Sam is the co-leader of McGuireWoods’ Product Liability & Mass Tort practice group, a member of the firm’s Trial Practice Steering Committee, and a past chair of the Product and Consumer Litigation department. For nearly three decades, he has represented clients in tort, environmental, and public health litigation in state and federal courts across the country. A fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, he has won jury trial verdicts in ten states and successfully managed thousands of cases to resolution.
Sam has served as punitive damages counsel for a variety of clients when corporate conduct is at issue, coordinating defenses at both the trial and appellate levels. He is a frequent commentator on professional ethics in mass tort litigation, and has served as an independent expert reviewer for the RAND Corporation and lecturer at the VCU School of Business.
Sam has received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent peer rating, and Virginia Business has named him repeatedly to its “Legal Elite” General Litigation. The Legal 500 has also recognized Sam for the past several years for Excellence in Product Liability Law. While earning his LL.M. at Georgetown University Law Center, Sam received the CALI Award for Academic Excellence in Global Health Law. As a law student at the University of Richmond School of Law, he was a member of the National Moot Court team and won best advocate at the Carrico First Year Moot Court Competition. His classmates selected him to deliver the commencement address.
Sam is a former president of the John Marshall Inn of Court and a past board member of Partnership for the Future, an organization that mentors high-potential high school students from challenging backgrounds and helps them attain college degrees.
- National Product Liability counsel to international medical device company.
- Representation of plaintiff in fraud and civil RICO litigation arising from attorney and physician conduct in the creation of medical evidence in mass tort litigation.
- Representation as lead trial counsel to agribusiness in environmental nuisance litigation.
- Representation as coordinating counsel for punitive damages for an American Class I railroad.
- Representation as Daubert/Frye counsel to the American automotive industry in asbestos litigation, including statewide hearings in Texas and Delaware.
- Representation as coordinating counsel for tort litigation for a national retailer in federal bankruptcy proceedings in the Eastern District of Virginia.
- Representation as coordinating and trial counsel for automotive manufacturers in asbestos, benzene and silica litigation.
- Representation as lead counsel for a manufacturing defendant in food contamination litigation.
- Representation as lead trial counsel for healthcare company in bad faith litigation.
- Representation as lead trial counsel for medical device manufacturer in warranty litigation.
- Representation as regional coordinating and trial counsel to a transportation company in chemical exposure litigation.
- Representation as science counsel to a paper products manufacturer in chemical exposure litigation.
- Expert witness development for pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies in product liability litigation.
Georgetown University Law CenterLLMGlobal Health Law
with Distinction, Dean’s List
- University of Richmond School of LawJD
- University of VirginiaBA
Member; Product Liability Section Chair, 2000-2001, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
Member; President, 2008-2008; Vice President, 2006-2007; Secretary-Treasurer, 2005-2006; Membership Chair, 2003-2004, The John Marshall Inn of Court
Member, Bar Association of the City of Richmond
Member, Virginia Bar Association
Former Chair, Toxic Tort and Products Liability Section, Lex Mundi, 2010-2011
- Guest Speaker, "The Evolving Landscape of Healthcare Provider and Medical Product Manufacturer Liability", Healthcare Headlines Video Series, July 1, 2021
- Featured Guest, "Interested in Infectious Disease Litigations? Before You Accept a Case, Read This", Modern Law Library Podcast, March 10, 2021
- Speaker, "Defending the Bifurcated Punitive Damages Trial", In-house CLE, 2019
- Speaker, "Louisiana Wetlands and Coastal Issues", Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Thirty-Eighth Annual Institute, May 21-23, 2017
- Speaker, "Trial Practice Nuts & Bolts", American Bar Association Meeting, Trial & Insurance Practice Session, 2015
- Speaker, "Professional Ethics in Mass Torts", IADC Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, Washington, DC, 2014
- Speaker, "Taking the Fight to Plaintiff’s Lawyers", IADC Mid-Atlantic Mid-Year Meeting, Vienna, Austria, 2014
- Speaker, "Asbestos Fraud", American Tort Reform Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 2013
- Speaker, "Fraud and Racketeering Findings in the Mass Asbestos Docket", NFIB Conference, Harrisburg, PA, 2013
- Speaker, American Tort Reform Association Annual Legislative Conference, Charlotte, PA, 2013
- Speaker, "Communicating Risk; Communicating Cause", AIHCE Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 2007
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Supreme Court
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants, Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, Woodward/White, Inc., 2007-2024
Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: Products Liability & Toxic Torts, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2021, 2022, 2023
Named to “Virginia Super Lawyers,” General Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2008-2016, 2023
Selected for inclusion as a “Leading Lawyer,” Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action – Defense: Automotive/Transport, 2016-2018, 2020, 2021, 2023; Consumer Products, 2016-2018; Toxic Tort – Defense, 2017-2018, Legal 500 US
Selected for inclusion in “Legal 500 United States,” General Commercial Disputes, 2023; Product liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions – Automotive/Transport – Defense, 2021, 2022, 2023; Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions – Toxic Tort – Defense 2021, 2022, 2023; Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Actions – Consumer Products – Defense, 2022, 2023; Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action – Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, 2022, 2023
Named “Lawyer of the Year,” Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2020; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, 2015, 2018; Richmond, The Best Lawyers in America
Selected for inclusion in America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: Products Liability & Mass Torts, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2014-2020; Named a Recognized Practitioner, Product Liability & Mass Torts, Nationwide, 2015-2016
Selected for inclusion as an expert in North America Product Liability, Expert Guides, 2016
Named to “Virginia Legal Elite,” General Litigation, Virginia Business Magazine, 2007-2012
Recognized for Excellence in Product Liability Law, Legal 500, 2007-2012
AV Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
- Author, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Non-fungible Token Litigation Primer: A Tort Class Action, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, March 16, 2022
- Author, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Non-fungible Token Litigation Primer: A Look at McKimmy v. OpenSea, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, February 28, 2022
- Co-author, "Eastern District of Pennsylvania Solidifies Rule 702 Requirements for Medical Causation – Part 2", WLF Legal Pulse, February 22, 2022
- Co-author, "Eastern District of Pennsylvania Solidifies Rule 702 Requirements for Medical Causation – Part 1", WLF Legal Pulse, February 14, 2022
- Author, Increase in ‘Take-Home’ COVID-19 Litigation Creates Fear of ‘Never-Ending’ Liability for Employers, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, January 13, 2022
- Author, "Vaccine Mandates Need Liability Shields", Bloomberg Law, October 20, 2021
- Author, "It’s past time to abolish punitive damages", The Hill, October 13, 2021
- Co-author, "Avoiding a war over masking", Richmond Times Dispatch, March 8, 2021
- Co-Editor and Contributing Author, “Chapter 15: Punitive Damages” and “Chapter 16: Jury Trials”, Infectious Disease Litigation: Science, Law & Procedure, February 2021
- Co-author, "Keep Vaccination Decisions Out of the Courtroom", STAT, January 13, 2021
- Co-author, "Toward True Client Communication in Mass Torts", The Journal of Civil Litigation, Fall 2014
- Author, "Ethical and Professional Lessons from CSX v. Pierce", DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar Publications, 2013
- Author, "Can Litigation-Generated Science Promote Public Health?", American Journal of Trial Advocacy, Volume 33, No. 2, 2010
- Co-author, "The Use of Toxicology In Tort Litigation A Survey of Federal and State Jurisdictions", American Bar Association Section of Litigation Products Liability Committee, 2004
- Co-author, "Insuring Against Punitive Damages", The Journal of Civil Litigation, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, 2001
- Co-author, "More Probable Than What? The Role of Epidemiology in Virginia’s State Civil Courts", The Journal of Civil Litigation, 1998