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

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