Rik Tozzi has a nationally recognized practice in three areas: trying and arbitrating for numerous industries against class, mass, individual, and environmental torts in both state and federal courts; representing the financial services industry and other corporate clients against class, mass, individual, and state attorney general claims, including being asked to "parachute" into matters to serve as lead counsel on the eve of trial; and representing corporate and institutional clients in various types of offensive litigation.
Most recently, Rik has spent a significant amount of time defending both public and private entities against tort claims arising out of PFAS and PFOS. Rik has been successful in obtaining dismissals and defeating class certifications. He has also been retained to try a number of cases involving these chemicals involving both alleged property and personal injury.
Rik’s experience representing the financial services industry and other corporate clients against consumer claims includes serving as lead counsel in over 125 class actions throughout 25 different states, as well as handling numerous other individual and mass actions. He has arbitrated or tried to conclusion over 110 matters throughout the United States.
Rik has successfully defended class cases involving the FCRA, FDCPA, FCBA, RESPA, HOEPA, TILA, Federal and State RICO claims, NSF fees, payment posting issues, fair housing allegations, credit card and mortgage securitization, as well as state fair lending, collection, and deceptive trade practice statutes. Rik has tried to conclusion matters involving retail banks, auto lenders, credit card issuers, and mortgage originators/servicers in numerous states. Rik has also successfully defended a number of class, qui tam, and individual claims brought pursuant to federal, state, and local fair housing statutes, regulations, and ordinances. A portion of his practice is also devoted to enforcing arbitration provisions and covenants not to compete.
He has served as lead trial counsel in a matter brought by the West Virginia Attorney General in West Virginia State Court against a major national bank, tried mortgage cases in Florida and California and successfully argued class action matters before the Fifth, Fourth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as state appellate courts in, among other places, Ohio. Within the past five years, he has also successfully tried to conclusion cases in Florida, Alabama, New Jersey, and Texas. Past trial/arbitration experience includes trying or arbitrating matters to conclusion in Georgia, California, Ohio, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, and Tennessee. Rik has handled oral argument before a number of federal circuit courts and arbitrated cases before the AAA, JAMS, NAF, and FINRA.
Due in part to his trial/arbitration practice, Rik is regularly asked by a variety of financial institutions and other companies, large and small, to bring suit against other corporations and individuals to recover damages and/or garner injunctive relief. In this capacity, he has successfully brought suit against a major international explosive manufacturer, recovered significant sums based on claims regarding the sale and securitization of mortgages; sued a competitor financial institution regarding the theft of trade secrets and raiding of an employment force; and, was retained by a receiver to prosecute numerous suits against various Internet schemes which had defrauded a number of major financial institutions and consumers. In these cases, Rik partnered with the Florida Attorney General to recover millions of dollars.
Rik resides in the firm’s Birmingham office and serves as co-chair of the firm’s diversity committee. Rik received his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from Oxford University (Mansfield College), and his J.D., cum laude, from Tulane University. He also received his LLM, with honors, in Environmental Law from Tulane University and served as the Editor of the Tulane Environmental Law Review.
Speeches and Publications
- “Legal Theories for Defense Counsel in Dangerous Jurisdictions,” Consumer Finance Class Actions, New York, New York
- “Strategies for Trying Consumer Finance Cases,” Consumer Finance Litigation and Class Actions, Chicago, Illinois
- “Removal Strategies in Dangerous Jurisdictions,” Consumer Finance Litigation and Class Actions, New York, New York
- “How to Argue Summary Judgments in Firm Offer of Credit Cases Given Cole,” Consumer Credit Litigation, New York, NY
- Represents National Bank in Nationwide Class Action alleging TILA violations.
- Represents National Bank in all litigated matters related to credit card securitizations.
- Represents solid waste company in series of Class Actions relating to pricing.
- Represents Federal Savings Bank in Nationwide Class Action pending in Florida relating to the force placement of various types of insurance, including flood insurance.
- Represents National Bank in various TCPA and State recording cases in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and California.
- Represented two National Banks in cases brought by the Mississippi Attorney General contesting various products sold in conjunction with credit cards.
- Currently representing a major mortgage originator in a series of individual cases contesting foreclosures, collection practices and the computation of arrearages in Illinois, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Texas, and California.
- Represents National Bank in two class actions in State of Ohio alleging that credit card debt was sought to be collected outside of the applicable statute of limitations.
Honors & Recognitions
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants (2022-2023), Insurance Law (2023)
- Listed, Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial (2006-2022)
- Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star (2008-2018, 2021)
- Mid-South Super Lawyers, Consumer Law since 2016
- Alabama Super Lawyers, Consumer Law (2010-2015)
- Editor, Tulane Environmental Law Review (1993)
Professional & Community
- Indian Springs School, Men's Varsity Soccer Coach (2002-2018)
- Alabama Bar Association
- J.D., cum laude, Tulane University (1993)
- LLM, with honors, Environmental Law, Tulane University (1993)
- M.A. and B.S., with honors, Oxford University - Mansfield College (1990)