Richard N. Shapiro | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Richard N. Shapiro


Richard N. (Rick) Shapiro has practiced as a Virginia Beach personal injury lawyer for over three decades in Virginia, North Carolina, and throughout the Southeastern United States.

A relentless personal injury trial attorney, he was named a 2022 Leader in the Law by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly. American inventor & product designer (18 U.S. patents, Radio Flyer patent license). Amazon #1 best-selling thriller author. During his three-decade career, Shapiro has won client appeals before the VA Supreme Court, VA Court of Appeals, NC Supreme Court, SC Supreme Court, WV Supreme Court, TN Supreme Court, and three times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, underscoring Shapiro’s trial achievements.

In addition, he and his law firm have won settlements/verdicts of over $100 million. On the successful TN Supreme Court appeal, Shapiro worked tirelessly for seven years to achieve victory for his client. When you consider hiring your personal injury lawyer, reputation, integrity, and track record all matter.

He is a board-certified civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (ABA Accredited). He has litigated injury cases throughout the eastern United States, including wrongful death, trucking, faulty products, railroad, and medical negligence claims.

He has written and lectured on evidence law to the AAJ, VTLA, Georgia TLA, and Virginia lawyers. 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 was also named a “Leader in the Law, Class of 2022” by Virginia Lawyers Weekly (a total of 33 statewide honorees consisting of lawyers and judges across Virginia).

In September 2023, Rick was selected as a recipient of the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) 2023 President’s Award. Although many nominations were submitted nationwide, Rick was just one of eight attorneys chosen by the prestigious National Board, certifying civil trial attorneys across the U.S.

Rick was also recently named to Virginia Lawyers Weekly 2024 Virginia’s Go To Lawyers Medical Malpractice. The attorneys awarded this honor are nominated by their colleagues and chosen by a panel from the publication.

Rick’s inventor and designer background becomes essential when he accepts a defective product case, as he holds 18 US patents and numerous foreign patents. It helped when he and his co-counsel won their client a $2.5 Million verdict after a ride-on lawnmower burst into flames, killing a man. He is an international award-winning fiction thriller author who wrote an Amazon #1 best-selling suspense novel. Check out an interview with Rick about his fiction thriller, Taming the Telomeres.

Twins daughters of nurse discuss our firm’s work on their mother’s wrongful death case.

Professional Accolades

  • Named “Leader in the Law” (2022) by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly.
  • Was named peer-reviewed 2019 “Lawyer of the Year” in railroad law by Best Lawyers (Norfolk, VA area).
  • 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)
  • ​Why Being Board Certified is So Important
  • Selected to the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” of Virginia, by the National Trial Lawyers
  • Recognized as a Top 10 Trial Lawyer for truck accident litigation by the National Trial Lawyers’ Trucking Association
  • “AV” Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, one of the most prominent and respected lawyer rating organizations in the world.
  • Recognized as a “Client Champion” by Martindale-Hubbell (since 2018)
  • Recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics Magazine (since ’10)
  • 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)
  • American Inventor, granted more than 18 U.S. Patents, with several licenses granted.
  • Author of Amazon #1 Best Selling Suspense Thriller, “Taming the Telomeres.”

as featured on


Richard N. Shapiro received his college degree from the University of Maryland, served as staff assistant to U.S. Congressman Whitehurst, and graduated from George Mason Law School With Distinction. Rick also served as a member of the George Mason University Law Review from 1982-1984. He had an article published in the Law Review’s 1984 publication.

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 National Lawyer’s Seminar on Corporate Representative Depositions (February 2012).
  • Invited Presenter: “End Distracted Driving”, Jamestown High School in Williamsburg, VA (January 2013).
  • Invited Presenter: “Focus Groups”, Virginia Trial Lawyers Advocacy Seminar (October 2019).

Prominent Reported Legal Decisions


  • 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
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2015 & 2016), The Legal Examiner, 2015 and 2016
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2017), The Legal Examiner, Part One and Part Two
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2018), The Legal Examine, Part One and Part Two
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2019), The Legal Examiner, Part One and Part Two
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2020), The Legal Examiner, Part One and Part Two
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2021), The Legal Examiner, Parts One and Two combined
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2022), The Legal Examiner, Part One and Part Two
  • Top 10 Civil Justice Stories (2023), The Legal Examiner, Part One and Part Two
  • Preserving Survival Damages – When Your Case Morphs Into a Wrongful Death Action, The Journal of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2-5 (2019) (Link to article here)


Bar Admissions

    • Virginia
    • North Carolina
    • West Virginia
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Has litigated cases throughout the eastern U.S. with co-counsel under pro hac vice admission.

Court Admissions

    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
    • Numerous Federal courts