Richard H. Adler

Richard H. Adler graduated with honors from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 1980.  He was called to the Washington State Bar that same year.

Mr. Adler is the founding principal and partner of Adler ♦ Giersch PS, a law firm dedicated exclusively to representing those with traumatic injuries, and specializing in brain and spinal cord trauma.

Mr. Adler has served as President of the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA) from 2003 to 2009, and currently serves as Chairman of the BIAWA Executive Board.  As President of BIAWA led a multi-year effort organizing a powerful coalition of healthcare, businesses, sports, and community partners to enact the “Zackery Lystedt Law.”  The law, named after Mr. Adler’s client who suffered from a traumatic brain injury while playing youth football, was the nation’s first law intended to “prevent preventable brain injuries” of young athletes by requiring medical clearance before returning to practice or competition following a concussion.  The core principle of the law has been adopted as legislation by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and has been endorsed by medical, legal, sports, and health care professionals and organizations.   For his leadership and advocacy of the Lystedt Law, Mr. Adler received  the first ever award to an attorney  from the American College of Sports Medicine, the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the nation, for “protecting the health and safety of young athletes.”  Mr. Adler received the “Advocacy Award” from the BIAWA for his work in representing victims of traumatic brain injury and their caregivers. He was nominated for the prestigious Jefferson Award in Washington State presented by the Seattle City Club.   In 2016 he was the only attorney to receive the national Pro-Bono Award from the American Association for Justice for his leadership in prompting civil justice that led to the enactment into law of the core principles of the Zackery Lystedt Law in all states and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Adler, and law firm of Adler ♦ Giersch PS, are “AV Rated,” the highest rating available to attorneys as established by a confidential survey conducted by Martindale-Hubbell.  He is an invited member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum, organizations for the top trial lawyers in America.  He has been selected to the Washington SuperLawyers™ (2012-2016) and a “Top Lawyer” by the Seattle Metropolitan for his exemplary legal representation and advocacy for those suffering from traumatic injury. He has also received the Pro Bono Award from the Washington State Bar Association every year since 2003 for his commitment and leadership in providing legal services to those in need.

Mr. Adler has authored many publications on traumatic injuries for attorneys, healthcare providers, and injured persons.  His recent book, From Injury to Action: Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim, joins his other top-rated publications, Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Survivors and Families; and Spinal Trauma and the Personal Injury Case.  He is currently working on a second edition to the Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury book due out in 2017-2018.  Mr. Adler is frequently an invited speaker at legal, medical, insurance, and health care organizations on issues of traumatic brain injury, personal injury law, expert testimony, and the insurance processes.

Mr. Adler is licensed to practice law in all jurisdictions in the State of Washington.  He is a participating member of the Washington Bar Association, the Washington State Association of Justice (Eagle Status), the American Association for Justice, the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA), the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon (BIAO), the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.

Mr. Adler enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and colleagues   He also enjoys a good glass of red wine, travel, food, and sports.

1.  “10” out of “10” Superb Rating and Client’s Choice Awards on

2. “Av Rated”  by Martindale Hubbell: Highest rating available through confidential survey of attorney-peers (2008-Current)

3.  Million Dollar Advocate Forum: Top Trial Lawyers in America (2005 – Current)MillionDollarAdvocateForum

4.  Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum: Top Trial Lawyers in American (2010 – Current)

5.  Selected to Washington SuperLawyers(2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

6.  “Advocacy Award,” Brain Injury Alliance of Washington for “Exemplary legal    representation and advocacy for those with traumatic brain injury.” (2009)
American College of Sports Medicine’s Award “For protecting the health and safety of young athletes” (first attorney to receive an award from ACSM) (2009)





7.  Selected for Inclusion in Legal Leaders Top Rated Lawyers – Insurance Law 2013

Top Lawyer RA

8.  Washington State Jefferson Award, SeattleCityClub (2012)


9. “President’s Award,” for “providing the highest quality legal presentation and legendary service through advocacy, accessibility and knowledge.” American Massage Therapy Association – Washington Chapter (2008)

10. Washington State Association for Justice Eagle Member






11.  “Steward” Award, Massage Therapy Foundation (2011)

12.  “Giving a Voice to Others,” Featured Attorney, King County Bar Bulletin (2009)

13.  Pro-Bono Public Service Commendation, Washington State Bar Association (2003-2012)

  1. R. Adler, M. Carter, J. Gent, A. Leritz. Understanding Medical and Treatment Concepts and Terms. Word Association Press (2013)
  2. R. Adler. From Injury to Action: Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim. Second Edition. Word Association Press (2012)
  3. R. Adler, M. Carter, J. Gent, A. Leritz. Understanding Legal and Insurance Concepts and Terms. Word Association Press (2012)
  4. R. Adler. “Youth Sports and Concussions: Preventing Preventable Brain Injuries.  One Client, One Cause, and A New Law” Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics –  Youth Sports and Concussions. Nov 2011 Vol. 22 No. 4
  5. R. Adler, S. Herring. “Changing the Culture of Concussion: Education Meets         Legislation.” PM&R Vol. 3, S468-S470, October 2011
  6. R. Adler. From Injury to Action: Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim. Second Edition. Word Association Press (2012)
  7. R. Adler. From Injury to Action: Navigating Your Personal Injury Claim (2011)
  8. R. Adler, Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Survivors and Families (2006)
  9. R. Adler, Whiplash, Spinal Trauma, and the Personal Injury Case (1995 – Current)
  10. R. Adler, “Medical Aspects of Soft Tissue Injuries,” Handling Motor Vehicle Accident (1990); Clark-Boardman Publishers
  11. Editor, The Advocate, Monthly Publication on Medical-Legal-Insurance (1990-Current)
  12. R. Adler, Survival Guide: Chiropractic Practice Guidelines (1993)
  13. Understanding and Responding to Common Cross Examination (video)November 2001.
  14. Testimony:  Deposition and Trial (video), October 1993.
  1. “Introduction to Personal Injury and Insurance Law for New Massage Therapists,” “Understanding Personal Injury and Insurance Law,” and “How to Get Paid in a Personal Injury Claim.” American Massage Therapy Association – Washington Chapter Annual Convention.  Yakima, WA. (2013)
  2. “Navigating the Personal Injury Claim for Today’s Healthcare Professional.” Adler Giersch PS. Bellevue, WA. (2013)
    “Youth Sports and Concussions: Preventing Preventable Brain Injuries.  One Client,
    One Case, and a New Law.” Puget Sound Spine Interest Group. Seattle, WA (2013)
  3. “Brain Injury, Adversity, and Never Ever Giving Up,” Third Annual Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference. San Jose, CA. (2013)
  4. ” Practical and Legal Implications of the Lystedt Law For Today’s Physicians,” Sports Medicine Prevention/Training/Therapy Head Injury to Upper Extremity. Overlake Medical Center (2012)
  5. “Legal Issues with Concussion Management,” 63rd Annual Meeting & Clinical Symposia.  National Athletic Trainiers’ Association. St. Louis, MO (2012)
  6. “Mandating Player Safety by Increased Accountability for Non-Compliance on the Sidelines and Exam Room,” The 6th Annual National Summit on Sports Concussion & Other Athletic Injuries. Los Angeles, CA (2012)
  7. “The Zackery Lystedt Law,” Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems Leadership Forum, Seattle (2012)
  8. “Concussions: Issues Above and Away from the Playing Field,” Presenter, AAPM&R 72nd Annual Assembly, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation    (2011)
  9. “The Zackery Lystedt Law,” Presenter, Concussion Prevention and Education Summit,    Yakima Medical Society Association (2011)
  10. “Testifying at Deposition and Trail:  Effectively Presenting Your Treatment and Patient  Injuries,” Presenter, Washington State Chiropractic Association Fall Convention (2011)
  11. “Apportioning Preexisting Conditions and New Trauma: Understanding the Core Cases from the Washington Supreme Court and the Impact for Chart Notes, Narrative Reports and Testimony,” Presenter, Faculty of Naturopathic Physicians Meeting, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, (2011)
  12. “What it Takes to Win a Traumatic Brain Injury Case,” Ninth Annual Pacific   Northwest Brain Injury Conference Portland, Oregon. Brain Injury Association of   Oregon (2011)
  13. “Management of Sports Concussion Injuries with Special Reference to the Zackery Lystedt Law ” Stanley A. Herring M.D. & Richard H. Adler J.D. Seattle Spine & Sports  Medicine Bi-Monthly Seminars (2011)
  14. “Forensic Physiatry: The Basics of Expert Testimony and Life Care Planning,” American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Annual Assembly, Seattle, WA (2010)
  15. “Winning the Traumatic Brain Injury Case: Using Lay Witnesses, Illustrations, New Laws, Imaging, Neuropsychologists, and Other Practice Pointers,” Eighth Annual   Pacific Northwest Brain Injury Conference Portland, Oregon.  Brain Injury Association of Oregon (2010)
  16. “Legislation: The Story of the Zackery Lystedt Law – Youth Sport Concussions:   Education to Legislation.” Continuing Medical Education (CME). University of Washington Medicine. Stan Herring, MD & Richard Adler, JD
  17. “Proven and Effective Ways to Illustrate Evidence in a Traumatic Brain Injury Case,”  Brain Injury Association of Washington, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seattle, WA (2010)
  18. “Handling the Traumatic Brain Injury Case” Brain Injury Association of Washington, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seattle, WA (2008)
  19. “The Winning Focus for Your Traumatic Brain Injury Case – Including Use of Before and After Lay Witnesses,” Brain Injury Association of Washington, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seattle, WA (2008)
  20. “An Overview of the Challenges of Brain Injury Litigation: Preparation, Presentation and Roles,” Contemporary Forums (2005)
    Legal Case Preparation: Screening TBI Cases; Working with your TBI Client and Family; Effectively Navigating Obstacles in TBI Cases, Contemporary Forums (2005)
  21. “E.R.I.S.A. Subrogation Issues” Brain Injury Association of Washington, CLE (2004)
  22. “Practice Tips on Handling Traumatic Brain Injury Cases” Brain Injury Association of  Washington and Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Seattle, WA (2002)
  23. “Medical-Legal Aspects of Advising the MVA Patient for Today’s Consulting ER Nurse,” Highline Hospital (2001)
  24. “Who Pays and When? List Care Planning Initiatives,” Evergreen’s Head Injury Re Entry Center (1999)
  25. “An Attorney’s Role in the Rehabilitation Team of the Spine-Injured Patient,”       NeuroSpine Conference, Everett General Hospital (1993)
  26. “Using Forensics to Describe Brain Injuries to a Jury,” Pacific Northwest   Neuropsychological Association, Harborview Medical Center (1993)
    Automotive Medicine.  Northwest Hospital, (1990)

My experience with Adler Giersch has been beyond my wildest expectations. Absolute game-changer. After I was rear ended by a semi truck I was out of work for quite a while and with my injury returning to work wasn’t any easier. While I was healing and trying to get my life back Richard Adler and MaryEllen Bolden handled my case beyond what I could have expected. They made sure that everything was taken care of and it allowed me to focus on healing. They kept me informed so I wasn’t left wondering. I didn’t know this at the time but I’m sure things went so smoothly because I had hired the best Attorney on the West Coast if not the entire country. They know what they are doing, and aren’t afraid to show you that they care about you too. As a family man I am forever grateful for what Richard and MaryEllen have done for me and my family.

Ian [posted on Google]

My daughter was a pedestrian hit by a drunk driver 3 1/2 years ago. As a mother, there is nothing more heart wrenching and traumatic to experience than when tragedy strikes your child. You seem helpless. I thank God everyday for Richard Adler and his team for the caring, knowledgeable and tenacious pursuit they had for helping my daughter. Nothing can give her back what she lost physically, but the compensation Richard and his team were able to get for her has made it possible for her to move on and provide for her future. They were thorough, patient, kind, and Richards medical knowledge guided my daughter in ways I believe no other lawyer could. You cannot go wrong having him on your team.

Gloria [posted on Google+]

In December 2011 I was involved in a drinking and driving accident (vehicle vs. pedestrian). I woke up in the ICU after being hit while walking across the street at 40 MPH. No amount of money will fix the damage that was done to my body but when something like this happens that is all we have. Richard Adler and his team relentlessly fought for my case in every way they could. They kept in constant contact with me to make sure I was involved and comfortable with the process by scheduling regular meetings, phone calls and emails. It was a long road but in the end they did a great job in rectifying the circumstances that happened to me. They were compassionate and hardworking and I felt immediate trust in Richard’s ability to represent my case. I am very pleased with the results and would highly recommend Richard Adler and his team.

Tori [posted on Google+]

Mr Adler was terrific. He had great follow through and was able to share his vast knowledge of head trauma and nerve damage. He also was able to reach a settlement of three times more than I originally expected. I would highly recommend Mr Adler and his marvelous staff to anyone that is seeking legal help for injury claims.

Jim [posted on]

Richard, and his Team, including, Mary Ellen Bolden, handled my accident, and back injury, with the professionalism, and diligence, I normally can expect, only from those closest to me!! I had no previous history with Team Adler, however. was referred by a very reputable medical friend… I felt completely confident and comfortable with the Team, from the moment i first met with them!! I had been in some serious pain, and this was my first time dealing with a personal injury claim.. Richard, took the pain of this process, on his shoulder’s, and allowed me to concentrate on my recovery from Surgery… I fell indebted to Richard and his Team, and will confidently refer anyone I know, to his firm!!!

Frank [posted on]

After my husband and my self were run over by a careless driver in a tractor trailer on our motorcycle, by the grace of god we both survived. Richard Adler was highly recommended to us by someone who had already experienced his services and were beyond pleased. Richard and his team worked on our case diligently. We were consented and kept informed throughout the entire process. They were very compassionate and comforting to both of us during this frightening and devastating experience. Its with great confidence and client satisfaction we would highly recommend Richard Adler and his team they provide EXCEPTIONAL advocacy with heart felt compassion.

Lynnette [posted on]

Richard is absolutely the #1 Super Attorney!!! He made a very stressful situation much more bearable. Without his thorough work and assistance, I’m not sure where we would be with our personal injury cases. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his tireless work and the fantastic outcome for both of us. I would highly recommend Richard to anyone that needs representation for a personal injury matter. Richard, thank you again!!! We love you!!!

Carole & Radovan

I highly recommend Richard Adler and his team for whatever personal injury needs you may have.

I was rear ended by a drunk driver and though my car sustained minimal damage, I sustained a torn rotator cuff. Richard was honest with me from the very first conversation. From that first conversation, through the recent, successful outcome Richard and his staff where attentive, honest and always put my wellbeing first and foremost. I appreciated that they kept me informed every step of the way. They had answers for me before I had the questions. After every surgery Richard and his staff checked with me to see how I was and reassure me that things fine and were being handled. All I had to worry about was recovery.

Richard and the staff were successful at crossing every T and dotting every I. They built a solid case with no holes. This resulted in a successful outcome without going to court.

There is only problem that I can identify and that is that I won’t be meeting with Richard and his staff on a regular basis.

I cannot recommend Richard Adler and his team highly enough.  Intelligent, professional and compassionate is an amazing combination.


Richard and his support staff have just concluded an injury case for me that has been ongoing for 6 years. From the very beginning I felt safe in his hands, having been referred to him by my parents, who also had Richard’s help several years prior for an auto-accident. Whether I was working with Richard himself, or with Janet or Karla, I was always well informed and knew that my case was a priority. Richard’s results are above and beyond what I imagined and I can’t ever thank him enough, as I wouldn’t be able to afford the treatment I needed and still need if it weren’t for him. In addition to protecting my rights financially, Richard also was able to guide me through my treatment using his vast knowledge of car-accident related injuries. I know that I would have never considered seeking help from a few of the fields he referred me to simply out of my own ignorance, including cognitive and balance therapies to help with my brain injury, chiropractic, massage therapy, and physical therapy.
Though I am relieved and grateful for Richard’s work to be done, I am also saddened that our relationship will mostly be at an end. I feel that he has not just been my attorney, but also a friend with sincere concern for my well being. Having someone I trusted and believed in was pivotal for me, as my accident occurred while I was still in high school and very unaware of how to react to such an event in my life. With his help I am now better prepared to protect myself in the future and able to continue the treatment I still need.
Richard Adler comes with my highest recommendation! In my opinion, there isn’t anyone more genuine, more brilliant, or more successful in his field.

Annaliese Boyko

At age 86, my mother was in a car accident sustaining multiple serious injuries. There was no way I was going to deal with all that was forthcoming on my own but the task of deciding upon an attorney seemed daunting. After talking to several attorneys, I contacted Richard. We had several phone calls and email exchanges prior to my committing to his service. After our first in-person meeting, my concerns disappeared. His knowledge, understanding of the law and genuine concern for my mother were evident from the very beginning. He and his staff did a wonderful job keeping us informed at every step as we navigated all that was needed with the insurance companies. I felt more like I was a member of their team than just another client. In the end, I believe they were able to exact the best settlement achievable. Words that come to mind when I describe my experience – professional, thorough, knowledgeable, experienced, trustworthy and compassionate. I would have no reservation at all referring my friends or family to Richard for his services. I told my wife that if I am ever in a serious accident, call the doctor first and Richard second!

Darrell Perry