Rich Orton is the firm’s managing partner and represents clients in a wide variety of complex cases in forums throughout Wisconsin and the United States. Rich’s trial practice focuses on products liability, general liability, professional liability, and commercial, construction and insurance litigation and appeals. These matters typically involve a myriad of damages related to personal injuries, property damages, and other commercial or business losses.
Rich has represented a wide variety of clients in products liability litigation, from small local retailers to large multinational manufacturers. He has significant experience as a member of the national trial counsel teams for one of the world’s leading manufacturers of compact farming and construction equipment. Rich’s products liability experience has included defending consumer, commercial and industrial products in a variety of industries, including automotive, consumer products, medical devices, construction, agribusiness, heavy equipment, trucking and transportation. In addition to this litigation work, Rich also has experience counseling companies on product liability, product safety, risk assessment, and claims management issues.
Rich regularly handles matters at all stages of their lifespan – from the prompt investigation of accidents and evidence preservation, through pre-suit negotiations, discovery, trial and appeal. Rich assists clients in developing and executing the most efficient and effective strategies in all phases of dispute resolution. He has experience handling some of the most complex claims, involving catastrophic injuries, fire and explosion accidents, and massive property damages.
Since 2017, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company; in 2019 he was elected Vice Chairman of the Board. Rich served on the Board of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Young Lawyers Division from 2014-2018. He has also served on various committees of the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association since 2012, and was elected to its Board of Directors in 2019.
Rich stays involved in the Milwaukee community through a number of volunteer efforts and his service on the Board of the Brady Street Area Association (2017-2021).
Prior to joining Gass Turek, Rich was a shareholder at one of Wisconsin’s largest civil litigation firms. Rich attended the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and Mock Trial Team. He won the Ruby R. Vale National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition’s best brief award and worked as a law clerk for the Wisconsin Governor’s Office of Legal Counsel. Prior to law school he worked as a paralegal at a large multinational law firm in Washington, D.C. He obtained his undergraduate degree with honors from Marquette University, during which he spent two terms studying law and public policy at the University of Oxford in England. Mr. Orton was born and raised in Mauston, Wisconsin.