassment, review and revise drug and alcohol policies, employee handbooks and affirmative action policies, defend against OSHA claims, whistleblower claims, EEOC charges, and process DOL affirmative action audits.
- Representation of factor companies and other non-traditional lenders in aviation and non-aviation transactions/litigation.
- Insurer appointed defense counsel of insured in including directors & officers defense and other covered aviation insurance claims.
Professional and Community Involvement
- Florida Bar Board Certified in Aviation Law
- Florida Aviation Business Association, 2008-Present (2014-Present, Vice President 2015-2017, President, Board of Directors 2017 to present.)
- Florida Bar Association, 1994-Present, United States Courts (Southern District of Florida, 1994-Present; Middle District of Florida, 1995-Present, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2005-Present)
- National Business Aviation Association (2008-Present)
- Trustee, Plymouth Congregational Church, Coconut Grove, Florida (Chair, 2015-2016)
- Kiwanis Club of Coral Gables, Coral Gables, Florida (Board of Directors, 2014-Present)(Chartered Organization for Troop 7 and Pack 7 of Coral Gables – Mr. Richards is an Eagle Scout and currently serves as Scoutmaster for Troop 7)