Richie Litigation Founder and President and top legal expert Darren M. Richie recently sat down with iTunes Top 10 Business Podcast, the ThriveTime Show, which interviews top experts, authors, athletes, and entrepreneurs. With past guests including leaders and luminaries such as celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, New York Times Bestselling author John Maxwell and NFL stars Justin Forset and Rashad Jennings, Richie is in good company on ThriveTime, as he reveals his own personal roadmap for success.
In the inspiring interview, Richie not only shares how he started his successful Hollywood law firm… But how we all can tap into the fire of desire that is required to succeed and lead.
ThriveTime Show Audio Transcript:
On today’s show. We now interview a lawyer and a man who is the founder of Richie litigation. Mr Darren Richie on today’s show, Karen Ritchie shares with us how he started his successful Hollywood elite and entertainment law firm. How to tap into that fire of desire that is required to both succeed and lead. I asked you if you have you lost the fire? Do you need to reignite that fire? If you do, then this show may just be the solution that you’ve been seeking. The answer that you’ve been looking for. This show may just be the thing that reignites the fire of desire that is required to move from where you are, where you want to be.
Some shows don’t need a celebrity in the writer to introduce a show, but this show does to may eight kids, Koch created by two different women, 13 Moke time million dollar businesses. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the thrive time.
Thrive nation. On today’s show, we are interviewing the man, the myth and the legend. Darren Richie, welcome onto the thrive time show. How are you?
I’m doing very well. Thank you. How are you?
Well, I’m honored to talk to you because you are a known by many as being an attorney that’s helping out a lot of a Hollywood entertainment’s elite personalities, but could, could you share with the listeners out there a little bit about what you do for the people out there that maybe are familiar with what you do but they aren’t familiar with you?
Sure, absolutely. Well, I own a law firm here in downtown Los Angeles, which represents our headquarters and we also have another location out in Santa Ana, primarily from soup to nuts. I handled the criminal practice serious, violent, felonious state and federal crimes. But my firm also consists of a civil side where we deal with personal injury, employment cases and contract breach as well as entertainment law. I have six attorneys total. I’m the head of the firm and I have one other person who assists me on the criminal but doesn’t make court appearances and everybody else handles the civil side. And we run a docket of close to 250 to 300 cases. And on any given day.
So you’re a, I would have to say you’re a, a busy God, busy man. And I’m just looking send off some of the people that you’ve been involved with working with. There was a unfortunately a rash of these celebrity burglaries that occurred where thieves broke in and actually stole millions of dollars of stuff from Rihanna, from LeBron James. Could you tell us how you got involved with those cases and what your role was, your, your firm’s role?
Sure, absolutely. So that’s on the criminal side of our firm and it’s an ongoing case. So without revealing too many details, we always like to use the word alleged here at our firm. And the individual that we represent has been alleged to have been involved in a ring that went Los Angeles and orange County. And essentially what they would do is they would take a look at a Star’s schedule or an athlete’s schedule as alleged and realize that the home might be empty and therefore vulnerable. And it’s been alleged that there were robberies and burglaries committed there. And so we represent one of the main defendants in the case. It’s a large conspiracy case and it’s just getting started.
So how did you get even get involved in this kind of of a legal representation? I mean w take us back to where you started, where, where, where did you start? What was it like growing up for you as a kid? I mean, did you always want to be an attorney or what was life like growing up as a kid?
Absolutely. Besides the first grade list and where it says, what do you want to be when you grow up? And every boy writes, I want to be a baseball player. Other than that, I knew I wanted to be an attorney and the, as long as I can remember, maybe that’s three, four years old. Certainly when you take a look at society and you see the courtroom dramas on TV, I don’t want to age myself, but I was probably just, you know, coming into age when LA law was around and in order and all that kind of stuff. You get really excited and that’s what happened with me. And so I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. I was actually involved with moot trial and mock trial competitions on a state list in Texas and was able to do very well. And I started those when I was 10 1214 years old, even went to the Capitol and won the entire state competition. And then when I went to college, which was in New York university, I did debate and moot and mock trial. And then after that I went to get a graduate degree in public policy from the Harris school of public policy at university of Chicago, which is a lot of logic games. And if P then Q war game, very similar to John F. Kennedy school of government at Harvard. And then after that I went to university of Houston and graduated law school.
How long were you in school?
Diversity? Yeah, go ahead.
How long were you in school?
I guess it was probably because I double majored in double minor. I think I did five years and undergrad. I did two at graduate, so that’s seven and another, which was a three year for about 10 years of school after high school.
Wow. So you went, you paid your dues. How did you go get your first 10 clients?
Well, it’s actually a bit of an interesting story. I actually started working as a transaction associated a big law firm in New York after college, but before law school and I was invited and I was there for two years and we worked on cases. They would basically lend a lot of money as banks to people like Donald Trump for example, to build their build big buildings in New York city. And so the culture there was, you know, hard work, grinding it out and people were staying overnight to get work done. And while it was super exciting and the experience was invaluable, I didn’t want to practice that kind of law. I’d rather be the business guy that ended up calling the lawyers that were having the lawyers work on vacations and personal time off. So as it turned out, once I graduated law school, I decided not to go and work for that same law firm where I had an opportunity to return as a first year associate after having worked there for two years prior to graduating law school and I decided to cut my teeth in business for a while to learn what it was like to work for somebody else.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and nobody in my family has worked for somebody else. They’ve all worked for themselves, which obviously doesn’t mean that everyone is successful. That means there’s some hard times and some lean times, but I went to go work for other people and I went into the automotive industry for a little while, but I graduated law school in 2003 and then when I got myself to a place where I was financially secure enough to start my own law firm and do it on my own instead of working for someone else I did and some of the first few clients that came my way were a mix of luck and a mix of great advertising and marketing and great word of mouth and from those clients. It just started to spiral North and I got a ton of clients on referrals one after another.
Literally went from one client to like 50 in a matter of maybe four months.
Darren, what kind of advertising did you do? Did you do billboards? Did you do mailers? Did you do this is 2003 right? It doesn’t for, so did you lie?
Graduated in 2003 from law school and then I opened my firm at the end of 2016 and then really moved into this facility in downtown and in 2017 and we used everything that was available for us, which included social media, but also of course search engine optimization and search engine marketing, which worked very well, but that only works to get you that first fish on the hook.
That’s right. Got to do the rest. Yeah, you to do the, Hey, I want it real quick. This is powerful. Somebody out there, we’ve got a half million listeners out there and there’s somebody out there that needs to write that down. I’m going to, I’m going to cue up the sound effect that I had this sound effect capture just for you here. What she’s, let me, let me queue it up here. Mr demonstrator and Richie Litigation. Here we go. Okay. Someone needs to write this down real quick. Okay. This is powerful. You said search engine essentially just gets you the fish on the line. The golden, I buy, my partner calls it the golden look. But once you get that initial customer, you have to wow them every time.
That’s right. Yes. And you’ve got to make their experience when they won’t forget and one that they want to talk about. And I can share with you a quick example. So I got a client who was referred to me from another case who was actually incarcerated here to facility downtown, a federal specific city. And he and I met and he was arrested and indicted on a federal conspiracy charge, which really had a life consequences, his maximum exposure with regard to penalties. And he had previously had government defense lawyers working for him. And we met and he told me that the best deal that he ever got in terms of a plea bargain was 32 years and he was looking for somebody else to give him more options. He had a two year old son and he was adamant that he wasn’t as guilty as the indictment said I took his case.
Yeah. And I mentioned that because you know there’s some details there, but with regard to conspiracies, the essential basic level of the law is that two or more people have to agree on the exact object of the conspiracy. For example, if you’re in a drug crime, and I know this could be a bit controversial, but if you are distributing marijuana, those have different consequences than distributing harder drugs. And if you’re alleged to have done both but you’ve only done one, then it’s key that you have representation to make it clear which one you’re guilty of and which one you’re not. While the prior counsel had secured a 32 year plea deal, now this gentleman was in his early thirties and with federal crimes you serve 80% of your time. So doing some quick math there, this guy would’ve served a lot of time and he would have been out without having seen and completely missed his child’s upbringing. So we got involved in the case and within probably a month and a half or two months later, I was able to get them out on time served, which was only seven months at the time. It was a very unique situation and from something like that that’s that powerful and impactful and really changes somebody’s life. Obviously he yelled from the mountaintops, you know, my name, our firm’s name and build the reputation and it literally after that it was just one after another after another. And so we’ve been blessed.
I know you are a guy from what I can tell, I mean I researched too, you’ve obviously had some success is that you’re not going to sit there and you know, you’re not going to see attorney client privilege stuff. You’re not going to share a lot of the details of specific things. One cause you can’t do, you can’t do it. But could you share with us about any of the big companies or people that you have represented or are you not allowed to share that at all?
Well, they would have to give me permission first. God. If you look on my website, everybody that we have on, there are folks that have granted permission. There we go. We have some, some big clients. We have some clients that are in the cannabis space, which is a interesting a hedge for us having both criminal and civil with cannabis here in California, gaining a lot of momentum and certainly in the legal environment there are issues now that are coming and confronting these companies, which look a lot more like corporate type of problems and headaches which they didn’t have before versus criminal headaches. So one of our clients is a brass knuckles, which was a very popular vape pin company in California that got into some business disputes and we’re really proud to represent them because these are big boy problems. And this is what happens when you step out from black market and into white market and you need representation. So we have clients that also, you know, have a lot of star power as well that are in that space. And we’re very happy to do what we can to make sure that their rights are heard, listened to and followed every single time.
Yeah. Josh, you’re here with living water irrigation. He’s one of our, our, our show sponsors there. And Darren, he owns a company called the good living water irrigation. It’s a company that does sprinkler systems, outdoor lighting illuminating the home decor the exterior home exterior. Josh, what questions do you have here for mr Darren? Hey Darren. Thank you so much for taking my question, sir. I appreciate you being on the show. So you said you basically went from one customer, do you know, within four months to 50, so, or one client, excuse me. So for those of us out there, there’s a lot of business owners obviously listening to this and entrepreneurs who have achieved some level of lead generation and have gotten a bunch of clients. And how did you handle that massive monumental growth? Oh yeah.
Well not always will, I’ll tell you that in order to grow that way, you’ve got to make sure that your infrastructure can sustain. And that means hiring people and hiring people is one of the hardest things you can possibly do. Whether it’s my experience from the beginning of 2004 all the way now through running this law firm, you can never get that right. And I think if you were 51% right on a hiring decision, then you’re beating the odds. And so we’ve had to have the ability to make sure that we would hire as slowly that we could and fire as quickly as we could when we could see that needs weren’t being met, both my clients’ needs and myself, but with that means that we were able to adapt change and we were not going to accept mediocrity. So after some turbulent time trying to grow, because that is growth that is almost unsustainable. And then it continued to grow thereafter. But after we were able to establish some stability, we were able to grow competently and sustainably. But it really took honing in on exactly what it was that I was missing with the personnel that I’d hired and making sure that I could do my best not to repeat those mistakes going forward.
That’s awesome. I, some of our listeners out there are looking to guys like you for advice. You know, men and women like you for advice and wisdom, you know, kind of that, that wisdom you can’t gain unless you’ve actually been through it unless you’ve been up to the top of the mountain. It’s hard maybe to point out the path if you’re going to go back and just kind of we’ve kinda like a manifesto or a note pad that said your daily planning session should look like this. What are some of the daily habits that you do on a daily basis that you believe that have allowed you to achieve success? Or I guess maybe a better way to ask that is, how do you organize the first four hours of every day?
Well, it’s funny that you ask because even though we have all of this technology, I still use pen to paper and I have a task list for myself. Of course I have Microsoft outlook calendar that’s got everywhere I need to be and all the people I need to talk to and everything I need to be at. That needs to be accomplished for the day, but that’s very task oriented business. With regard to goals, I set those for myself every day and then I check myself every day and this is not hyperbole, I really do it, but I don’t have a ton of goals. I just have one to four goals per day to accomplish and I don’t make them monumental. I don’t make them world changing. I make them achievable and as I achieve them I go onto the next one again to age myself. I started in the day of like Pac-Man, so you go and you grab some, you eat some, you move on, you grabbed some, eat some and move on. I think you’ve got to do it one bite at a time. And for me that works very well because if I set myself up for a huge monumental goals, I’m also setting myself up for a lot of disappointment. I will tell you, it’s extremely rewarding though, as you’re making your way through the day. And if you’ve only set yourself up to great things to do but not unattainable things to do and you’ve accomplished one of them, you’re 50% of the way there and that motivates you and propels you to the rest of the day.
And what he is referring to there, thrive nation we talked to, we talked about a lot on this show or we call them smart goals, specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-sensitive, specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time sensitive, not crazy goals that aren’t doable. Jared, could you maybe think back on your to do list for the last couple of weeks, maybe just share one thing on your to do list or the kind of thing that’s on your to do list, just to make it a little more you know, give the listeners a little more mental traction as to what you’re talking about.
I mean, I’ll just show you how easy it is. You know, I have three children, three boys, five, three and two weeks old. And with how busy that I am, there are huge tendencies to forget what’s going on at home and to check in with your wife and to connect with your household. And while it might seem, you know, that we’re on a business call, obviously a lot of people are supported in their private life and that propels them to success in their public or business life. And that’s the same for me. So for example, I’ll have something on there that tells that I need to check him out with my wife and not just say, how are you doing? Or what are you doing? But ask like a really impactful question. And then listen to the answer such as how are you feeling today?
And when she describes an experience, I have a reminder to say, how did that make you feel? Rather than just listening to it saying, okay, I’ll call you back later. Because people I think can really understand whether you’re paying attention to them or you’re not. And so I have something like that on my list over the last two weeks and it’s worked really well. I’ve come home to a very happy family, happy wife and happy life. The other thing that I’ve had on my list is that we opened an office in orange County that you’ll find when you get very busy that you kind of hunker down where you’re comfortable, you hunkered down where you started, you hunker down where most of your appointments and daily routines are. And so I had to remind myself to get out to orange County and mix with those folks in the community and intermingle with the associates that I’ve placed there. And it’s not just, Hey, at two o’clock I gotta be somewhere, but I remind myself to get there. And then when I get there, I actually have another, a minder to set myself up with. What I’m going to do when I get there to make sure my time is spent most impactfully.
This is really, really good specific stuff. This is what, this is what our listeners love. I, you know, you’re a reader. I know you had to read a lot of books during your 10 years of formal education and you read all the time. Now you’re a guy who believes in ongoing education. What is a book or a couple of books that you’d recommend for all of our listeners where you say, Hey, if you are an entrepreneur and you want to take your career to the next level or your business to the next level, this is a book you have to read.
Well, I’m sure you’re all familiar with everything that happened with both, some up in Lawton. That name sounds familiar, right? Yeah. And so there was a book called no easy day that I read and it was about one of those Navy seals, I think it was Marco in or something, if I remember correctly. And he’s describing, you know, the task of going and trying to achieve something so great, but in circumstances that are so hard. But he didn’t just talk about the beginning game and the end game. He talked about everything that was in between. And he also talked about just the mentality of being in one of those special units and how hard it is and challenging it is where every minute you’re facing a challenge. So difficult. But all you want to do is take the path of least resistance and quit. But he never did and they never do.
And that system doesn’t allow you to do it. So I feel that’s very much a parallel to any business life where you face challenges every day. There’s big ups, big downs and many times you’re confronted with major challenges that make you just want to give up. That happens to me daily. And we can go this morning, I lost a motion to dismiss on a criminal case. But you just say, you know, why you went there and you know, w what you were doing was right and you know, you’ve got something else right around the corner and you’ve got other things up your sleeve for the next time and you get you, you know, put your bootstraps up and you move on and forge forward and you always start moving forward and you never look back. The only time ever I think that it’s important to think about where you’re going and where you came from is for experience. And to learn not to do something again. That was the same thing that you screwed up before, other than that always forge forward. And this book just made me think, you know what? These people could do it under those circumstances. Surely I don’t have it that bad.
Wow that you are you, you my friend. I can see why you’re successful here. I, I have two final questions for you. The first one would be this idiosyncrasies. You know, Steve jobs where the same thing every day. Barack Obama, president Obama started to wear the same thing every day, same style. Every day. You know, the idiosyncrasies Seth Goden turns down most speaking events Tim Ferris is known for his idiosyncrasies. Do you have an idiosyncrasy slash superpower that you believe that has allowed you to achieve big success? You know, something that you do. Some people I know eat the same meal literally every single day. Some people never leave their building. Some people have a super calendar. Well, what is your, what is your move? You have a move.
My grandmother was very close to me and she, you know, was a integral part of raising me. And in my briefcase I keep two pebbles that are kind of over her grave site. And she died I think probably in 1994 I believe. And I’ve had these with me ever since. And I don’t leave home without it. So it might not be as exciting is, you know, the certain, a breakfast and a certain order every morning. But definitely it’s a, you know, very emotional for me and a bit superstitious and days, days when I’m having rough days, I’m thinking, Oh my God, did I forget them? But they’re always in my briefcase. I have him all the time. And also on another note, I switched from ties to bow ties recently and I feel like that’s brought me a lot of success. Probably won’t go back to ties anytime soon. Maybe that’s on the lines of also what you’re asking.
Well I know if you go to LA Richielitigation.com Richie litigation.com you click on meet the team, you’re going to see a beautiful man right there. Lemon Thrivers. Let me, let me introduce you to that man. That beautiful man is Darren M Richie right there. He’s the president. He’s the chairman, founder of ritual litigation. You can see his photo right there. I mean you have a great looking team, but you right there. I it’s are you drinking fish oil or are you drinking a lot of protein or are you gluten free? What are you doing?
You know, I don’t smoke. I don’t drink often, but on Sunday nights, you know, I certainly can indulge in some vodka and tequila as a nightcap. But you know what, thank you so much for those compliments. I do take vitamins every day. I think it might include a dose of fish oil, but I try to as best as I can, I’m prone to Texas barbecue just like everybody else who’s been raised and in Texas but here and there only and only as a very short order. Otherwise I try to look after myself because I know that I want to sustain, I want to sustain for my young children. I want to sustain for my firm. I’ve seen two types of older individuals who do the same work that I do. One guy was 75 and comes in and you know, unfortunately for him didn’t look that healthy, very hunched back and I seen another guy who’s actually a superior court judge here in Los Angeles and downtown and he’s over 75 years old right now and he looks like he could go another 10 years. I want to be that guy. So I’m conscious every single day of what it takes to achieve that.
Okay. Final, final question for you. You have the floor. We will let you have the ear of it. Listeners. I’m about a half a million folks this month. We’ll listen to the podcast. What is the ask that you would have for our listeners? Or what is maybe the action step you would encourage them to take maybe a website to go to, something to download, something to read? What’s the one thing you’d encourage our listeners to do?
Well, before I go into something tangible like that, I do just want to go into this emotional world, which is that we all talk about successful entrepreneurs having some hunger in their past, but I really motivate all of your listeners right now to tap into that. Do you want success just because you see it out there and it looks sexy or do you want success for some other reason? For example, being able to survive, for example, being able to provide, for example, being able to prove everybody else wrong. For example, being able to be the number one guy and not the number two guy for knowing that you can accomplish great things in this world and nobody can doubt you. Those are some of the things that I think people should hone in on. And I’ve had those experiences in my life and there were times when I actually really found my hunger and obviously for a lot of people that comes when they don’t have a lot of money and they need to do whatever is necessary to make sure that they can be successful and in the long run, but for something tangible to look forward to.
You can always follow us on Darren M Richie underscore Esq on Instagram. I’m not a prolific Instagrammer although a lot of my clients tag me from time to time. You will see my family and you’ll see some of the firm and you can obviously go to our website and we are a very friendly and intimate staff. So if you give us a call, we don’t charge for any consultations or whatnot with regard to any personal injury cases, contingency cases, employment and cases. We’ll take you in as family and we’ll talk to you as family. So if you have anything that you want to talk to me about, even if it only regards what you’re hearing today on this podcast, call me. We’ll set up a time, we can talk.
What’s the best phone number to call your firm at?
And the the web address again, one more time. Their thrive nation is Richie litigation. That’s R. I. C. H. I. E. that’s Richie litigation.com. Again, Darren, I appreciate you so much for being on the show. My Fred beat be safe and I appreciate your, your, your knowledge bombs. You, you absolutely blew my mind. Great talking to you guys. Hey, take care. And now without any further ed ado.