Rick K. Carter

Rick K. Carter
Senior Counsel

P: (602) 254-6008
F: (602) 257-4276

Mike Rea

Rick K. Carter

Senior Counsel

In 1981, Rick K. Carter, a Colorado native, graduated from UCLA, subsequently earning his Juris Doctorate in 1984 after attending both Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and San Diego’s California Western School of Law.

Rick began his professional career in 1984 as a trial lawyer in downtown Los Angeles representing clients in matters ranging from large commercial disputes to individual damage claims. In 1989, Rick, whose family has deep roots in Arizona and played a significant role in the State’s cultural history dating from the early 1930s, obtained his Arizona license and immediately began representing clients from Yuma to Phoenix to Tucson as well as in many of the State’s rural venues. In 1992, Rick relocated to Yuma in order to focus his practice on Arizona litigation, serving as lead trial counsel in jury trials representing a variety of significant corporate clientele, including a global pharmaceutical giant. In 2004, Rick relocated to Phoenix where he practiced with a number of well known law firms serving as trial counsel in some of Arizona’s largest then pending civil actions. Since relocating to Phoenix, Rick has also represented commercial entities of various types and sizes, as well as individuals, in matters involving commercial disputes, complex commercial litigation, class action litigation, the defense of professionals, construction defect litigation, the defense of unfair employment practice and wrongful discharge claims, insurance disputes and other practice areas. Rick remains a highly respected senior litigator with a resume that includes extensive jury trial experience in the state courts throughout Arizona and California as well as litigation in the state and/or federal courts of Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.

Rick also served for ten years as an arbitrator with the State Bar of Arizona and has provided services as a private negotiator, mediator and arbitrator for more than twenty years.

In 2001, while continuing in private practice, Rick also served as Vice President of a multi-million dollar behavioral health and medical service provider and administrator with over five hundred employees and numerous administrative and service locations throughout Arizona. In this capacity, Rick managed and was responsible for the administration of multiple departments, including compliance, grievance and appeals, legal, insurance, contracting, corporate investigations, court and law enforcement liaison, policy and procedure oversight, medical/corporate records as well as serving in a support role for human resources and as an executive liaison with the medical staff. Rick also played a key role in corporate governance through the fulfillment of independent reporting obligations and counsel directly to the Board of Directors. Rick was also responsible for oversight of all corporate litigation, selecting and managing all outside contract counsel and negotiating settlements and compromises. In 2004, Rick began serving as the Chief Legal Officer for another large behavioral health service provider. As such, Rick provided counsel directly to the Chief Executive Officer, as well as many other key members of the executive team, concerning a wide variety of legal, compliance, insurance, contracting, personnel, investigation and many other matters.

Community service has also been important. Rick has more than a thirty year history of volunteer work with youth sports organizations and, in 2002, served as the head coach of the state champion Yuma Regional High School Ice Hockey Team that received a Proclamation of Outstanding Achievement from the Arizona House of Representatives. Further, Rick has also served as a Director with a number of community service organizations, including the Yuma WORC Center, which provides employment opportunities for the disabled, and the Yuma County Humane Society.

Rick is also a proud Eagle Scout and a former member of the UCLA NCAA Men’s Soccer Program.

Practice Areas

  • General Civil Litigation/Trials
  • Complex Commercial Litigation/Trials
  • Construction Defect Litigation/Trials
  • Personal Injury/Property Damage
  • Employment/Wrongful Discharge
  • Mental/Behavioral Health
  • Administrative Law/Professional Boards
  • Representation of Professionals
  • Mediation/ArbitrationMediation/Arbitration

Corporate Management Areas

  • Medical/Behavioral Health Office Management and Administration
  • Medical/Behavioral Health Professional and Support Staff Recruitment
  • General Corporate Governance
  • Compliance
  • Policy & Procedure Formulation, Revision and Oversight
  • Grievances/Appeals
  • Legal/Litigation Management
  • Internal Investigations
  • Court/Law Enforcement Liaison
  • Contracting/Contract Negotiation
  • Medical Staff Support/Liaison
  • Medical/Corporate Record Oversight
  • Human Resource Support

State Bar Posts

  • Arbitrator (1994 to 2004)
  • State Bar of Arizona Committee on Arbitration Fee Disputes


  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; California Western School of Law, San Diego, J.D., 1984
  • University of California, B.A.: Political Science, 1981

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona
  • California
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court, District of Arizona
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court, Southern District of California
  • United States District Court, Central District of California

Extracurricular Achievements

  • Eagle Scout, 1973
  • UCLA NCAA Soccer Team, 1981 to 1983
  • Head Coach, Yuma Regional High School Ice Hockey Team, 2001 State Champions
  • Recipient of Arizona House of Representatives Proclamation of Outstanding Achievement