Richard W. Petty is a senior counsel in Holland & Knight's Los Angeles office. Mr. Petty focuses his practice on litigation involving trust, estate, conservatorship and guardianship matters, both at the trial court level and at the appellate court level. He is an experienced trial attorney and litigates numerous matters involving trusts and estates with interests in complex commercial businesses and substantial real estate holdings, both inside and outside of the United States. His practice has a particular emphasis on the overlap between trust litigation and real estate litigation, including disputes involving partnerships, limited liabilities companies, fraudulent conveyances, title insurance and various tort claims. He also represents charities, churches and nonprofit organizations in litigation. His work on behalf of trusts and estates has occurred in probate courts, civil courts, appellate courts and bankruptcy courts. He has also represented the families of individuals who have been murdered in probate litigation over appointment of the executor of the victim's estate and the disinheritance of their slayer.

Mr. Petty also has experience representing Indian tribes and their members in all aspects of litigation, with a particular emphasis on Indian Child Welfare Act proceedings and other child custody matters.

Representative matters

  • Lead counsel on behalf of co-trustees accused of breach of fiduciary duty involving trust with substantial private equity investments and real estate holdings
  • Lead counsel on behalf of Indian tribe contesting adoption of trial member
  • Lead counsel on behalf of title insurance company in a conservatorship action involved in a purportedly fraudulent transfer of real estate
  • Co-counsel on behalf of defendant seeking transfer of title to commercial and residential real estate based upon argument that title was held by his deceased father with the same name, not by defendant

Representative Experience


  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D.
  • Dartmouth College, B.A., History; Native American Studies
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • California Indian Law Association
Honors & Awards
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021