photo of Richard Waite

Richard Waite

Rick Waite earned his A.B. (cum laude) in 1975 from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts and his J.D. in 1980 from the University of San Diego Law School, San Diego, California. Mr. Waite joined the firm in 1981.

Rick has a sophisticated real estate practice representing clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. Early in his career, Rick was a trial lawyer suing and defending developers, contractors, brokers, lenders, buyers and sellers of real estate and businesses for fraud, breach of contract, specific performance, construction defects, injunctions and other remedies. Rick has prosecuted and defended lawsuits through verdict, judgment and appeal. He has also acted as an expert witness in real property litigation matters.

For more than a decade, Rick represented plaintiffs and their families in serious personal injury and death cases arising out of the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak and other food-borne illness outbreaks.

In the latter part of his career Rick has focused on real estate and business transactions. He represents developers, investors, brokers, buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, contractors, and architects in commercial and residential purchase and sale agreements and leases, due diligence matters, title matters, design and construction contracts and development matters. He also forms corporations and limited liability companies and represents buyers and sellers in stock and asset sales of businesses. Rick has closed over $1 billion in commercial and residential real estate transactions. Rick has represented the San Diego offices of the real estate trust departments of several of the largest banks in the world.

Rick’s extensive litigation experience enables him to negotiate and document high risk transactions to avoid or prepare for litigation, as the case may be. Although he no longer tries cases, Rick occasionally supervises high stakes litigation.

Rick has taught hundreds of real estate brokers and salespersons the fundamentals of California real estate law through the popular “Conquering Contracts” course at the San Diego Association of Realtors and other Realtor organizations.

When he is not practicing law, Rick enjoys time with his family, surfing at his home break in Del Mar and exotic locations around the world, investing in real estate and teaching meditation to lawyers and people from all walks of life.


Rick's professional affiliations include:

  • Member State Bar of California
  • United States District Court for the Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit.
  • Member San Diego County Bar Association (member, Real Property Law Committee)