Richard Brown


Richard Brown has worked closely with Charles Herrmann on major aviation disaster cases for decades. His experience in managing the complexities of aviation litigation is unparalleled and he is widely regarded as a leading expert in the field of aviation law.

Before attending law school, Richard worked for the Canadian International Development Agency in Guatemala on rural development and technology at the village level. He returned to Guatemala while a law student to lead a human rights investigation sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild.

Richard began his career working at the law firm of Stark, Stewart, Simon & Sparrow in Oakland, California while attending law school at John F. Kennedy School of Law. In 1982, he began working as an associate attorney in the Law Office of Melvin M. Belli and later became a managing partner of Belli, Belli, Brown. Currently Richard is the CEO of the Law Offices of Richard E. Brown and serves as Of-Counsel for Herrmann Law Group.

Richard as also served as the Chairperson of the Aviation Law Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, now the American Association for Justice.

Over the course of his career, Richard has provided counsel to numerous victims and family members of some of the worlds most notorious aviation disaster including: Pan Am flight 759 which was forced down by a microburst shortly after takeoff near Kenner, Louisiana in 1982; Korean Airlines flight KAL 007 which was shot down by a Soviet MIG in 1983; Gulf Air flight 771 which crashed in the desert near Mina Jebel Ali  on approach to Abu Dhabi  after a bomb exploded in the baggage compartment in 1983; Delta Airlines flight 191 which crash landed a mile short of the runway at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport after encountering a microburst in 1985; Arrow Air flight 1285 which crashed and burned about half a mile from the runway after takeoff near Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members onboard in 1985; the 1986 Cerritos Mid-Air Collision in which Aeromexico flight 498 was clipped in the tail by a private passenger plane near Los Angeles, California; Pacific Southwest Airlines flight 1771 which crashed in Cayacos, California, as a result of a murder-suicide by a passenger in 1987; Aloha Airlines flight 243 which suffered extensive damage following an explosive decompression in 1988; United Airlines flight 881 which suffered a cargo door failure, resulting in explosive decompression blowing out several rows of seats near Honolulu, Hawaii in 1989; Korean Airlines flight 801 which crashed into Nimitz Hill while trying to land at Agana, Guam in 1997; TACA flight 390 which overran the runway while attempting to land at Tegucigalpa’s Toncontin International Airport in 2008; and Asiana Airlines flight OZ 241 which crashed into a sea bulkhead while attempting to land at San Francisco International Airport in 2013.

In addition to his career in aviation law, Richard has represented many victims of mass torts including the MGM Grand fire in 1980 which left 85 dead and more than 600 injured; victims of birth defects caused by the drug Bendectin which was litigated in Cincinnati, Ohio; and victims of the Dupont Plaza Hotel arson in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1985.

Over the course of his career, Richard has participated in litigation across the globe. He has conducted civil discovery in Africa, Germany, Korea, Australia, Canada, Fiji, Pakistan, and the Middle East.

In his spare time, Richard is an active participant in his community. He is a former Command Staff Lieutenant with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team and a licensed EMT and Communications Specialist with the United States Department of Homeland Security National Disaster Medical Systems (DMAT) Team CA-6, State of California Medical Assistance Team. He has over 70 individual certifications in emergency management, medicine, response, security, and fire services.

Richard has been married to his wife, Dede, for 37 years. They have two children, Robin and Lindsay, one granddaughter and a grandson on the way.

Richard is admitted to practice law in California.