Solange Ritchie practiced civil law, specializing in business litigation, personal injury, insurance, real estate, intellectual property and high technology law (including patent litigation) in California. Solange now lives in Southern Florida.
Ms. Ritchie has applied her skills during numerous trials and arbitrations, resulting in multi-million dollar verdicts for clients in Orange and Los Angeles Superior Courts, in the amounts of $4 million, $7 million and $16 million. She has defended patents and complex business disputes in the Federal Courts in California and Utah.
She obtained a six figure settlement for plaintiffs in a toxic mold case, assisted in the successful defense of a mid-sized Irvine-based employer in Orange County Superior Court, as well as an employer in business dispute following the sale of a $5 million company. She has represented plaintiffs and employees against major companies such as American Airlines, Ashland Chemical and Ashland Distribution, Arnel Management Company, Beckman Coulter, Inc. and others. She was a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the Consumer Attorneys of California.
In the insurance area, Ms. Ritchie is experienced both defending insurance companies and representing policy holders, which provides a unique and comprehensive perspective. For example, she has been involved in cases related to the Northridge earthquake and toxic mold contamination. She has also assisted in a variety of liability insurance disputes including advertising injury, Cumis counsel, duty to defend and indemnify, failure to settle and other bad faith cases.
Ms. Ritchie also has extensive experience in business law. She assisted in the defense of major corporations and entities including Carl Karcher Enterprises, Crystal Cathedral Ministries, Parkview Community Hospital and Farrallon Gateway, as well as small “start up” businesses. Ms. Ritchie has defended against major corporations such as Verizon Wireless, both at the trial court level and the appellate level.
Ms. Ritchie wrote the appellate briefs and argued before the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Division Three, in the consolidated case of Caesar Wackeen, et al. v. William A. Malis, et al. which resulted in a published opinion on April 4, 2002. A related lower court case resulted in a substantial settlement in her client’s favor.
Ms. Ritchie was part of a trial team that obtained a $16.5 million verdict in a fraud related matter in Orange County Superior Court; $10 million of which was a punitive damage award. She was also part of a team which represented and successfully settled a boat show dispute involving the Newport Harbor Boat Show, following multi-level Federal Court litigation. She successfully defended a complex trademark, patent and business dispute in Federal Court against Sheppard, Mullen, et al. She has also worked on complex business and securities fraud-related matters before Orange County Superior Court (Complex Panel) and related Federal District Court in Utah. She obtained a confidential six figure settlement in a mold case and a high six figure settlement in an employment matter and was instrumental in obtaining multiple non-suit rulings in a business litigation/patent lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court.
In addition to her membership in the California Bar, Ms. Ritchie was qualified as an Attorney and Counselor with the United States District Courts in the Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts. In 2009, Ms. Ritchie was invited to become a fellow of the Orange County Bar Foundation.
In 2008, Ms. Ritchie was selected as one of the National Organization of Women Business Owners (“NAWBO”) Remarkable Woman of the Year recipient from the Orange County Women Lawyers Association. In 2009, she was also honored as OCWLA’s Attorney of the Year – a honor given to just one female attorney in Orange County each year.
Ms. Ritchie was an active member of the Business Litigation and Appellate Law Sections of the Orange County Bar Association (“OCBA”). From 2005 – 2007, Ms. Ritchie served on the Board of Directors for the OCBA. She was re-elected to the OCBA Board in 2007, for an at large seat and continues to serve the OCBA today.
She has served on or chaired several OCBA committees, including the Diversity and Equal Justice Committee – co-chair (2006 to 2009, 2011), Community Outreach Committee (2006 to present), Education Committee (2007 to present), Resolutions Committee/Conference of Delegates to the State Bar – (2003 to present – chair 2010), Administration of Justice Committee (2010 to present), Lawyer Referral and Information Services Committee (2003 to 2005) and the College of Trial Advocacy Committee (2004 to 2006) and the prestigious OCBA Nominating Committee (2006 to 2010). In 2008, she served as Gala Committee Co-Chair to the OCBA Charitable Fund, the charitable arm of the OCBA. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, she co-chaired the successful OCBA Charitable Fund Gala. She continues to serve on Charitable Fund’s Board and will co-chair the upcoming gala this November.
Ms. Ritchie was also active with the Orange County Bar’s Hispanic Bar, Celtic Bar and the Orange County Trial Lawyers Associations (OCTLA), as well other affiliate bar organizations. In 2007, she served as president of both the Orange County Women Lawyers Association (OCWLA) and the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA). She continues to serve on the board of OCWLA and was recently asked to serve on the board of Orange County Women Lawyers Foundation.
In 2008, she was elected to the board of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (OCTLA) and serves on a number of their committees. In 2010, she co-chaired OCTLA’s premier event – the Top Gun Gala Dinner and Awards presentation. She also currently served on the board of California Women Lawyers (“CWL”)(2010 to present). In 2012, she was selected to serve on the OC Collaborative Courts Foundation – which provides much needed funding for Orange County’s Collaborative Courts – serving the homeless, poor and drug addicted.
In 2011, she co-chaired the “Friends” committee for the National Association of Women Judges (“NAWJ”) Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference which was held in Laguna Beach.
She is a past president of the Peter M. Elliott Inn of Court, which honored her as outstanding member in 2002, the first time this award has been given to an associate attorney. She has also served on a number of boards for law schools and other law related boards.
Ms. Ritchie was very active in the community. She was a member of the Orange County Executive Women International and the Medellas Woman’s Group, both of which support various community outreach and charitable causes. She was involved in charity work with Laura’s House and the Special Olympics. She sat on the board of directors for the EI Viento Foundation, which provides educational and leadership opportunities for underprivileged children living in Huntington Beach until 2014. She is a strong believer and supporter of the arts. Today, Solange is devoted to the Exceptional Theater Company (“ETC”) where her special needs bother, Andre, is one of the special 12 participants to participate in a program that has grown to offer the gift of theater to over 350 special needs performers in South Florida.
While in law school, Ms. Ritchie distinguished herself by serving as Editor-In-Chief for Law Review in 1993 and also being named to Who’s Who Among American College and Universities both in her law school and undergraduate studies. She published extensively on issues related to civil practice, diversity and gender and speaks frequently to attorneys and law students about the challenges of a successful legal career.
In addition to all this, Solange is a published author of two thrillers, The Burning Man and Firestorm – both are available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Solange also writes a Sunday blog called “Notes from Solange.” You can sign up for it at her author website – solangeritchie.com.