Richard S. Nichols
Rich Nichols graduated from Southern Methodist University Law School in 1981, after obtaining his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, in 1978. He has had considerable trial experience before and since becoming associated with the firm in 1987. He has successfully tried many first-party coverage defense, and third-party liability matters. He is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney. Mr. Nichols is a member of the state and federal bars of the State of New Jersey, and a member of the New Jersey State and Morris County Bar Associations. He has also served as Municipal Prosecutor for the Town of Morristown, the Borough of Rockaway, the Township of Roxbury, and the Borough of Mount Arlington.
Mr. Nichols has successfully represented insurance carriers in several reported court decisions. In Thomas v. New Jersey Ins. Underwriting Association, 277 N.J. Super. 630 (Law Div. 1994), he obtained a ruling that fraud in a first-party claim, discovered while in litigation after a claim is denied on other grounds, may invalidate coverage. Cobra Products, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., 317 N.J. Super. 392 (App. Div. 1998) held the "employee dishonesty" exclusion found in a Chubb policy to be unambiguous and enforceable. In Sherwood Products v. Connecticut Indemnity Co., 359 N.J. Super. 510 (App. Div. 2002), New Jersey’s Appellate Division upheld the dismissal of an insured’s claim for failure to abide by the record-keeping requirements of a jeweler’s block policy. Also of note is Orlick v. J.D. Carton & Son, Inc., 144 F. Supp. 2d 337 (D.N.J. 2001), in which Mr. Nichols successfully argued that plaintiff’s claim against a moving company was governed by the federal Carmack Amendment.
In keeping with the firm’s commitment to continuing education, Mr. Nichols has given seminars to insurance carriers on subjects including compliance with New Jersey’s Unfair Claims Practices Act and protecting subrogation interests. Rich is conversant in French, and enjoys running and traveling.