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Richard grew up in the City of Pittsburgh and attended Central Catholic High School. Richard received a Recommended for judicial office rating by the Allegheny County Bar Association.  

Over the summer, he would work in his family's law firm Behrend & Ernsberger, P.C., where he learned the importance of enforcing and protecting rights through the legal system, and that every client’s case is of critical importance to them. Richard is an Eagle Scout. Richard went on to graduate from The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. 

During Richard’s college studies, he reinforced his belief in public service through interning for the Honorable Congressman William Coyne. Richard also interned with the Federal Reserve Board in Public Relations, which hired Richard after graduation. 

After working for the Federal Reserve for two years, Richard went to law school and obtained a Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University. Richard competed in the Phillip Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, externed at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and was a member of the Order of Barristers and Inns of Court. 

After a judicial clerkship with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Richard returned to Pittsburgh and started his law firm practice at Behrend & Ernsberger, P.C. where he has worked since 2008, focusing on enforcing and protecting individuals' and small businesses' rights. Richard has represented plaintiffs in consumer protection litigation, whistleblower lawsuits, personal injury cases, real estate disputes, and employment discrimination and civil rights matters.  Richard also has experience defending individuals and businesses in commercial litigation and regulatory matters.   

Committed to community service, Richard recently provided guidance to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Assistance, reviewing disaster assistance loans for individuals and small businesses suffering hardship due to COVID‐19 and natural disasters in California, Louisiana, and Alabama. Richard also has provided pro bono legal representation to persons sued by student loan collection agencies, and is a registered Mediator with the Federal Court in Pittsburgh. Richard has taught continuing legal education courses in ethics and insurance matters. 

Richard is involved in the community outside of law services. A strong believer in the benefits of education for all, Richard is on the Young Professionals Board of Junior Achievement, which awarded him the Bronze Leadership Award, tutored the Junior Achievement curriculum at Kelly Elementary in Wilkinsburg, and is a Member at Large of the nationwide board of The George Washington University. Richard also has participated in the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation Team Challenge Run, and volunteered for the New Leadership Council of the Pittsburgh Symphony and The Children’s Trust at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. 

Publications and Speaking Engagements:

  • Continuing Legal Education Presenter, Business Law Institute, “Ethics and Bad Faith Insurance,” January 2021.
  • Continuing Legal Education Presenter, Business Law Institute, “Bad Faith Insurance,” December 2019. 
  • Author, “In Mangel, Superior Court Offers Guidance on the Authentication of Social Media,” Allegheny County Bar Association, April 2018.
  • Author, “Appellate Courts Split Over Standards for Ascertainability in Class Actions,” Lawyers Journal, Allegheny County Bar Association, September 2015.
  • Author, “FCC Issues Declaratory Ruling on Telephone Consumer Protection Act,” Legal Intelligencer, July 29, 2015. 

 Awards and Recognition:

  • 2019 Junior Achievement Bronze Leadership Award
  • 2019 Fellow, Allegheny County Bar Association Foundation
  • 2017 Rising Star, Super Lawyer Magazine 

Learn more: 

  • Facebook ‐ @rernsbergerforjudge 

  • Twitter ‐ @RichErns4Judge

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