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Mr. Escalera obtained his B.A. in Humanities Magna Cum Laude and J.D. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico Law School (where he graduated first in his class and obtained West Publishing Co. prize to the best student in Anglo-American law, the Puerto Rico Bar Association Medal and the Manuel Rodríguez Ramos Medal) and his Master’s degree in law from Harvard University. He has taught at the University of Puerto Rico Law School and at the Catholic University Graduate Law Program. He was Editor in Chief of the University of Puerto Rico Law Review and Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Puerto Rico, José Trias Monge. A former member of the Puerto Rico Board of Bar Examiners, Mr. Escalera served in the Commission on the Reform of the Civil Code, in the 2000 Incoming Governor’s Transition Committee and the US Supreme Court Historical Society Puerto Rico Chapter and as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Puerto Rico Museum of Art. He is a former member of the Board of Governors for the University of Puerto Rico. Mr. Escalera was co-lead counsel for the prevailing party in the 2004 federal litigation arising out of that year’s gubernatorial election. Mr. Escalera is a frequent lecturer on commercial litigation and several other issues. He is a Puerto Rico Supreme Court CLE certified instructor.

Fluent in Spanish, English and French, Mr. Escalera supervises Reichard & Escalera’s general litigation work and personally handles its civil practice under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act and the Puerto Rico Dealer’s Act (Law 75), as well as most complex litigation cases. Mr. Escalera has wide experience in many areas of commercial litigation from mass tort (i.e., Dupont Hotel fire litigation) complex labor litigation (i.e. plant closings) superfund cases, securities, regulated market cases, trademark litigation, products liability and civil rights actions. He has been a major participant in litigation arising out of Puerto Rico’s financial restructuring under the PROMESA federal statute. He is also involved in the opioid crisis and hurricane reconstruction litigation. Mr. Escalera is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, the United States District Court of Puerto Rico, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. For several years in a row, Chambers Global has identified Mr. Escalera as an “eminent lawyer” and “one of the best litigators in the country”, placing him as one of only two litigators in the top tier ranking. Mr. Escalera has more than 40 years of litigation experience at all levels of local and federal courts. Reichard & Escalera was selected by Corporate International as litigation firm of the year for Puerto Rico.

Mr. Escalera has been identified by the Who’s Who Legal publication for recognition in the 10th edition of The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers. He frequently participates as mentor/judge in intra and interstate mock trial competitions.

In March 2023, Mr. Escalera was elected as a Numeral Member of the Puerto Rican Academy of Law and Jurisprudence. The Academy aims to promote research and practice in law and its auxiliary sciences, as well as to contribute to the reforms and progress of Puerto Rican legislation and administration of justice. The Academy works closely with similar entities in other countries. Its members are prominent judges at both local and federal levels, former judges and professors of law.

Escalera Rodríguez, Rafael

Capital Partner