Richard A. Schuster 蘇世達, is a product liability defense attorney with 12 years of experience representing foreign manufacturers and insurance companies on matters ranging from pre-suit claim investigation and resolution to “bet the company” federal court trial. His ability to communicate in Mandarin, depth of knowledge on product liability law in nearly all states, understanding of the legal issues specific to Asian companies, and – most of all – the results he achieves, make Attorney Schuster the “go to” attorney for many manufacturers and insurance companies in need of superior representation.
In September 2015, Richard tried a case to a North Carolina federal court jury that resulted in a verdict in favor of his clients that made industry headlines as the first true and full defense verdict of its kind in a series of hundreds of pattern litigation lawsuits across the country. The result was honored as the #2 Most Distinguished Defense Verdict for the year 2015 by the North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly.
From 2008-2012, Richard lived in Taiwan, helping some of the world’s most successful manufacturers defend their products and reputations. He has deep product liability legal knowledge gained participating in the defense of bicycle, power tool, tire, ATV, plumbing parts, component parts, and other products in cases throughout the U.S. His client involvement is responsible for his focus on product defenses that provide a voice and an identity to foreign product manufacturers too often portrayed unfairly in U.S. courts.
In the past five years alone, Richard has defended and/or managed the defense of more than 50 catastrophic exposure product liability cases throughout the U.S., often involving life-changing injuries and demands reaching as high as $20,000,000. Attorney Schuster’s expertise in procedural and other technical legal issues involving foreign corporate defendants is a demonstrable advantage for clients.
In addition to defending product liability actions, Richard helps manufacturers understand and ensure compliance with CPSC, DOT, ANSI, UL, and other standards. On the business end, Richard helps manufacturers negotiate, draft, and review supply chain and related contracts — non-disclosure agreements, indemnity agreements, universal term agreements, licensing deals, etc. He understands that legal cost uncertainties are concerning to companies and, as such, works with clients on (1) fair hourly fee arrangements with detailed budgets, (2) flat fee arrangements, or (3) mixed fee arrangements – all of which help reduce the risk and fear of unexpected, uncontrolled legal defense costs and place the focus where it belongs, achieving superior results for clients.
Richard is often invited to present on product liability defense and insurance litigation related topics in the U.S. and in Asia. He has also helped train claim staffs for Asian insurers.
Richard is Mandarin Chinese proficient, admires Asian culture, understands Asian corporations, and attended the National Chengchi University (國立政治大學) IMBA program. Richard graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he served as an Articles Editor for the Wisconsin Law Review and was a Bruce Beilfuss Award recipient.
Pro Hac Vice Admissions
Approved to practice pro hac vice Florida, California, Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, Connecticut, and other states.
Richard is also the author of a Product Liability Law Blog that helps keep manufacturers, insurers, and claim handlers informed of news relating to product liability law.
Estes v. JI-EE Indus. Co., No. 5:17-CV-322-KKC, 2019 WL 320565 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 24, 2019) (Successful dismissal for lack of specific personal jurisdiction over Chinese company with principal place of business in Taiwan)
Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Cover-All of Wisconsin, LLC, 13-CV-748-BBC, 2014 WL 2865160 (W.D. Wis. June 24, 2014). (Decision on motion for judgment on the pleadings) (representing judgment creditor in corporate successor liability action).
National Chengchi University, International, Taipei, Taiwan, 2012 – Highest Honors (#1 Overall)
National Chengchi University, International, Taipei, Taiwan, Chinese Language Center
University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin, 2005, J.D. – Cum Laude
St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin, 2000, B.S. – Magna Cum Laude
The Shield Surrounding Online Retailers: An Update on the Prime Strategies Utilized by Cyber Stores to Deflect Accountability, November 12, 2018, Seminar presented at 2018 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Orlando, Florida.
Stop Overlooking Manufacturers on Clearance to Combustible Fireplace Cases – A Case Study on Why Pursuing Only the Installer is Selling Your Case Short, March 23, 2018, Seminar presented at 2018 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Litigation Skills Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
U.S. Product Liability Law and Developments, November 24, 2017, seminar presented at 2017 USA Product Liability Insurance Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.
How Online Giants Fight to Avoid Product Liability for the Products they Sell and Why it Matters, November 13, 2017, Seminar presented at 2017 Annual National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Conference in Austin, Texas.
Pursuing Online Retailer – Strategies, Stores, and Trends in Making Claims Against the Growing Online Retail Industry, November 6, 2017, Webinar presented to National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP).
Subrogation Wars: A Galaxy On Fire, October 24, 2016, panel presentation at 2016 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Big Box Bounty: How the U.S. Retail Lobby is Reducing Property Insurers’ Subrogation Rights One State at a Time – A 50-State Examination of Retailer Law, November 10, 2015, seminar presented at 2015 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada.
Pursuing Foreign Manufacturers in Products Cases After The Supreme Court’s Nicastro Case, November 10, 2014, seminar presented at 2014 National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) Annual Conference, in Orlando, Florida.
Subrogating Claims Involving Asian Manufacturers: The New Approach, May 8, 2014, MWL webinar presented to the public.
Where’s The Beef? Subrogating Automobile/Livestock Collision, September, 17, 2013, seminar presented to 8th Annual Automobile Subrogation Strategies ExecuSummit, Uncasville, Connecticut.
Product Liability Claims Handling, presented to Brokers Link Annual Asia Pac Conference in 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Product Liability and Asian Manufacturers, presented at the ALFA Product Liability Fall 2011 Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
Effectively Handling Large Loss Claims, presented to Manufacturer’s Export Industry Group in 2010 in Xiamen, China.
U.S. Product Liability Law and Litigation, presented to TAITRA (Taiwan International Trade Association) 2009 Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Member, 2005
- Property Loss Research Bureau (PLRB), Member, 2012
- Liability Insurance Research Bureau (LIRB), Member, 2012
- Claims Litigation Management (CLM), Member, 2012
- National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), Member, 2013