A native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, Richard completed high school at The Hill School, a preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, then graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University in 1983. Following college, Richard attended law school at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas where he received his Juris Doctor degree. Following law school, Richard and his bride, also a lawyer and native of East Texas, moved to Tyler, Texas in 1986.
Since that time, Richard has served as an Assistant District Attorney for Smith County, Texas in the: (1) County Court at Law; (2) the 321st Judicial District Court with an emphasis in juvenile matters; and (3) the County Commissioners' Court. In 1993, at the age of 31, Richard was appointed to the bench of the Smith County Court at Law, making him the youngest judge in Texas to receive such an honor. In 1995, Richard entered into private practice, and was shortly thereafter named to the City of Tyler Municipal Court where he served for 22 years.
In addition to the practice of law and judicial responsibilities, Richard has served as President of the Smith County Young Lawyers' Association, Sec/Treasurer of the Smith County Young Lawyers' Association, Secretary of the Smith County Bar Association, as well as multiple committees in each organization. He also served on the State Bar Disability Issues Committee, and is also a former member of Rose City Kiwanis, American Bar Association and Board Member of Alzheimer's Alliance of Northeast, Texas, Inc.