Casellas Alcover & Burgos

Popular Center Building Suite 1400, 208 Ponce de Léon Av. San Juan PR 00918


For over 30 years, Ricardo has practiced complex commercial litigation and corporate counseling primarily in federal courts and international arbitration proceedings involving First Amendment defense, product liability, lender's liability, distribution, franchising and trade regulation issues.

Since 1987, Ricardo has appeared as lead counsel, primarily for the defense, for many Fortune 500 companies in over 60 reported federal cases that comprise over 22 appeals successfully argued or briefed to-date before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and multiple civil jury trials as lead counsel in the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico. Ricardo has concentrated his practice in trade regulation and distribution law, and has successfully represented dealers and suppliers in cases of first impression under Puerto Rico Law 75.  Ricardo has been lead counsel for prevailing parties in the largest jury verdicts and arbitration awards for dealers in Law 75 termination cases.

Ricardo serves as arbitrator under the auspices of the AAA and the ICC in commercial disputes involving claims under various distribution laws, contracts, construction, insurance, trademark, personal injury, and labor-employment. Ricardo is certified as a mediator by the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

Chief Judges of the U.S. District Court of Puerto Rico have appointed Ricardo to Chair Merit Selection Panels for nominations of U.S. Magistrate Judges. Chief Judge Sandra Lynch of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit appointed Ricardo to Chair the Standing Local Rules Committee of the Court.

Ricardo has been keynote speaker at CLE federal practice seminars and conferences to the General Counsel Association in San Francisco, California, and the Pharmaceutical Industry Association in Puerto Rico, on topics of federal trial and appellate practice, franchising, distribution and antitrust law.

Chambers Global and Chambers Latin America have ranked Ricardo as one of the leading lawyers in dispute resolution in Puerto Rico.  Best Lawyers has recognized Ricardo as the top appellate lawyer in Puerto Rico and has endorsed him for franchising, arbitration and trademark law.

He is a former law clerk of three federal judges: Hon. Juan R. Torruella, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit; Hon. José A. Fusté, former Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico; and Hon. Justo Arenas, United States Magistrate Judge.

Ricardo graduated cum laude from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA and has a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Reported Cases
The following reported cases, dating from 1989 to the present, were briefed or argued by Ricardo before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit:

  • Torres v. NBC Universal, Civil No. 12-2352 (1st Cir. 2013) (summarily affirmed dismissal of defamation claim brought against client NBC/Telemundo);
  • Bacardí International Limited v. V. Suarez & Co. Inc., 719 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2013) (argued as lead counsel for rum producer-appellant)(reversed and remanded dismissal for lack of jurisdiction in proceeding to confirm commercial arbitration award);
  • Wells Real Estate Inv. Trust v. Chardón Hato Rey, 615 F. 3d 45 (1st Cir. 2010) (co-counsel for real estate company-appellant; reversed grant of summary judgment dismissing complaint for insurance coverage);
  • R&G Mortg. Corp. v. Federal Home Loan, 584 F. 3d 1 (1st Cir. 2009) (co-counsel for financial institution-appellee; affirmed order denying motion to intervene);  
  • B. Fernandez & Co. v. Kellogg USA, 516 F. 3d 18 (1st Cir. 2008)(argued as lead counsel for cereal manufacturer-appellee; affirmed judgment dismissing complaint for lack of indispensable party and in cross-appeal affirmed denial of costs and fees);
  • In re Advanced Cellular Systems Inc., 483 F. 3d 7 (1st Cir. 2007) (argued as lead counsel for telecommunications carrier-appellant; reversed orders disallowing proof of claim in bankruptcy court);  
  • B. Fernandez & Hmnos v. Kellogg USA, 440 F. 3d 541 (1st Cir. 2006) (argued as  lead counsel for cereal manufacturer-appellant; reversed denial of motion to intervene and order granting preliminary injunction);
  • Z&B Enterprises Inc. v. Taste Freez, 162 Fed. Appx. 16 (1st Cir. 2006) (lead counsel on briefs for restaurant franchisor-appellee; affirmed judgment dismissing franchising action); 
  • Jomar Packaging Corp. v. Kobel Intern., 229 F. 3d 1133 (1st Cir. 2000) (lead counsel on brief for appellee supplier; affirmed dismissal of complaint as a sanction for discovery violations);
  • Gil de Rebollo v. Miami Heat Ass’n, 137 F. 3d 56 (1st Cir. 1998) (argued as lead counsel for NBA team-appellee-cross-appellant; affirmed judgment denying motion for third new trial; vacated in part order denying expert witness fees and costs to appellee); 
  • Casas Office Machines, Inc. v. Mita Copystar America, Inc., 42 F. 3d 668 (1st Cir. 1994) (argued as lead counsel for copier manufacturer-appellant; reversed judgment granting permanent injunction for dealer in Law 75 action);
  • Lopez v. Commonwealth Oil Refining Co., 29 F. 3d 619 (1st Cir. 1994) (lead counsel on brief for oil refining company-appellee; affirmed dismissal of ERISA claim); 
  • Hill Construction Corp. v. American Airlines, 996 F. 2d 1315 (1st Cir. 1993) (Breyer, J.) (argued as lead counsel for airline-appellant; vacated judgment for shipper);
  • Mariani v. Doctor’s Associates, 983 F. 2d 5 (1st Cir. 1993) (co-counsel for franchisor-appellee; affirmed order imposing Rule 11 sanctions); 
  • Quinones Pacheco v. American Airlines, 979 F. 2d 1 (1st Cir. 1992) (argued as lead counsel for airline-appellee; affirmed take nothing jury verdict);
  • Gonzalez v. John Hancock, 927 F. 2d 659 (1st Cir. 1991) (argued as lead counsel for insurer- appellee; affirmed judgment for insurer); 
  • Cumpiano v. Banco Santander P.R., 902 F. 2d 148 (1st Cir. 1990) (co-counsel for bank-appellant; affirmed in part and reversed in part judgment in pregnancy discrimination case); 
  • Mendez v. Banco Popular de P.R., 900 F. 2d 4 (1st Cir. 1990) (co-counsel for bank-appellee; affirmed summary judgment in ADEA case); 
  • Seguros de Servicio de Salud v. McCauto Systems, 878 F. 2d 5 (1st Cir. 1989) (argued as lead counsel for health insurer-appellant; reversed order consolidating commercial arbitrations);
  • Rodriguez Antuna v. Chase Manhattan, 871 F. 2d 1 (1st Cir. 1989) (lead counsel on brief for bank-appellee; affirmed order denying relief from judgment); 
  • Federal Insurance Company v. Housing Investment Corp., 887 F. 2d 259 (1st Cir. 1989) (argued as lead counsel for construction lender-appellee; affirmed judgment for lender).