Richard Kaplan


Richard Kaplan of Kaplan Marino


“When most clients first see me, they find themselves undergoing the worst experience of their lives. To help them through it and to move forward, I use fresh perspectives and creative theories that challenge prosecutors’ traditional assumptions.”

Criminal defense attorney Richard D. Kaplan manages serious criminal charges that threaten the livelihood and reputations of white collar clients, including high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs, entertainers, corporations and their officers and executives. Richard’s creative and novel strategies during negotiations with authorities have led to numerous acquittals, no-charges-filed, probation and record expungement outcomes for clients.

Richard’s experience includes a range of allegations: fraud, narcotics, DUI, vehicular manslaughter and domestic violence, among others. Several recent representations have involved #MeToo allegations, building code violations and overcharging claims issued by weights and measure agencies.

He has built productive relationships across the legal profession, from the Los Angeles County and City Prosecuting Agencies to the U.S. Department of Justice to the National Conference of Bar Presidents, which he serves on its executive council. Richard was the 2018 president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and a longtime leader of the organization.

Creative Criminal Defense in LA County and Across California
During more than 30 years of practice, Richard has assembled a formidable team of professionals and deep resources that support his alternative approaches and customized defense advocacy.

Richard and his team of psychologists, doctors and treatment experts are working within California’s new mental health diversion program laws to defend clients.

Many of his clients are prominent individuals in business and entertainment and seek the highest levels of discretion and confidentiality. Known for an empathetic but honest manner with clients, Richard has also earned a reputation for credible and effective defense theories among the prosecutors, agencies and judges he appears before.

In another area of increased prosecutorial activity—building code violations in the wake of the Ghost Ship tragedy in Northern California, Richard has represented several hotels, family offices, REITs and other high net worth property owners. The building citations carry complexity beyond real estate law compliance and have criminal implications, which Richard is helping individuals prevent and resolve.

New Approach to Criminal Defense Law
Richard founded the Kaplan Marino, PC firm with his wife, Nina Marino, in 1988 with the goal of transforming white collar defense law. His background practicing outside of the government allows him to view matters differently. He challenges black-and-white, linear arguments and familiar assumptions to introduce compelling theories and evidence that persuade prosecutors.

Since the start of his career, Richard has helped moved the legal profession forward and furthered relationships between the bar and bench.

Richard is a former president of the Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers and past chair of the sections for Solo and Small Firms of the State Bar of California and of the Beverly Hills Bar Association. He served on the 2000 Rampart Independent Review Panel formed by the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners. Richard has spoken before legal audience on a range of issues, from ethical issues in neighbor disputes to the collateral consequences of domestic violence, and legal concerns around bitcoin.

Mr. Kaplan is a frequent speaker on criminal law and related topics. Mr. Kaplan has spoken at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting, the Section Education Institute, the Solo and Small Firm Summit, and at the ABA Midyear meeting. He regularly teaches a class for new lawyers for the Beverly Hills Bar Association.

Mr. Kaplan has been voted by his peers as a Southern California SuperLawyer since 2006.

Recent Awards and Recognitions

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • White-Collar Defense
  • DUI/DMV Matters
  • Vehicular Offenses
  • Violent Crimes
  • Narcotics
  • Sex Offenses

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1988
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1998
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1998
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1991


  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California – 1987

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Beverly Hills Bar, Board of Governors, 1991 – 1992
  • Beverly Hills Bar Barristers, President, 1992 – Present
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association, President, 2017 – Present

Select Representative Matters

Healthcare Fraud Dismissal

We represented an individual who was accused of receiving $775,000 in illegal kickbacks for prescribing and dispensing allegedly unneeded medications. This prosecution was part of the larger Landmark case which alleged a multimillion-dollar fraud. After executing search warrants, the prosecution viewed attorney client privileged documents. After more than five years of litigation, the Orange County District Attorney’s office agreed to dismiss the case.

World Champions Son’s Matter Declined

We represented the son of a world champion boxer who was stopped while waiting in the valet line at a night club. The police searched his vehicle without his permission and had a loaded firearm was discovered. Prior to the filing of charges we presented to the prosecution that the search of the vehicle was without probable cause and therefore illegal. No charges were filed.

Revenge Porn Case Dismissed

We represented an individual who was accused of sending salacious photos of an ex-girlfriend to her employer. The allegation was more than three years old. We brought a motion citing the unreasonable and unjustified delay in prosecution and alleged our client was prejudiced. We prevailed on the motion and the case was dismissed.

Conviction Vacated Due to Failure to Advise on Immigration Consequences

We represented a client who was convicted of Operating a Drug House under Health and Safety Code 11366. At the time of the plea his attorney failed to advise him of the immigration consequences of the plea. We were able to obtain a declaration from the attorney confirming our client’s recollection. A motion to Vacate the Plea was filed and the court granted it and the case was dismissed.

Musicians Battery Case Dismissed

We represented a professional musician who was accused of a battery against a female employee at an industry event. After more than a year of negotiations case was dismissed.

University Senior Accused of Date Rape Results in No Charges

We represented a university senior who was accused of sexually assaulting a girl he dated during his freshman year. The allegation was brought more than two years had passed. After a thorough investigation that obtained statements from multiple witnesses disputing the accuser’s account no charges were filed.

University Professor Battery Allegation Declined

We represented a university professor who was accused of assaulting a shuttle driver at LAX. We immediately disputed the allegation and requested any video of the incident. After learning the surveillance cameras on the bus that day were not operational the matter was referred to a city attorney office hearing. No charges were filed.

Entrepreneur Arrested at Airport With a Loaded Firearm
We represented a businessman who was charged with bringing a loaded firearm through a secure area at an airport. He was traveling with his family and had spent a holiday with his terminally ill father. He gathered many of his fathers personal items to take back to is home in Texas. The gun he learned to shoot as a child was one of the heirlooms. Most of the items went home in a container but the weapon was inadvertently placed in his computer bag. While passing through TSA security with his family the gun was discovered. He told TSA his story and they cited him and allowed him to return home. Six months later the DA charged him and refused to dismiss the case. The judge granted him diversion and after he completed a gun safety class the case was dismissed.

Intoxicated Woman Who Refused to Wear a Mask on an Airplane was Arrested

We represented a woman who was arrested for being intoxicated on an airplane and refusing to wear a mask. She was pulled off the plane and arrested. No charges were filed.

Businessman Accused of Assaulting His Partner and a Security Guard and Possessing a Gun

We represented a business owner who was accused of assaulting his partner, a security guard and illegally possessing a firearm. After investigation and explaining there was a deeper business dispute behind the allegations no charges were filed.

COVID 19 Regulations Violations

We continue to represent people accused of violating COVID regulations in homes and businesses. To date, Kaplan has succeeded in having all charges dismissed.

Family 911 Call for Help Ends in Arrest

We represented a man arrested for interfering with and assaulting a police officer after his family called 911 because another family member had a seizure and died. The case was dismissed.

Venice Beach Self Defense
We represented a former Navy Seal who was accused of assault in front of his home in Venice Beach after observing a trespasser urinating in a doorway. After a thorough investigation and presentation to the LAPD, the DA declined filing charges.

$500,000 Embezzlement Allegation

We represented an individual in an investigation in which he is accused of misappropriating approximately $500,000 from a religious institution. After a thorough investigation and discussions with representatives of the alleged victim no criminal charges were filed.

Multiple Sexual Assault Allegations End With Probation

We represented an individual who was accused of sexually assaulting three women while they were intoxicated. None of the women knew each other, and each brought the allegations to different law enforcement agencies. The client spent three days in custody after entering a plea to one felony count of assault and one misdemeanor count of Sexual Battery and was placed on probation.

Death of Officer Nets Four Year Sentence

We represented an individual who was driving with alcohol and drugs in his system and ran a red light causing an accident with another vehicle, killing the driver, an off-duty police officer. The client has entered a plea to a vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to four years at halftime. The client has been released from custody.