Attorneys
Attorneys

Richik Sarkar

Member

Practice Focus

Professional Experience

Through excellent and comprehensive strategy, analysis and advocacy, Richik anticipates, identifies and addresses his clients' legal, compliance and business issues and disputes before they become complicated (and expensive) problems and create operational and reputational risk.

He is one of "The Best Lawyers in America®" and has been an "Ohio Super Lawyer" since 2005 with recognized expertise in: contracts, commercial law, sales and trade practices, business torts, professional negligence and malpractice, financial services law, internal investigations, corporate governance and compliance and risk management.

Richik's clients include public and private entities of all sizes: small and minority-owned businesses, sports and media agencies, technology companies, governments, utilities, multi-national corporations, and global, national, and regional financial institutions and community banks. Working with such diverse groups, he has developed expertise in, among other subjects, the areas of: commercial litigation, social media, RICO, fraud, business interference, director and officer liability, fiduciary liability, the UCC, discriminatory and predatory lending, unfair competition, class action defense, and federal and state regulatory compliance.

Richik monitors project costs and expenses to ensure that budgets, goals and established performance metrics are met; manages legal operations to conserve resources; and handles special projects (policy updates, organizational changes, investigations, etc.) and crises as they arise. As a result, Richik is a trusted advisor to his clients as well as an ardent business and legal advocate.

Cases / Matters

       
  • Counsels business clients in the areas of risk management, crisis management, complex commercial litigation and class action defense, business torts, data privacy, social media, RICO, fraud, business interference, director and officer liability, fiduciary liability, the UCC, consumer protection, unfair competition, UDAP (Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices), government investigations, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance (FCPA, FCA, TCPA, etc.).
  • Counsels financial institutions and third-party vendors in the areas of banking regulation, CFPB and OCC examinations and investigations, internal investigations, risk management, third-party risk management, data privacy, fair lending, commercial and consumer lender liability, the UCC, federal preemption, Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering compliance (including BSA/AML regulatory actions and litigation, Transaction Monitoring, Know Your Customer, Enhanced Due Diligence, and filing of Suspicious Activity Reports), UDAAP (Unfair, Deceptive, or Abusive Acts or Practices), and complex banking and financial services litigation and class action defense.

        Specific representative matters include: 

    • Successfully negotiated a joint use agreement -- covering over one million utility poles -- between an energy company and national telecommunications company.
    • Successfully negotiated a master affiliation agreement between a top five public university and an Indian educational services organization.
    • Successful representation of a national bank in separate state and federal public nuisance actions brought by the City of Cleveland alleging that the financing of subprime mortgages led to the foreclosure crisis and devastated Cleveland’s neighborhoods and economy; obtained dismissals on proximate causation grounds that were affirmed at both the state and federal appellate level.
    • Successful representation of a national bank in a class action alleging claims under the FDCPA, the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, breach of contract, fraud, civil conspiracy, and RICO based upon an alleged failure to provide loan modifications.
    • Successful representation of national banks in cases asserting RICO, Ohio Corrupt Activities Act, and conspiracy claims stemming from institutions’ handling of accounts used in an alleged ponzi schemes.
    • Successful representation of financial institutions in a matter brought by a third party against the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency seeking Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and SARs-related documents; obtained ruling from the Court that the plaintiff was prohibited from obtaining SARs and SARs-related documents pursuant to federal laws and regulations.
    • Successful representation of a national bank in a public nuisance action brought by a citizen based upon the bank’s alleged failure to prevent “blighted conditions” in her community; trial court’s dismissal of action was affirmed by appellate court on standing grounds.
    • Successful representation of financial institutions (including broker-dealer, trust bank, credit card company, and mortgage company) in a case involving claims under RICO, federal securities laws, truth in lending, and claims for mail fraud, larceny by trick, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, embezzlement, and breach of contract.
    • Successful representation of financial institutions in class actions based upon an alleged failure to file timely Article 9 termination statements.
    • Successful representation of financial institutions in class actions based upon an alleged failure to ensure that all institution ATMs were ADA compliant.
    • Successful representation of financial institutions in matters related to UCC Articles 3 (Negotiable Instruments) and 4 (Bank Deposits and Collection).
    • Successful representation of an international talent management agency in misappropriation, unfair competition and RICO action based upon the failure to consummate am international joint venture agreement.
    • Successful representation of an international talent management agency against claims of intentional and negligent misrepresentation and tortious interference in an action brought by a Korean broadcasting company against the agency and the LPGA based upon an alleged failure to extend an international broadcast licensing agreement.
    • Successful representation of an international talent agency against claims brought by a former agent related to the split of commissions generated by a national endorsement deal for a prominent athlete.
    • Successful representation of amici power companies before the Ohio Supreme Court in appeal of decisions finding utility pole owners liable to motorists who struck utility poles; successfully argued that when a vehicle collides with a utility pole located off the improved portion of a roadway but within the right-of-way, a public utility is not liable as a matter of law if the utility has obtained any necessary permission to install the pole and the pole does not interfere with the ordinary course of travel.
    • Successful representation of a telecommunication company in breach of contract and breach of telecommunication tariff actions before federal and state courts and Ohio Public Utilities Commission.
    • Successful representation of Buyer and Seller before the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) in case centered around a sale-leaseback transaction; established that a sale-leaseback sale price is not fair market value for real estate tax purposes.
    • Successful representation of drug manufacturer in a petition for discovery; obtained a reversal of the trial court order granting petition on due process grounds.
    • Successful representation of an electric utility pursuing fees and penalties owed by a telecom company related to unauthorized joint use attachments to utility poles.

Education

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, J.D. (1998)
  • University of Michigan, M.S.W. (1994)
  • University of Michigan, B.A., with honors (1993)

State Admissions

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Professional Associations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Board of Trustees (2011-2014)
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Eighth District Judicial Conference, Lifetime Member
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Member
  • North American South Asian Bar Association, Member
  • Asian American Bar Association of Ohio, Board Member
  • South Asian Bar Association of Ohio, President
  • Ohio State Bar Association, At-Large Delegate to Council of Delegates (2007-2009)
  • William K. Thomas Inn of Court, Secretary/Treasurer (2007-2008); Member At Large of Executive Committee, (2005-2007)

Publications

  • Increased Regulations Don't Just Burden Banks; Vendors Must Also Manage Risk,” Bloomberg BNA’s Banking Report, June 2014
  • "How the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ensnared Auto Dealers," Bloomberg BNA's Banking Report, April 2014
  • Blogger for the online business community—Business Advocate
  • “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail: Third-Party Risk Management For Financial Institutions,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal, January 2014
  • "FTC Files Complaint Against Medical Lab for Failing to Protect Consumers' Privacy," RBMA Monthly Legal Update Digest, September 2013
  • “Big Regulation’s Big Data,” BAI Banking Strategies, May 2013
  • “The New Rules of Consumer Protection: Six Steps for Banks to Manage Third-Party Compliance Risk,” Risk Management, March 2013
  • “Bank Acquisitions and Fair Lending: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, January 2013
  • “A Practical Guide to CFPB Procedures for Investigation and Adjudication,” Bloomberg BNA’s Banking Report, November 2012
  • “Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigation – Litigation and Regulatory Trends,” JD Supra Law News, March 2012
  • “Preventative Measures: Avoiding Predatory and Discriminatory Lending Litigation,” JD Supra, January 2012
  • “A Reduction in Ohio Property Taxes Can Lower Costs and Increase Business Value,” JD Supra, January 2011
  • “Consumer Financial Issues In the Dodd-Frank Era,” JD Supra, December 2010
  • “There is a Reason that RICO is a Four Letter Word,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, January 2008
  • “An Honor and Privilege,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, June 2005
  • “Some Unsolicited Advice,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, May 2005
  • “An Apology to My Briefcase,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, April 2005
  • “Business Casual: Could vs. Should,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, March 2005
  • “How to Be the Control Centre of Your Network,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, February 2005
  • “Selections from the Mailbag,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, January 2005
  • “Mentoring is in the ‘Why’,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, December 2004
  • “The Two Rules,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, November 2004
  • “Dignity, Civility and Respect: How Your Oath Affects Your Practice,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, October 2004
  • “Converting Your Legal Job Into a Legal Career,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, September 2004
  • “Young Lawyers Must Take the Lead,” Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, July/August 2004

Presentations

  • “Third Party Vendor Management in the Mortgage Servicing Context”, American Conference Institute Residential Mortgage Litigation & Enforcement Forum, January 2014
  • “Third-Party Risk Management: Busting Myths and Telling Truths”, American Conference Institute's 12th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement, October 2013
  • “Preventive Measures: Avoiding Predatory and Discriminatory Lending Litigation”, American Conference Institute's 16th National Conference on Consumer Finance Class Actions & Litigation, July 2013
  • “Pleading Requirements Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Law Case,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Federal Court Training Seminar, June 2013
  • “Internal Investigations: A View from the Trenches and the Bench”, Judges & GC’s Program, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, May 2013
  • “Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement,” American Conference Institute’s 11th National Residential Mortgage Conference, April 2013
  • “The CFPB’s Regulatory and Enforcement Agenda,” ACI’s 10th National Forum, January 2013
  • “In-House Counsel – Adhering to the Lawyer’s Creed and Aspirational Ideals While Wearing Two Hats (And Still Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege)”, Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Ohio Chapter, December 2012
  • “Adapting to a New Regulatory and Enforcement Paradigm: The Ongoing Impact of Dodd-Frank and the Emergence of the CFPB,” ACI’s Ninth National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, September 2012
  • “Capital Markets Litigation: The Latest Claims and Emerging Regulatory Initiatives Involving Trustees, Investors, Insurers, and Repurchasers,” ACI’s Eighth National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, March 2012
  • “Implementing Effective Defenses and Defeating Claims Related to Discriminatory and Predatory Lending,” American Conference Institute, January 2012
  • “Institute for the Young Business Lawyer: The Future of Consumer Lending – Back to Basics,” American Bar Association Business Law Section Meeting, April 2009
  • “Taking All Sides: Practice Perspectives in the Consumer Financial Services Industry,” American Bar Association Business Law Section Meeting, April 2008
  • “Hot Technology Topics Argued to Judges,” Judicial Division of the American Bar Association, August 2006

Awards and Honors

  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in America (2013-2015)
  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers (2012-2014)
  • Selected for inclusion in Ohio Rising Stars (2005-2007, 2009, 2011)
  • Selected as one of “Cleveland’s Finest” in 2001 by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Community Activities

  • Rainey Institute, Board of Managers
  • WKSU Community Advisory Council, Member
  • Cuyahoga County Community Improvement Corporation, Vice President and Board of Trustees
  • Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Commission on Economic Inclusion, Member
  • Network of Indian Professionals, Member
Phone
216-430-2009
FAX
216-359-0124
Locations
  • 600 Superior Avenue, East
    Suite 2100
    Cleveland, OH 44114