Rico was born in 1970 in New Orleans, LA. Although he was born and raised primarily in New Orleans, Rico traveled internationally as he was growing up while his Father, Ernesto M. Alvendia, served as a Diplomat for the Philippines. In fact, he attended Jesuit High School in the Philippines from 1984 to 1987, where he also witnessed firsthand the historic Filipino Peaceful Revolution in 1987.
In 1994 Rico graduated with high honors from Loyola University, New Orleans, with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science. At the same time, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Army Reserves. In 1994, he was awarded an academic scholarship to Loyola University Law School in New Orleans. As a student at Loyola Law School, he excelled in the Moot Court Program and earned a spot as a member of Loyola’s renowned National Moot Court Team. He earned his law degree from Loyola in 1998 and immediately passed the Louisiana Bar exam. He, with his partners, started the Law Firm of Alvendia, Kelly, and Demarest, LLC in 2003.
While he gained valuable experience in trying over 150 civil and criminal trials in both State in Federal Court, Rico was also recruited into the US Army Reserve JAG Corps. In 2004, he was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for 18 months with the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade. In Iraq, he was promoted to the rank of Major. While in downtown Baghdad, Rico was part of an international team of lawyers who assisted Iraqi prosecutors in the criminal trials of over 300 insurgents. His efforts resulted in the 1st successful prosecution of an Iraqi for the murder of a U.S. soldier. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during combat operations.
After returning to the U.S. from Iraq in the Fall of 2005, Rico and his partners were immediately faced with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. After opening its Downtown New Orleans office, Rico, and his firm continued to focus on complex personal injury cases, as well as representing hundreds of homeowners and local business owners in their battles with their insurance companies. His Firm fought to successfully recover millions of dollars for his clients who were in need of money to rebuild their homes and businesses.
Since Katrina, he has also been appointed to multiple Plaintiff Steering Committees in class actions related to Katrina, including the Orleans Parish School Board teachers’ class action and several New Orleans hospital class action cases based on the failure to timely evacuate patients, which include the Memorial Hospital class action case.
Rico remains active in local charities and with Loyola Law School, where he is a member of the Alumni Board of Directors and he has established the Martha A. Alvendia Endowed Scholarship in honor of his mother. He was honored by the Loyola Law School Moot Court program as the 2007 Distinguished Alumni of the Year and he was also honored by the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association with the 2008 President’s Award for his service to the legal profession.