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.

Personal life[edit]

Shapiro was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, United States to a Jewish family. He graduated from Hamilton HS in 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.[1]

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.[2]


Shapiro was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1969.[3] He 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.[4]

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.[5]

On April 30, 2007, Shapiro was the subject of an unpublished appellate opinion involving allegations that he forwarded a request from his client to the client's CEO to remove $6 million in cash from the apartment of the client, prior to a judge's order freezing the client's assets. In an April 30, 2007 unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeal held that Shapiro's law firm, Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP, could be held liable for his alleged misconduct, even though Shapiro holds no equity interest in the firm and is not a true partner.[6] Shapiro was exonerated from any wrongdoing.[7]

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.[8][9]

Shapiro frequently writes on the law and is the author of books including The Search for Justice, A Defense Attorney’s Brief on the O.J. Simpson Case and Misconception. Shapiro has also created SOMO the Sober Monkey, a character in the children's book "Somo Says NO" that has an anti-drug theme.[10] The book is made available to schools free of charge.[11]

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.[12][edit]

Shapiro is one of the co-founders of[citation needed]

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.

John Travolta portrayed Shapiro in the mini-series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. He was also portrayed by Ron Silver in the mini-series American Tragedy.[13]


  1. ^ Green, Michelle (July 11, 1994). "Master of Disaster". People. Retrieved 2013-01-13.  (subscription required)
  2. ^ Pelisek, Christine (October 13, 2005). "Brent Shapiro, 1980–2005". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2006-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Robert L. Shapiro, Attorney". Retrieved November 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ ""Strawberry Sued Over Legal Fees"". AP News Archive. The Associated Press. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  5. ^ Keller, Julie. "Spector Drops Lawyer Suit." "E" Online 19 DEC 2005 12 OCT 2006
  6. ^ "PCO Inc. v. Christensen Miller Fink Jacobs Glaser Weil Shapiro LLP". Findlaw. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  7. ^ - Christensen Glaser May Face Trial Over Bags of Cash[dead link]
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Zarembo, Alan (May 16, 2015). "Doctor with revoked license continues to sell unproven stem cell treatments". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  10. ^ "For Parents". The Brent Shapiro Foundation For Alcohol and Drug Awareness. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  11. ^ "Childrens Books". The Brent Shapiro Foundation. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  12. ^
  13. ^

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