Rick has practiced personal injury law for over two decades. He is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (ABA Accredited) and has litigated injury cases throughout the eastern United States, including wrongful death, trucking, faulty products, railroad and medical negligence claims.
Rick was elected chair of the Railroad Law section of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) twice (2013-2014 and 2005-2006) and was named President of the Railroad Accident Division of the National Trial Lawyers Association (NTLA 2013-14). He has written and lectured on evidence law to the AAJ, VTLA, Georgia TLA, as well as to Virginia lawyers.
Rick is also a prolific U.S. inventor and designer of consumer wheeled products, holding 18 US patents and numerous foreign patents.
Read what some of Rick's clients say about him
- "AV" Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell
- Recognized as a Virginia "Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics Magazine (since '10)
- Recognized "Best Lawyer" by U.S. News & World Report (since '10)
- 10.0 perfect rating on Avvo, a lawyer rating service
- Board Certified by the National Board of Legal Specialty (ABA Accredited)
- Selected to the "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" of Virginia, by the American Trial Lawyers Association
- Chairman of the American Association of Justice Railroad Section (two terms)
- Executive Committee Member for the Railroad Trial Lawyers Association
- Selected to Who’s Who in American Law (2009)
Presentations & Speeches
- Rick has lectured nationally and locally before lawyers with the AAJ, VTLA and GTLA, for Virginia CLE on evidence law and railroad/FELA law, and published an article entitled "Using Medical Evidence to Maximize Personal Injury Case Damages, in the VA Trial Lawyers Law Letter Vol. 21, No. 1 (2009).
- Invited Presenter: AAJ Seminar on Railroad Release Law (June 2009), and has been an invited speaker at a number of national and regional lawyer seminars.
- Invited Presenter: AAJ Seminar on Corporate Represenative Depositions (February 2012).
- Invited Presenter: "End Distracted Driving", Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, VA (January 2013).
Prominent Reported Legal Decisions
- Ratliff v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co., 2009 WL 649268 (March 12, 2009) (Link to WV Supreme Court Opinion)
- Payne v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 2-231-07, (Dec. 27, 2013) (Link to June 2015 TN Supreme Court Opinion)
- Railroad Health & Safety; a Litigator’s Guide, Co-Author, 72 Am. Jur. Trials, p.1 (West).
- Using Medical Evidence to Maximize Personal Injury Case Damages, The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Vol. 21, No. 1, 39-46 (2009).
- Statistics Evidence in Injury Cases: Excluding It or Infusing It in Direct Exam?, The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Volume 23, No. 2, 3-6 (2012) (Link to article here).
- Author and Editor for three health and safety blogs on The Legal Examiner.
- West Virginia
- Washington, D.C.
- North Carolina
- Has litigated cases throughout the eastern U.S. with co-counsel under pro hac vice admission.
- U.S. Supreme Court
- 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Numerous Federal courts
- State bar licensed in VA, WV, NC, and Washington, D.C.
- Rick regularly publishes articles on injury law topics for the Legal Examiner.
- Rick is one of the only plaintiff's personal injury lawyers in the United States who is an attorney-entrepreneur and USA inventor, holding over 17 US patents on folding wagons/products, and various international patents, and Shapiro has successfully licensed one of his "folding wheel" inventions to Radio Flyer wagons.
- Rick wrote the fiction thriller "Taming the Telomeres" published by Challedon Publishing (Amazon) and also the non-fiction book "Faceplant: Chronicles of Facebook's True Tales & Epic Fails" (Richard N. Shapiro) was published by Outskirts Press and is distributed by Amazon and by Barnes & Nobles (search: "Faceplant book").
- Member of the Norfolk-Portsmouth and Virginia Beach Bar Associations; Virginia State Bar; Virginia Trial Lawyers Association; American Association For Justice (Chairman, Railroad Section, 2005-2006); American Trial Lawyers Ass'n, Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys.
Rick's Practice Areas Include
- FELA/On-the-Job Railroad Accidents, Diseases such as Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure
- Car Accident Injuries
- Wrongful Death Accidents
- Trucks or Tractor Trailer Accidents
- Surgical Errors, Medical/Hospital Malpractice
- Head Wound/Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Aviation/Mass Transit Injuries
- General Personal Injury Claims
- Boat Accidents
- Product Recalls and Prescription Drug Side Effects