Richard Elias


After over a decade of litigating plaintiffs’ and defense matters, as well as prosecuting cases as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, Rich founded Elias Gutzler Spicer LLC on the conviction that lawsuits, no matter the stakes, are best handled by a small team of experienced attorneys who have the sense to reject needless conventions and focus on winning for their clients.  This principle is at the core of Rich’s career successes.

As a federal prosecutor, Rich led a small, talented team in an investigation into JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s practices of securitizing billions of dollars of defective mortgages.  The misconduct that Rich uncovered during that investigation spearheaded a record-setting $13 billion settlement, the then-largest recovery ever obtained against a single entity.  Rich  also obtained nearly $200 million in recoveries against utility and logging companies for their negligent ignition of wildfires that destroyed tens of thousands of acres of National Forest land, including a $122.5 million recovery against logging giant Sierra Pacific Industries—the largest ever obtained in a wildfire case.

These efforts earned Rich the Department of Justice’s highest honors, including the 2014 Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service and the 2013 Director’s Award.  They also earned him selection as a 2012 Attorney of the Year by The Recorder, a leading California law journal, as well as a front page story in the Wall Street Journal which featured Rich’s work.

Rich is currently working on cases of significant public importance.  His current work includes representing a United States agency in multiple lawsuits across the country seeking to recover billions of dollars in losses from international financial institutions for their sale of defective mortgage-backed securities to credit unions.  He also represents victims of terrorism seeking compensation from global financial institutions who provide material support to terrorists.