Richard Kopelman won his first million-dollar-plus jury verdict at the age of 38, not long after he stopped representing corporations and insurance companies and began advocating exclusively for victims of serious personal injuries. Remarkably, before Richard had an opportunity to present his client’s case to a jury, he first had to convince the Georgia Court of Appeals that the trial judge erroneously dismissed the case and that it should be reinstated. Richard worked tirelessly for his client, and on March 16, 2000, after a week-long trial, a 12-person jury awarded her nearly $1.15 million. Since that time, Richard has recovered substantially greater sums for numerous catastrophically injured and deserving clients and their families, yet the verdict against Piedmont Hospital (Atlanta, GA) remains Richard’s most memorable victory, perhaps because so few juries award $1 million or more, or perhaps because the hospital never offered a single dollar to compensate the victim for her injuries. Or it may have been a combination of these and other factors which left on Richard an indelible impression that he is the singular voice for the badly injured victims he proudly represents.
Richard is a long-time member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, having successfully secured for his clients and their families jury verdicts and settlements of at least $1 million. Richard is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, signifying the “highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards” as judged by his peers, and similarly enjoys a 10.0 “superb” AVVO rating. Additionally, Richard has been recognized as a SuperLawyer™, has been named one of the “Top Attorneys In Georgia” by Atlanta Magazine, and has been selected as one of the State’s “Legal Elite” by Georgia Trend magazine. Richard is a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America [ATLA]); Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA); State Bar of Georgia; and the Atlanta, DeKalb County and American Bar Associations.
Richard is licensed in federal and state courts throughout Georgia where he began practicing law in 1987. He is selective in the cases his firm chooses to pursue, a luxury Richard earned after decades of successfully representing victims of serious personal injuries, and families whose loved ones were the victims of wrongful death. Richard’s practice includes representing individual clients as well as those whose cases are filed as part of mass tort, multi-district litigation (MDL), in which the firm has been involved on both a local and national level.
Richard earned his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Washington and Lee University in 1984, and three years later, earned his law degree from the University of Georgia where Richard represented the University in numerous moot court competitions, including the National Moot Court Competition, where Richard’s team placed first in the Southeast Region. Richard took top honors when he was named the competition’s Best Oral Advocate. In addition, Richard was selected to be a National Member of The Order of Barristers, having exhibited excellence and attained high honor through the art of courtroom advocacy.
In addition to managing a successful law practice Richard is President of KLASS-SPORTS, LLC. As an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisor (NFL Player Agent), Richard has negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for numerous professional football players, including Kyle Arrington (New England Patriots) 4-years/$16 million (ESPN.com) and Steve McLendon (Pittsburgh Steelers) 3-years/$7.5 million (NFL.com).
Drawing upon his knowledge and experience as an NFL agent and trial lawyer, Richard has been involved in NFL Concussion Litigation where Richard represented, among others, the families of three NFL Hall of Fame inductees who died — and were diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) — after years of suffering the devastating physical, mental, and emotional effects of concussions and brain injuries they sustained during their storied NFL careers.
Richard was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but since graduating from law school, has lived and worked in Atlanta which is home to Richard, his wife, and their three sons, who from the time they were little boys, would respond to the question “What does your daddy do for a living?” by saying “he helps people.” Richard and his family support the Atlanta Food Bank, and Richard spends much of his time away from the office coaching youth lacrosse. In addition to coaching, Richard serves on the board of Junior Raider Lacrosse, Inc., and he also volunteers his time at Ridgeview Charter School where Richard serves on the school’s parent-teacher Governance Council.