Attorney

attorney bio
Download VCard | Facebook Profile

Rich O’Dea is a life-long resident of St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his B.S. degree in Government from St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1988, and his J.D. degree from Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1991. Mr. O’Dea has been engaged in the general practice of law with an emphasis on plaintiff’s personal injury and insurance matters since 1991.

Mr. O’Dea has an extensive personal injury practice and has successfully represented a variety of clients in claims involving automobile/motorcycle accidents, liquor liability, insurance coverage disputes, sexual abuse, assault/battery, medical malpractice, and work-related accidents. Other practice areas include small business and contract disputes, appeals and general civil litigation matters.

Mr. O’Dea is one of only several hundred attorneys certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Civil Trial Specialist. Since 2005, Mr. O’Dea has been chosen by his peers for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers magazine, a Thomson Reuters company, as a “Minnesota Super Lawyer” (top 5%). Mr. O’Dea is licensed to practice law in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is admitted to the federal bar for the District of Minnesota and Western District of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, the Minnesota State Bar Association, and the Wisconsin State Bar Association. Mr. O’Dea also serves as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association No-Fault Panel, and he is a former investigator of the Second Judicial District (Ramsey County) Ethics Committee.

Education

  • Law (Juris Doctorate), Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1991
  • Government (B.S.), St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1988
  • University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, 1984 – 1985

Bar Memberships

  • Minnesota Bar – Admitted on October 25, 1991
  • Minnesota Federal Bar – Admitted on November 25, 1991
  • Wisconsin Bar – Admitted on June 18, 1997
  • Wisconsin Federal Bar (Western District) – Admitted on June 19, 2007

Groups and Associations

  • Minnesota Association for Justice (MAJ)
  • Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA)
  • American Arbitration Association No-Fault Panel
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Certifications

  • Minnesota State Bar Association Certified Legal Specialist, Civil Trial Law
    August 2006 to present

Honors and Awards

  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2016
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2015
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2014
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2013
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2012
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2011
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2010
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2009
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2008
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2007
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2006
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers 2005
  • Minnesota Rising Stars 2005

Employment History

  • O’Dea Law Firm, LLC. – Managing Attorney/Owner  (2014 through Present)
  • Palmer – O’Dea, LLC. – Partner /Owner (2007 through 2013)
  • Palmer, Cody & O’Dea, LLC. – Partner /Owner (2000 through 2006)
    Rich continued to represent clients in personal injury, insurance and other civil litigation matters.
  • O’Dea Law Office – Managing Attorney/Owner (1991 through 1999)
    Upon graduating from law school, Rich started his own general practice law firm. He represented clients in a variety of matters including personal injury, insurance, family, and contract disputes.

Representative Cases

Rich also has experience representing clients before the highest courts in the State of Minnesota.

Ge Lee v. McWillie Hunt, 642 N.W.2d 57 (Minn. Ct. App. 2002).

Issue presented:  

Did Minn. Stat. § 548.36 (2002)(the collateral source statute), require a client’s favorable jury verdict to be reduced by the amount of no-fault benefits paid by client’s automobile insurer?

The Court of Appeals decided:

The Defendant’s insurer was not entitled to reduce the jury verdict amount by the amount of no-fault benefits paid because the Defendant did not comply with the strict statutory time limits for bringing a motion to reduce the jury verdict. This action resulted in Rich’s client’s verdict being increased by $15,670.00.

State Fund Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. Jack Mead, et al., 691 N.W.2d 495 (Minn. Ct. App. 2004).

Issue presented:

Did Minn. Stat. § 176.061, subd. 8a (the workers’ compensation third-party liability statute), allow a workers’ compensation insurer to intervene in a client’s personal injury case in order to protect its claimed subrogation interest?

The Court of Appeals decided:

The worker’s compensation insurer could intervene in Rich’s client’s personal injury case to assert a subrogation claim against the client’s $296,000.00 liability settlement.

West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., 776 N.W.2d 693 (Minn. 2009).

Issue presented:

Did client, a self-employed mechanic and business owner, have excess underinsurance motorist coverage available to him from his personal automobile insurance policy or his business insurance policy, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 65B.49, subd. 3a(5)(2006)(the underinsurance and uninsured motorist statute), after he sustained serious injuries while test driving a customer’s vehicle?

The Minnesota Supreme Court decided:

The client’s personal insurance policy limits of $200,000.00 were available to him as excess underinsurance coverage, in addition to the collected liability insurance benefits of $100,000.00 from the at-fault driver’s insurer, and the primary underinsurance benefits of $100,000.00 from the client’s customer’s insurer.