Sean P. Byrne is a seasoned trial attorney who defends hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers in medical malpractice claims and lawsuits. He actively litigates high exposure and complex cases in state and federal courts across Virginia. Sean is among a small group of elite Virginia medical malpractice trial lawyers who have been successfully defending health care professionals at trial for more than twenty years.
Sean is a double UR Spider, with undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Richmond where he graduated law school magna cum laude in 1997. After graduation he was privileged to serve as a Federal Law Clerk, working for Judge William T. Prince, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk Division
He is the founder of the firm and holds the highest attorney rating (AV – Preeminent) in Martindale-Hubbell®. Sean is currently licensed in Virginia, Tennessee, and New York and is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
As the lead attorney at trial, Sean has been regularly recognized for his trial success in the Virginia Medical Law Report’s Top Defense Verdict list. He has been honored as a Virginia Super Lawyer annually since 2010. And he has also been recognized by his peers in Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of Medical Malpractice Defense since 2010.
Trained as a Virginia certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B), Sean strives to master the medical, legal, and factual aspects of every case. His goal is to deliver an aggressive defense through zealous advocacy, and to provide his clients with practical insight and advice - seeking to achieve the best available outcome in any given case.
Community engagement and pro bono service are important to Sean. He is a founding board member of the nonprofit Richmond Global Health Alliance (RGHA), supporting international education, service, and medical mission work. He has helped lead multiple RGHA service learning trips to Central and South America with teams of undergraduate, medical, and law students working alongside health care professionals.
Sean is also involved in leadership positions at the Richmond Bar Association (RBA), and is currently serving on the Board of Directors at Central Virginia Legal Aid (CVLAS) and the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC). He also volunteers on the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Committee, charged with handling claims of attorney ethical misconduct.
Teaching both in the classroom and in the health care community, Sean frequently lectures on legal developments and health care risk management strategies to avoid, prevent, and survive civil litigation. He has been an active Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of Richmond law and undergraduate schools since 2000. His courses taught include Lawyering Skills, Virginia Civil Procedure, Medical Malpractice Litigation, Global Health Service, Health Law, and Trial Skills.
Medical Malpractice Defense
Long Term Care Defense
Healthcare Investigations & Enforcement Actions
Federal Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Supreme Court of the United States
University of Richmond, B.A.
University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
Virginia Certified Emergency Medical Technician (2005-2009)
Associations and Professional Memberships
American Health Lawyers Association
DRI / Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Member - Medical Malpractice Section
Richmond Bar Association
Henrico County Bar Association
Legal Elite,” Virginia Business Magazine - Health Law (2014),
Civil Litigation (2017)
“Best Lawyers in America®,” Best Lawyers - Medical Malpractice Defense (2010 - present)
“Virginia Super Lawyer,” Virginia Super Lawyers - Medical Malpractice Defense (2010 - present)
Virginia Medical Law Report’s Million Dollar Defense Verdicts (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019)
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (CVLAS) and Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), Board of Directors (2014 - present)
Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Committee, Third District (2013 - present); Third District Chair (2016 - 17)
Richmond Bar Association, Administration of Justice Committee; Membership Committee; Pro Bono Committee
Richmond Global Health Alliance (RGHA), Founding Board Member
Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Richmond (2000 – present)
• Health Law, School of Arts & Sciences (Spring 2017)
• Lawyering Skills III (trial practice), School of Law (2012 – present)
• Law & Medicine, School of Arts & Sciences (2008 – present)
• IDST Global Health Service – Peru, School of Arts & Sciences (2012 – 2015)
• Virginia Civil Procedure, School of Law (2010)• Lawyering Skills I & II, School of Law (2000 – 2010)
• Medical Malpractice Law & Litigation, School of Law (2006 & 2007)
• Medical Malpractice Law & Litigation, School of Continuing Studies (2006)
Marathon Runner (ten marathons): NYC 1999, 2000; Virginia Beach 2002; Marine Corps 2005; Richmond 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010. PR 3:36.11
“Access to Health Care for the Hearing Impaired,”
For the Defense, Vol. 44, No. 2, pp. 30 – 33, 2002.
“UR Law School Offers Med Mal Class for Healthcare Providers,”
Virginia Medical Law Report, Vol. 2, 2005.
“The Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act of 2005,”
Virginia Medical Law Report, 2006.
“The Medicolegal Aspect of Error in Pathology: A Search of Jury Verdicts and Settlements,” Arch Pathol Lab Med, Vol. 131, pp. 615-18, 2007.
“University of Richmond Law Review,”
Annual Survey of Health Care Law, Vol. 42, pp. 441-487, 2007.
“Practice Pointer: Deposing the Plaintiff’s Expert,”
Healthcare Liability & Litigation Newsletter - American Health Lawyers Association, Vol. 12, 2010.
“Emerging Malpractice Concerns Over Electronic Health Records,”
Virginia Medical Law Report, Vol. 7, No. 6, 2010.
“University of Richmond Law Review,”
Annual Survey of Medical Malpractice Law, Vol. 45, pp. 319-346, 2010.
”University of Richmond Law Review,”
Annual Survey of Health Care Law, Vol. 49, pp. 103-135, 2014.
Sean Byrne is a frequent guest speaker / lecturer on assorted healthcare legal education, risk management, and risk reduction topics. Example presentation topics: Nursing Documentation, Health Care Legislative and Regulatory Update, Obtaining and Documenting Informed Consent, Advance Medical Directives, Adverse Event Disclosure, Recent Trends in Medical Malpractice Litigation, Social Media & Healthcare Liability, and Electronic Medical Records.