Richard A. (Rick) Helm graduated with an A.B. in economics from the University of California, Davis in 1967 and received his J.D. in 1970 from Hastings College of the Law, University of California in 1970. In law school he served on the Moot Court Board and graduated a little below the top 10 % of his class.
Rick was admitted to the bar in Alaska in 1970 and is presently a member of the bars of Alaska, the Federal District Court for the District of Alaska, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He was listed for several years in Who’s Who in American Law. He was a member of the committee of law examiners for the State of Alaska from 1971 to 1980 and chairman of that committee from 1974 to 1980.
He practiced with Burr, Pease & Kurtz in Anchorage from 1970 to 1985, becoming a full partner (stockholder in the professional corporation) in 1972. He was retired from 1985 to 1990. He then resumed practice, of counsel to Burr, Pease & Kurtz, from 1990 to September of 1993, when he became of counsel to Biss & Holmes in Anchorage. In June of 1995, he opened a solo practice, which became Helm & Associates in May of 1998. In April 2003, Bruce Bookman and he formed a new partnership, Bookman & Helm, LLP.
Rick has tried numerous cases including airplane crashes, medical malpractice, wrongful death and other injuries, the defense of lawyers claimed to have violated securities law, and represented the general contractor of the Anchorage Sports Arena against the Municipality of Anchorage. Since returning to practice, he has assisted the State of Alaska in the collection of $30 million from an investment advisor on a claim of negligence and an additional $3 million from the State Insurance Guaranty Fund and was lead counsel representing the state in a case against Bank of America. He has significant appellate experience with approximately fifteen decisions from the Alaska Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit. He spent 3 years in the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Litigation.