Louis J. Rizzo, Jr.
Louis J. Rizzo, Jr., Reger Rizzo & Darnall’s Managing Partner, is an experienced litigator, successfully representing clients in commercial disputes, bringing matters to efficient and effective conclusions. By taking the time at the commencement of a matter to understand his clients’ business model and goals for each particular dispute, Mr. Rizzo is able to help the client navigate the process to resolution; through negotiated settlement, or trial when necessary. These skills have allowed clients to entrust complex commercial litigation matters to Mr. Rizzo, including his designation as National Coordinating Counsel for a Fortune 500 Company’s products liability litigation program.
Litigation Experience. Mr. Rizzo’s trial experience includes complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage and bad faith disputes, premises and automobile liability including trucking liability, franchise litigation, professional liability, subrogation, and representation of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, as well as construction site claims and construction defect claims. Mr. Rizzo has a passion for U.S. history and has frequently drawn on that passion by incorporating lessons from history into his trial presentations, to great effect.
Commercial Litigation. In addition to handling more than 60 jury trials, Mr. Rizzo has extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation. He has litigated civil disputes in the Delaware Superior Court, Chancery Court, and the U.S. District Courts, including handling appeals to the Delaware Supreme Court and the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals. Mr. Rizzo has represented multiple clients in bankruptcy proceedings including trade creditors, equipment lessors, insurance companies, service providers and contractors. He frequently represents clients in preference actions, receiverships, dissolutions and fraudulent conveyance matters. He is frequently asked to serve as local counsel in Delaware state and federal courts and Bankruptcy Court.
Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith. Mr. Rizzo represents and counsels insurance companies at the trial level and on appeal in connection with complex insurance coverage and bad faith matters. His experience includes general liability, first party property, personal lines and specialty coverages. He has represented insurers in mass tort and environmental coverage actions in state and federal courts, involving such areas as polybutylene pipe fittings, opioid drug sales, environmental contamination, and mass tort sex abuse.
Crisis Management. Mr. Rizzo has extensive experience counseling a wide range of clients with regard to corporate crises and matters involving significant legal, financial, and media exposure.
Some of Mr. Rizzo’s more notable, high-profile crisis management experiences, include:
• Defended the owners of a day care in the infamous “day care fight club” case, in which the day care was sued after film surfaced of toddlers being allowed/encouraged by teachers to fight each other.
• Represented the owners of a national competition event facility in the “Punkin Chunkin” case, after suit was brought by a volunteer who was injured and rendered paraplegic at this seasonal event involving pumpkin catapulting.
• Defended the owners of the Miss Delaware pageant in the famous “Miss Delaware” case, in which a scandal arose after an eligibility dispute.
• Represented a road construction contractor in a road construction fatality case in which a teenager died while traversing through a construction zone. The opinion from this case established the legal standard for contractor duty on DOT projects.
Franchise Experience. Mr. Rizzo also has extensive experience in the franchise industry, specifically with regards to franchise litigation including disputes over franchise agreements and terminations and insurance coverage issues for both franchisees and franchisors. He has litigated tort liability issues for franchisees and franchisors, and of specific note, litigated the leading Delaware case on franchisor vicarious liability.
J.D., Villanova University School of Law (1993)
B.A. English, Fordham University (1989)
Delaware Bar Association
Maryland Bar Association
American Bar Association
Designated Instructor, Delaware Department of Insurance
Member, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
2011 Distinguished Service Award from the Defense Counsel of Delaware
2006 Distinguished Service Award from the Defense Research Institute (DRI)