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Marsh, Rickard & Bryan



Richard J. Riley


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Richard Riley has two-and-a-half decades of experience helping those suffering from injury and death. After opening his own law practice less than two years out of law school, Riley has handled hundreds of appeals and has written thousands of briefs. He regularly handles complex motion hearings for the firm and its clients, and he often is asked by the Alabama Supreme Court to provide oral arguments.

 Growing up in a small rural community and doing farm and factory work during high school and college, Riley learned the dangers that the working class face daily. He believes it is no coincidence that many that benefit from Marsh, Rickard & Bryan’s services are those who have to work for a living. “They have to use the cheap products, work the dangerous jobs, have to live in unsafe apartments, and that have no choice but to receive services from the least credentialed professionals. It is no surprise they are the ones getting hurt and killed.”

 As more court matters are handled through written briefs, Riley’s practice is important to the firm’s clients. A lover of literature and storytelling, Riley enjoys working with a team of Marsh, Rickard & Bryan trial attorneys to weave the client’s tragedy with the law to give the court a compelling document explaining why the client should prevail. It is our calling to tell these stories. “The public needs to know who is getting hurt and why. And my favorite stories are those where we have helped a victim to rise up, to take control and to return to a dignified life in spite of what has been done to them.”

Areas of Practice
Bar Admissions
Professional Associations & Recognition
Notable Cases
Published Works

Areas Of Practice

  • Motion Practice
  • Appellate
  • Post-Trial
  • Probate

Bar Admissions

  • Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit


  • Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
    • J.D. – 1998
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee
    • B.A. – 1995
    • Honors: magna cum laude
    • Major: Social Science

Professional Associations & Recognition

  • Alabama Bar Association, Member, 1998 to Present
  • Birmingham Bar Association, Member, 1998 to Present
  • Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure Committee, 2020 to Present
  • National Civil Justice Institute 2021 Appellate Advocacy Award

Notable Cases

  • Ghee v. USAble Mut. Ins., __ So.3d __, 2023 WL 2720996 (Ala. Mar. 31, 2023) (approving potential liability of a health insurer and holding that the claims were not barred by the federal ERISA statute because the insurer acted like a healthcare provider and caused a death).
  • Ex parte Huntsville Emer. Med. Servs., 372 So.3d 538 (Ala. 2022) (approving ability of plaintiffs to discover prior bad acts of impaired ambulance driver whose reckless driving caused a death of patient, who was a passenger in the ambulance).
  • James River Ins. v. Ultratec Special Effects Inc., 22 F.4th 1246 (11th Cir. 2022) (affirming district court decision upholding separation of insured clauses in liability insurance contract and requiring liability insurer to provide a legal defense and indemnity for parent corporation whose wrongful conduct caused an explosion that caused two deaths and serious burn injuries to a third worker).
  • Ex parte Pinkard, 373 So.3d 192 (Ala. 2022) (overruling prior bad precedent and clarifying that government employees who cause injury or death can be held liable if they do not use governmental discretion, violate clear laws or rules, and/or act willfully, maliciously, in bad faith, or through fraud).
  • Ex parte Russell, 314 So.3d 192 (Ala. 2020) (approving suits against healthcare providers who caused a death after the expiration of the statute of limitations when their employers and co-workers failed to disclose their identities within the statute of limitations)
  • Resurrection of Life Inc. v. Dailey, 311 So.3d 748 (Ala. 2020) (affirming multi-million-dollar jury verdict for severe injuries to child and rejecting the wrongdoing defendants’ contentions that the jury was biased).
  • Williams v. Aguirre, 965 F.3d 1147 (11th Cir. 2020) (affirming potential liability of police officers who maliciously prosecuted citizen on the charges of attempted murder and rejecting the “any crime” rule, which would provide immunity to officers from false-arrest claims if there was probable cause to arrest the suspect for some crime (even a minor crime), even if it was not the crime the officer thought had occurred)
  • Ex parte Ultratec Special Effects Inc., 296 So.3d 801 (Ala. 2019) (approving of potential liability of parent company of employer for explosion deaths of two workers and rejecting the argument that the claims were barred by the workers’ compensation act).
  • Ghee v. USAble Mut. Ins., 291 So.3d 465 (Ala. 2019) (reversing circuit judge who failed to allow a timely amendment to a complaint).
  • Foster v. Maloney, 785 Fed. App’x 810, 812 (11th Cir. 2019) (affirming potential liability of jailers under federal law for severe injuries to inmate when the jailers observed inmate having strokes and seizures for days but did nothing).
  • Jackson v. Wal-Mart Stores, 753 Fed. App’x 866 (11th Cir. 2018) (reversing district judge’s dismissal of severe burn injury case and held the complaint was specific enough to plead a product liability claim against Walmart)
  • HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Honts, 276 So. 3d 185 (Ala. 2018) (affirming liability of rehabilitation hospital based solely on circumstantial evidence that its employees overmedicated elderly lady and caused her death and then tried to cover it up)
  • Cooley v. HMR of Alabama Inc., 747 Fed. App’x 805 (11th Cir. 2018) (reversing district judge’s dismissal of fair wage case under federal law brought on behalf of employees of nursing home).
  • Hutchinson v. State, 66 So.3d 220 (Ala. 2010) (overruling circuit judge’s failure to provide full payment of legal fees to lawyer appointed to defend capital murder suspect for allegedly killing a newborn when lawyer’s work proved to a scientific certainty that no baby existed, and no death occurred).
  • Banks v. State, 845 So.2d 9 (Ala. Crim. App. 2002) (overruling circuit judge’s failure to allow criminal defendant to withdraw guilty plea for allegedly killing a newborn when evidence proved to a scientific certainty that no baby existed, and no death occurred).

Published Works

  • Richard Riley, Rule 512A(a) the Banquet of Consequences Following Your Opponent’s Invocation of Privilege, 44 Ala. Ass’n Just. J. 44 (2023).
  • Richard Riley, Preserving Fairness When the Defendant Elects to Inform the Jury About A Pro Tanto Settlement, 43 Ala. Ass’n Just. J. 48 (2022).
  • Richard Riley, et al., Effective Jury Instructions in Medical Malpractice Cases, 42 Ala. Ass’n Just. J. 48 (2021).
  • Richard Riley, Damage Caps Do Not Apply to Healthcare Authorities, 41 Ala. Ass’n Just. J. 63 (2021).
  • Richard Riley, The Effect of Inflation on Alabama Wrongful Death Verdicts, 43 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 361 (2020).
  • Richard Riley, Get What You Want — Using the Protective Suit to Combat Personal Jurisdiction Attacks (and Keep Your Case in Alabama), 41 Am. J. Trial Advoc. 365 (2017).


  • Business Law, Samford University 2001 to 2011
  • Criminal Law, Samford University 2001 to 2011
  • The Injured and Absent Employee


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