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 www.Avvo.com

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)

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

Top Lawyer RA

8.  Washington State Jefferson Award, SeattleCityClub (2012)

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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
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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)

It is a little difficult to put into words how much we appreciate what you have done for us. Please accept this humble attempt to express how much we appreciate the incredible job you did as our attorney.

From the very first contact with you, we knew we had come to the right person. You were referred to us by a past client and it was the best advice we have ever received. Dennis called your office on a Friday, MaryEllen Bolden let Dennis know that you were out of town and we would most likely not hear back until sometime the following week. She assured us that she had taken copious notes and would be sending them to you by email that day. MaryEllen was our first point of contact with your office and in our opinion is absolutely the best paralegal assistant you could ask for. The amazing thing was that you read that email and contacted us that very weekend. We were so impressed and appreciative that you did that.

Our first meeting with you is what set the tone for how our case would be handled. We were very much assured that you not only had the expertise we needed, but also you did not set us up for any unrealistic expectations. Dennis’s case was a very complicated one with much research and investigation involved. We appreciate all of the hard work you did to prepare Dennis’s case. We know that you spent many hours investigating and reviewing a lot of information regarding Dennis’s current and previous medical conditions. The settlement you were able to negotiate with the insurance companies involved exceeded all of our expectations. You have made a huge improvement in our financial situation and quality of life going forward. Thank you so very much.


Sheri and Dennis Shirk


Only now that I know the check “has cleared” do I feel that I can put closure on what has been an absolute nightmare these last two years since the accident. At a time when I needed and expected assistance from my insurance company there was none. It was clear that I was in this alone and it was a whole new experience for me. If it had not been for your support and unbelievable willingness to respond to my many many questions during this period, I’m sure that I’d have given up long ago. Not only during your extremely busy schedule did you return my phone calls, but you returned calls when you were “sick in bed”! You have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty many times and I want you to know how much it was appreciated. You have also given Jim new hope that there might just be “one-good-honest” lawyer out there after all! I also found your staff to be extremely personable, professional and caring individuals as well.

Please know that should there ever be a friend or family member in need of your legal services we would not hesitate to recommend your firm. Again, my extreme gratitude.


Charlene Penhallow


Thank you so much for everything you did for me and my case. Thank you for the time and effort put into a situation that seemed impossible. I hope your life is as blessed as you’ve helped to make mine.


Molly Tanner


Everything worked out! I am grateful for all of your support throughout the past year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I want you to know the peace of mind I experienced was invaluable by entrusting the guidance of your law firm. Even today, the memory of being strapped down on that gurney is crystal clear. My first response after I relocated myself to the fact that a car struck my body was one of deep gratitude for everything that was true in that moment: the power of thought, the ability to speak, the incredible feat of my feet responding to my brain’s directions.
…The care and dedication of all the people involved was remarkable. Within a day, I enrolled the support and direction of your law firm. At that time, I felt confident with your firm’s standards of communication and availability, especially with all the unknowns. The lesson at hand was one of allowing this process to unfold, knowing that all people involved would be treated with the highest standards of fairness.
Now, a year later, I am pleased that this process has come full circle. Today I can apply all I have learned from this experience. Trusting others by making space for their contributions, allows their gifts to be received. It has been an honor to work with you.


Barbara Coon


It’s hard to believe that it has been seven years since my auto accident. Since I am continuing to heal even now, I realize more and more how serious the accident was. I’m grateful for your knowledgeable coaching about possible injuries I may have had and health care to pursue to help them. The settlement money you negotiated for me has been a God-send. It allowed me to start a business as a tutor and bought me time to continue to heal. My business brochure is currently being revised, and I’ll send you one when it comes off the press. I recently became a certified Brain Gym instructor and consultant and have included a brochure about that. Thank you again for your professional help.


Emilie K. Bonney


I want you to know how much I appreciate all you have done for me. Your willingness to console me when I was stressed and your patience when I was so impatient, encouragement when I was discouraged. And with your help settling my claim we are able to finally put a down payment on a home. Thank you for your patience.

Thank You and God Bless


Linda Train


I want to say thank you for your time and the gratefulness you have shared with me. To work on my case, with out you I wouldn’t be able to do nothing, and I am very thankful you are my lawyer and I hope you enjoyed Christmas and New Year. Happy New Year and my God Bless you and your family enjoy year 2002!


Thuyen Diep


Thank you so much for all the help over the past 3+ years. You and your staff are absolutely the best and it’s people like you that make this world a better place!


Dorothea Bartell


I’m sorry my thank you took so long to send, but I haven’t forgotten the help you gave me with the two accidents I was involved in. You totally took the insurance hassle out of my life allowing me to focus on getting better. Had the insurance company not out off medical payments I would never have consulted an attorney. Now, I would never deal with an insurance company without one. I would use Adler Giersch PSagain and would highly recommend you to others.

Thank you so much.


Fay Venegas


I wanted to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the legal services that you provided me in connection with my personal injury claim. However, the significance of the service and professionalism rendered are just slightly overshadowed by the honorable treatment I received from you vis-a-vis the settlement proceeds. I am only too well aware that you could have chosen another direction, the outcome of which would have resulted in less satisfaction on my end. Obviously, client satisfaction is an important part of your agenda. With integrity being such a rare and refreshing commodity, I feel indebted to recognize it, acknowledge it and to simply, humbly say THANK YOU!


Carol Zornes