Richard A. Oetheimer

Richard A. Oetheimer

Richard A. Oetheimer

Rich Oetheimer, a partner in Goodwin’s Specialty Litigation Group, specializes in the defense of mass tort and products liability actions, and business and real estate litigation. He has been recognized as a top-rated Products Liability and Mass Torts lawyer by The Legal 500, American LawyerBenchmark Litigation, Corporate Counsel and The National Law Journal.

Mr. Oetheimer has extensive experience in the defense of product liability and mass tort claims against manufacturers of prescription drugs, medical devices, chemical substances, foods and dietary supplements, and consumer products. His experience includes defense of asbestos, DES, PPA, metoclopramide, ephedra, heart valve and IUD litigation, including participation in jury trials in federal and state courts. He served as lead counsel in the case that established federal preemption of generic drug lawsuits.

Mr. Oetheimer also has extensive experience in business and financial services litigation, including defense of residential mortgage lenders in state and federal courts, and is active in all types of real estate and land use litigation.

Professional Activities

Mr. Oetheimer has chaired programs for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, and has presented at Defense Research Institute, American Bar Association, American Conference Institute, American Bankruptcy Institute, CLE International, Boston Bar Association and District of Massachusetts Bench/Bar Conference programs. He is a member of the Boston and American Bar Associations, ABA Section of Litigation, Products Liability Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, and the Drug and Medical Device Committee of the Defense Research Institute.

Mr. Oetheimer is a member of the Massachusetts Advisory Council of The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, and has served as its Massachusetts pro bono litigation counsel.


Mr. Oetheimer has been recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers in the areas of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action and Product Liability Litigation, and by The Legal 500 U.S. in the area of Products Liability and Mass Torts Defense, with specific reference to Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices. He was also named as a Top Rated Lawyer in the area of Mass Torts by The American Lawyer, Benchmark Litigation, Corporate Counsel and The National Law Journal. He has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer for Business Litigation.

Areas of Practice


Mr. Oetheimer’s recent experience includes the representation of:

Products Liability and Mass Torts

  • Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, finding federal preemption of state law tort claims against generic drug manufacturers under the Hatch-Waxman Amendments to the FDA Act. 131 S. Ct. 2567 (2011).
  • Teva Pharmaceuticals USA in Morris v. PLIVA, Inc., and Johnson v. PLIVA, involving the prescription drug metoclopramide. The Louisiana federal district courts dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims under the Louisiana Products Liability Act and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed, holding that all of the plaintiffs’ generic drug claims are preempted by federal law under PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing. 713 F.3d. 774 (5th Cir. 2013)
  • Generic Drug Manufacturers in Strayhorn v. Wyeth Pharma, Inc., successfully arguing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that the plaintiffs’ design defect and warning claims are preempted by federal law. 737 F.3d 378 (6th Cir. 2013).
  • The Generic Pharmaceutical Association in an amicus submission to the California Supreme Court in litigation challenging jurisdiction over pharmaceutical mass torts.

Business, Financial Services and Real Estate Litigation

  • Bank of America in defense of litigation brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General challenging the conduct of foreclosures under state law.
  • Wells Fargo and GMAC Mortgage in Manson v. GMAC Mortgage, LLC, in defeating certification of a putative class of homeowners alleging unlawful foreclosure in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 283 F.R.D. 30 (D. Mass. 2012).
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association in arguing as amicus curiae to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Bevilaqua v. Rodriquez, involving the consequences of invalid mortgage foreclosures under state law. 460 Mass. 762 (2011).



J.D., 1981
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
B.A., 1978
Boston College

(summa cum laude)

Mr. Oetheimer also studied law at Harvard Law School.





Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
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