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Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Rich Otera

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP




Rich Otera practices primarily in franchise and distribution law and litigation. He has worked in the automotive and electronics industries for more than 16 years. From 2001 to 2015, Rich worked at the U.S. headquarters of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., as the primary in-house lawyer responsible for dealer franchise and other commercial legal issues for the Honda and Acura auto divisions nationwide.

In that capacity, Rich focused on franchise law; antitrust law; negotiation and documentation of development agreements, supply agreements, strategic commercial agreements, joint ventures and other contracts; digital media transactions; management of complex commercial litigation, including nationwide class actions; and counseling executive management on day-to-day business operations. In 2015, Rich was hired to establish the first-ever U.S.-based legal department for Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., a Fortune Global 500 manufacturer of electrical components and other related products in core areas including automotive. As General Counsel of the Americas, Rich established and led a full-service legal department providing comprehensive legal support to 46 SEI subsidiary companies throughout North and South America.



  • American Bar Association
  • Japanese American Bar Association
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association


Loyola Law School, JD cum laude (1994), University of California Los Angeles, BA, English (1990)

United States: Industry focus

Transport: rail and road - litigation

Within: Transport: rail and road - litigation

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s automotive practice represents motor vehicle manufacturers and distributors on dealer and franchise disputes. Indeed, clients note in particular the team's ‘expertise in automotive dealer and distribution law’. Mark Clouatre in Denver represented PACCAR in a dealership application dispute, and regularly acts for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in disputes with dealerships and consumers. Columbia-based Keith Hutto, who handles franchise and distribution cases, is defending Nissan on a number of franchise and dealership cases. Other names to note include Andy Bertron in Tallahassee and Richard Otera in Los Angeles. Hutto and Steven McKelvey, who is also based in Columbia, jointly head the team.

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