Richard McFarlane

Richard McFarlaneRichard A. McFarlane, J.D., Ph.D. is a seasoned legal professional, founder and principal of a law firm that emphasizes performing legal research and writing for other attorneys, mostly those working in small firms or as solo practitioners.

Dr. McFarlane received his Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. While there he was a member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Honor Society. Dr. McFarlane received his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of California at Riverside in the legal history of the Western United States. His dissertation is “‘The Waters … Belong to the People’: The 1913 Nevada Water Law as a Populist Response to Progressivism.” He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in history from California State University at Fullerton. While there he was an officer in the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and was on the Dean’s List.

Dr. McFarlane is a member of the bar of the states of California and Utah, of the United States Supreme Court, of the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, of the United States District Court in the Central and Southern Districts of California, of the United States Court of International Trade, and of the United States Tax Court.

Dr. McFarlane opened his own law firm almost immediately after passing the California bar in 1991, and has over twenty years of extensive experience in civil litigation representing plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts including substantive knowledge and experience with all aspects of pre-trial and trial litigation, pleadings, law and motion, written discovery and depositions, first-chair trial experience, and appeals to prosecute or defend clients’ interests. He also has represented debtors and creditors in chapter 7, 11, and 13 bankruptcy proceedings. Dr. McFarlane also has experience in elder law, probate, trusts and estates, and criminal defense.

Dr. McFarlane is the author of several articles on legal history and legal ethics. Some current/recent projects include the role of minor political parties in presidential elections, and an annotated edition of the decisions of the Nevada Territorial Supreme Court.


  • J.D. Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, 1991.
  • Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, 2011.
  • M.A. California State University, Fullerton, 2006.
  • B.A. California State University, Fullerton, 1987.

Significant Cases

  • Alvis v. Espinosa, ___ U.S. ___, 118 L. Ed. 2d 976, 80 U.S.L.W. 3425 (2012) (representing amici curiae).
  • Rozypal v. Estate of Rozyspal, No. B181023, B181024, 2006 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3192 (Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist) (representing appellant).
  • Horton v. Starmann, No. G031062, 2003 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 9301 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist.) (representing appellant).

Professional Activities


  • Organization of American Historians
  • American Historical Association
  • California Supreme Court Historical Society
  • Utah State Historical Society
  • American Society for Legal History
  • Huntington Library Reader


  • State Bar of California
  • Utah State Bar
  • Bars of the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • J. Ruben Clark Law Society