Richard is a regulatory and transactional attorney focusing on the mining, natural resources, and energy industries. In addition to his transactional practice, he advises clients in operational and regulatory matters on mining, energy (both conventional and renewable), and industrial projects throughout the Mountain West region. His experience as a civil engineer for a large electrical utility allows him to combine his legal experience with a technical understanding of resource and energy development projects.
Richard represents clients in the hard rock, coal, and industrial mineral industries. In the course of his practice, Richard has assisted mining and energy clients in structuring and negotiating complex mining and energy project transactions, land acquisition and lease agreements, as well as permitting projects on public, private and tribal lands. He has vast experience with public land law issues relating to use of and access over public lands, and location, maintenance, and title review of mining and mill site claims under the Federal Mining Law of 1872. He also regularly handles water rights matters in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
Richard represents clients before various federal, state, and local regulatory, land use and resource management agencies, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and various state environmental quality, state trust lands and water rights agencies.
He also has extensive experience in land and mineral title matters. In addition to general title reviews conducted in conjunction with land acquisitions, Richard’s experience includes the preparation of numerous mineral title opinions for mining and oil/gas operators in several states.
- Representation of a solar developer in a land purchase loan and construction loan for a 3 MW solar project in Napa County, CA.
- Representation of numerous mine operators in the sale or acquisition of operating coal, aggregate and hardrock mines and mining properties,
- Representation of clients on ongoing operational and regulatory matters relating to the operation of hardrock, coal, and industrial mineral mining projects.
- Representation of numerous clients in working with the BLM in obtaining and maintaining various property interests in federal lands, including mineral leases and mining claims.
- Representation of several mine operators in the sale or acquisition of operating coal, aggregate, and hardrock mines and mining properties.
- Authored numerous mineral title opinions for coal, oil, gas, limestone, geothermal, and oil sands interests on public, private, and tribal lands in Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
- Drafted permit applications and coordinated the application process for BLM right-of-way grants.
- Representation of a major building materials and concrete supplier in numerous real estate leasing and acquisition transactions, including mining properties and water rights.
- Assisted an in-situ coal gasification developer in the acquisition of over 150 mineral leases in Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado.
- Representation of numerous mining, energy, and industrial developers in water rights matters in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, including the water right appropriation, transfer, and change application processes.
- Assists clients in water rights adjudications before the Idaho Water Court and Montana Water Court (pro hac vice).
- Representation of an industrial client in the negotiation of land and water rights acquisition, joint venture agreements, and the obtaining of local and federal land use permits in connection with the development and construction of a large industrial facility.
- Assisted in the representation a large electrical utility in two separate proceedings before the Utah Utility Facility Review Board.
- Representation of electrical and gas utilities before state regulatory commissions.
- Representation of wind, geothermal, biomass and biofuels developers in the acquisition and lease of real estate for project development.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
- Speaker, “Material Contracts and Unrecorded Documents,” RMMLF Special Institute on Due Diligence in Oil & Gas and Mining Transactions, September 28, 2018
- Speaker, “Real Estate Development: Environmental Due Diligence,” Water and Real Estate Development in Idaho, Law Seminars International, October 11, 2017
- Speaker,“Conflicting Estates? Understanding the Interaction between Surface Ownership and Mineral Rights.”, Western Land Symposium, August 25, 2014
- Speaker, “What Lies Beneath? Understanding the Interaction Between Agricultural Use and Mineral Rights,” Idaho State Bar, Real Property Section, March 29, 2013
- Speaker, “Geothermal Development,” Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) Geothermal Energy Workshop, Idaho Falls, Idaho, April 21, 2011
- Speaker, “The General Mining Law of 1872—Past, Present and Future,” Idaho State Bar, Environmental and Natural Resources Section, February 26, 2011
Industries & Practices
- Development & Infrastructure
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Indian & Alaska Native
- Oil & Gas
- Project Development & Finance
- Real Estate & Land Use
Professional & Civic
- Member, Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council, Boise (Idaho) District, (Energy Development, Land Exchange and Permit Renewal/Litigation Subcommittees), Mar. 2011–present
- Chair, Environmental and Natural Resources Section, Idaho State Bar, 2009–2011
- Chair, Mining Law Section, Utah State Bar, 2007–2008
- Chair, Mining Section, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Annual Institute, July 2014
- Long Range Planning Committee Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- Member, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- Member, Idaho Mining Association
- Board of Directors, J. Reuben Clark Law Society
- Board of Directors, Idaho Botanical Garden, 2011
- Member, Idaho State Bar Association
- Member, Utah State Bar Association
- Member, Wyoming Bar Association