Richard J. Juarez
If a courtroom is a stage, wit is the prop Richard Juarez employs to effect positive results. Using humor or irreverence to lighten the moment or a tense situation, he is always dead serious, however, about protecting his clients' interests. Confident at trial, pragmatic in litigation, he has concentrated in liability defense since he started practicing law in 1992.
Richard's background in liability defense involving automobile, construction and on-premise accidents won him a position at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham exactly when management was seeking to expand our work in professional and product liability defense. Now a partner, he made a lateral move to our firm seeking greater responsibility and more diverse and interesting assignments. His early success in personal injury defense continues to win him a stream of cases from clients satisfied with the effective and cost-efficient results he has achieved.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
The cases Richard handles today in either a supporting or a leadership role are often valued in excess of a million dollars. He primarily helps defend against three types of liability—professional malpractice, personal injury and insurance coverage—scenarios that can be summarized thus:
The medical malpractice suit: a person enters a hospital complaining of chest pain; the emergency room doctor examines the patient, however, detects no life-threatening condition and sends the patient home. Later, when the patient dies of a heart attack, the patient's family sues the emergency room doctor. The hospital or its insurance company retains Schuyler, Roche & Crisham to defend the doctor.
The personal injury case: following an accident in which the plaintiff is injured on a carnival ride, the plaintiff sues the amusement park owner for failing to instruct passengers before boarding an amusement ride about safety precautions; an investigation, however, reveals the plaintiff had violated a clearly posted safety rule. After the plaintiff sues the carnival operator, its insurance company asks Schuyler, Roche & Crisham to defend its client.
Insurance coverage litigation: the plaintiff, employed to light fireworks at an Independence Day celebration, suffers serious burns following a botched ignition. The plaintiff files suit against the city that sponsored the event and the manufacturer of the fireworks. The defendants tender their defense to the insurance carrier, whose policy states insurance coverage is void in the event of death or injury during a fireworks display. The insurance carrier then asks Schuyler, Roche & Crisham to file a declaratory judgment action and to obtain a ruling stating no insurance coverage exists.
Quite early in his legal career Richard tried three cases in Cook County to favorable conclusions. A case involving an automobile accident and another involving on-premise liability resulted in not guilty verdicts. The third case, auto related, achieved a favorable defense verdict.
Richard also has handled a dozen arbitrations independently. He has represented a physician in a medical malpractice suit, the operators of automobiles in collisions, property owners in personal injury cases and carnival operators sued by patrons alleging injury during rides. In all but two of these cases, Richard obtained not guilty verdicts.
In addition, Richard has prepared and successfully argued numerous motions for summary judgment and motions to dismiss. He has represented a variety of clients regarding these matters, including physicians, construction contractors, property owners, automobile drivers, business owners, carnival operators, attorneys accused of malpractice, architects and engineers.