Richard Otera > Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP > Los Angeles, United States > Lawyer Profile

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
United States




Rich Otera practices primarily in franchise and distribution law and litigation. He has worked in the automotive and electronics industries for almonst 20 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)

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Transport > Rail and road: litigation and regulation

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP‘s sizeable national automotive practice advises a large proportion of the US’ active motor vehicle manufacturers. It is also increasingly involved in new industries such as driverless cars, electric vehicles and over-the-air repairs. The team’s expertise covers advising on federal and state legislative frameworks, as well as motor vehicle-related regulatory work. It additionally acts in disputes spanning class actions, product liability claims, terminations, relocations and ownership transfers. Other areas of strength include advising on distribution models, sales, and data privacy issues. Columbia-based Steven McKelvey routinely represents manufacturers of cars, trucks, motorcycles, powersports and recreational vehicles, while Tallahassee’s Andy Bertron is the firm’s lead automotive lawyer in Florida, and Los Angeles office managing partner Richard Otera focuses on franchise and distribution law and litigation. Other key practitioners are Mark Clouatre in Denver, LA-based Jody Porter, and Washington DC’s Christie Iannetta. In 2022, the firm expanded its automotive product liability practice through the recruitment of over 50 attorneys (including 30 partners) from product liability-focused firm Bowman and Brooke LLP; the move added several automotive product liability litigators with ties to major car companies.