Robert Shapiro (lawyer)

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For other people of the same name, see Robert Shapiro.

Robert Leslie Shapiro (born September 2, 1942) is an American civil litigator and senior partner in the Los Angeles-based law firm Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro, LLP. Shapiro is most recognized for being part of the defense team which successfully defended O. J. Simpson in 1995 from the charges that he murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman in 1994. Shortly after the O. J. Simpson trial, Shapiro steered his practice away from criminal defense toward the civil litigator arena. He is also the voice of, and pictured in, the television commercials for the LegalZoom company he cofounded.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Shapiro was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, United States to a Jewish family. He graduated from LA's Hamilton HS c:a 1961 and University of California, Los Angeles in 1965, with a B.S. in finance. He is a member of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in 1968.[2]

Shapiro married Linell Thomas on March 8, 1970 and has a son, Grant. Another son, Brent, was found dead from an MDMA overdose on 11 October 2005. The death of Brent Shapiro sparked the founding of "The Brent Shapiro Foundation", a non-profit organization with an aim to raise drug awareness, for which he serves as chairman of the board, as well as Pickford Lofts, a rehabilitation facility.[3]


Shapiro has represented famous athletes, most notably O. J. Simpson, as well as Darryl Strawberry, José Canseco, and Vince Coleman, as well as other celebrities such as Johnny Carson, Christian Brando, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Linda Lovelace, and the Kardashians. In 1998, Shapiro sued Strawberry over unpaid legal fees, which were eventually settled out of court.[citation needed]

Shapiro has been sued unsuccessfully by record producer Phil Spector for refusing to return a US$1 million retainer for legal services. Spector decided to drop all claims against Shapiro.[4]

On April 30, 2007, Shapiro was the subject of an unpublished appellate opinion involving allegations that he forwarded a request from his client to the client's CEO to remove US$6 million in cash from the apartment of the client, prior to a judge's order freezing the client's assets. The Court of Appeal held that Shapiro's law firm, Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs and Shapiro, could be held liable for his alleged misconduct, even though Shapiro holds no equity interest in the firm and is not a true partner. Shapiro was exonerated from any wrongdoing.[5]

In civil matters, Shapiro represents Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts, actress Eva Longoria, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, RockStar, and Diamond Resorts International. Shapiro represented the colorful Malibu psychiatrist and stem cell marketeer William C. Rader before the Medical Board of California in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent permanent revocation of his medical license.[6]

Shapiro frequently writes on the law and is the author of three books, The Search for Justice, Misconception and also created SOMO a character in a children's book "Somo Says NO" with an anti-drug theme. The book is made available to schools free of charge.

In 2013, the National Law Journal named him to the list of The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.


Shapiro is one of the co-founders of LegalZoom.[7][edit]

Shapiro is one of the co-founders of

Films and television[edit]

Shapiro is known as a "celebrity" lawyer, and as such is a celebrity himself. He has appeared as himself (or as a lawyer resembling his real-life self) in a number of films and television series, including the film Havoc.


  1. ^ Collector spotlight: Robert L. Shapiro. 26 Aug 2011. Last accessed 05 Jan 2011.
  2. ^ Green, Michelle (July 11, 1994). "Master of Disaster". People. Retrieved 2013-01-13.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ Pelisek, Christine (October 13, 2005). "Brent Shapiro, 1980–2005". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2006-07-08. 
  4. ^ Keller, Julie. "Spector Drops Lawyer Suit." "E" Online 19 DEC 2005 12 OCT 2006
  5. ^ - Christensen Glaser May Face Trial Over Bags of Cash
  6. ^ In the Matter of the Accusation Against: WILLIAM C. RADER, M.D., Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate No. A22848, Medical Board of California Department of Consumer Affairs, Case 20-2010-205857, ordered October 6, 2014; revocation effective November 5, 2014; access date February 15, 2015.
  7. ^ "Robert L. Shapiro, Co-Founder". Retrieved on 2008-05-28 from