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About me

My wife and I were married in 1983. Our first date was February 17, 1979, which we still celebrate as our "real" anniversary. She often accuses me of "bait and switch" because I cooked a full spaghetti dinner on our first date and I haven't cooked anything more complicated than scrambled eggs since.

We have two kids. Our son, Sam, works in Los Angeles pursuing his passion for sound recording, sound effects and sound design for movies. Our daughter, Kate, is getting her Masters degree in Speech and Language Pathology. They are both smarter, better looking, and way cooler than their parents.

My wife, Susan Morris, has her Masters in Special Education. She taught for ten years in public schools and established Morris Tutoring Associates, Inc. in 1985. Our joke is that we created an institution for her to volunteer at, because there is no money to be made tutoring. But there is great joy. She has helped many hundreds of kids, and adores almost all of them.

In 1979, two years out of law school, I handled a pro bono women's rights case from start to successful conclusion at the Arizona Supreme Court, establishing the right of married women to keep their last name if they wished to.

My father was a career Air Force officer, who became a meteorologist after spending 18 months in a German POW camp. He flew as a navigator in the Hurricane Hunters, and I grew up on Air Force bases around the US, in Bermuda and in Germany. When I graduated from high school I was appointed to the Air Force Academy, but failed the medical exam because I am a little color blind. The color vision also kept me out of the US Marines when tried to enlist in 1975.

Susan and I are both active in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix. I have sung in the choir since 2002, am a frequent Master of Ceremonies at congregational fundraising events, have served on the Committee on Ministry, Foundation Board, Capital Committee, and am currently a Member of the Board of Trustees.

I have been active in leadership in the Arizona Association for Justice (lawyers who represent injured folks, and formerly known as the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) since 1985. I was an active participant in battles to protect the Arizona Constitution from the insurance industry and big business interests in 1986, 1990 and 1994. I have been called upon multiple times over the years to testify at the Arizona Legislature regarding bills affecting consumer rights, product liability, medical malpractice and insurance law.

I am an avid golfer, despite the fact that my swing has all the consistency of a butterfly in a windstorm. I have served on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Posse since 1982, although I have not been very active since Sheriff Arpaio was elected. For many years I was involved with "combat" shooting sports and have certifications in pistol, assault rifle, assault shotgun and submachine gun, and studied martial arts and edged weapons.

I used to do a fair amount of whitewater paddling, but not recently. Ditto with high performance driving, having attended classes at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in 1984, 1988 and 1990. Nowadays, it's either work, church or golf.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Car Accident: 39%
  2. Trucking Accident: 19%
  3. Personal Injury: 19%
  4. Defective Products: 9%
  5. Other: 14%
  6. More 

Attorney endorsements

10 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Kenneth A Winsberg

    Richard is one of the best lawyers I have ever come across. I have seen his work up close on a number of significant cases. His dedication to his clients and his cases is one hundred percent. He tackles tough cases and is tenacious. His clients are lucky to have him.


    Kenneth Winsberg Family Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Kellen William Bradley

    Richard is extremely well-respected in the legal community and gets fantastic results for his clients. He is a leader among trial lawyers who consistently seek his invaluable advice and experience.


    Kellen Bradley Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Plattner Verderame, PC

316 East Flower Street
P.O. Box 36570
Phoenix, AZ, 85067-6570


AZActive 197703/31/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Registry & Gobal Network for Outstanding ProfessionalsStrathmore's Who's Who2009
Best Lawyers in AmericaN/AN/A
Southwest Super LawyersSouthwest Super LawyersN/A
Lawdragon FinalistLawdragon MagazineN/A
Association namePosition nameDuration
Unitarian Universalist Foundation of PhoenixDirector2007 - Present
Arizona Trial Lawyers AssociationLIfe Member2004 - Present
American Association for Justice, formerly known as Association of Trial Lawyers of AmericaLeaders' Forum & Sustaining Member2001 - Present
Arizona Trial Lawyers AssociationPresident1991 - Present
American Trial Lawyers AssociationMember1986 - Present
Arizona Trial Lawyers AssociationBoard of Directors1986 - Present
Arizona Trial Lawyers AssociationSustaining Member1983 - Present
Phoenix Trial Lawyers Association,Board of Directors1983 - Present
Maricopa County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Board of Trial AdvocatesMemberN/A
Arizona Trial Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Phoenix Trial Lawyers Association,MemberN/A
Phoenix Trial Lawyers AssociationPresident1986 - 1987
Publication nameTitleDate
MaricopaLawyerDiscovery Disputes: How to Run the Railroad Without Railroading Anybody1997
UnknownThe Discovery Czar Approach to Limiting Litigation Abuse1997
Trial PracticeLocking the Courthouse Door1995
Arizona AttorneyLawyering: Beyond the Adversary System1994
UnknownADVOCACY: The Last Bastion of Caveat Emptor1993
PESIEvaluation & Settlement of Personal Injury Cases in Arizona: Plaintiffs1990
Arizona Advocate - monthly column for 25 yearsAppellate Highlights1985
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1977
Michigan State UniversityN/ABA - Bachelor of Arts1973
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
DozensMultiple subjectsN/A