Roman Lifson


Roman Lifson is a partner in the firm’s Litigation department.  Mr. Lifson enjoys an active motorsports law practice in which he addresses the needs of race track operators, track event organizers, race teams and individuals in a wide array of areas including litigation, contract negotiation, and liability and risk management. He also represents clients in litigation involving product liability, business disputes, medical negligence and First Amendment rights.  Mr. Lifson is a former chair of the Virginia Bar Association’s Civil Litigation Section and the Defense Research Institute’s Automotive Specialized Litigation Group. He is also an avid and accomplished race car driver, and participates in road racing events throughout the eastern half of the United States.  He is the 2012 BMW Club Racing South Atlantic Champion in the I-Prepared class.

Mr. Lifson serves as a mediator, energetically guiding parties to settlement. Detailed information about his mediation services can be found here.

Trials / Appeals / Alternative Dispute Resolution
Products Liability and Torts
Intellectual Property Litigation
Communications and Media
Insurance Law
Medical Malpractice

• Virginia
• U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
• U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
• U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

• Represented a premier race track in litigation arising from the repaving of the track's racing surface.
• Represented a renowned race track in a contractual dispute with a race sanctioning body.
• Advise race track operators in contract negotiations with sanctioning bodies, track renters, etc.
• Provided critical incident training to a track operator.
• Counseled track event organizers and instructors regarding liability management.
• Served as an invited featured speaker at racing industry meetings.

Product Liability Litigation
• Handled various automotive product liability matters, including at trial.
• Defended electrical equipment manufacturer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in case stemming from an electrical fire causing severe burns.
• Defended manufacturer in Roanoke Circuit Court in wrongful death case arising from an explosion of an industrial heater.
• Defended service company in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in case arising from a malfunctioning ocean-going refrigerated container.
• Prosecuted product liability subrogation action involving a defective resin in Harris County, Texas, Circuit Court.
• Serve as local defense counsel in the Eastern and Western districts of Virginia in cases involving medical devices.
• In addition to automobile product liability actions and those listed above, Mr. Lifson has represented clients in product liability actions involving aircraft, ice resurfacers, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, personal watercraft, bridges, tractors, and other industrial equipment.
• DRI Law Institute Liaison for annual Product Liability Conference.

Commercial and Intellectual Property Litigation
• Jury trial to verdict of breach of contract case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
• Jury trial to verdict of patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia involving a prominent software product.
• Jury trial to verdict of patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia involving wireless internet communications devices.
• Jury trial to verdict of defamation case in Richmond, Virginia, Circuit Court.
• Jury trial to verdict of medical negligence case involving failure to diagnose cancer in Portsmouth, Virginia, Circuit Court.
• Bench trial to verdict of breach of computer systems consulting contract case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
• Jury trial to verdict of employment discrimination case in Charleston, West Virginia, Circuit Court.
• Jury trial to verdict of fraud and breach of alleged ownership contract case in Henrico County, Virginia, Circuit Court.
• Bench trial to verdict of breach of contract case in Westchester County, New York, Supreme Court.
• Defended nationwide antitrust class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
• Arbitration to award of disassociation, conversion and breach of fiduciary duties case between owners of a limited liability company, and second arbitration of attorneys’ fee dispute after prevailing in the first arbitration.
• Served as national coordinating litigation counsel for managed care company, supervising litigation across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
• Representing railroad in arbitrations arising from breaches by utility and material generator of multi-year transportation contracts.
• Defended adversary proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
• Defended psychiatric hospitals in medical negligence actions.
• Represented bank in interpleader and breach of contract actions spanning three jurisdictions.
• Represented clients in actions to enforce agreements not to compete.

Insurance Coverage, Liability and Bad Faith Litigation
• Trial to verdict of bad faith claim in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
• Jury trial to verdict of breach of insurance contract case in Chesterfield County, Virginia, Circuit Court.
• Representing insurers in coverage and bad faith litigation.
• Summary judgment in favor of insurer in suit challenging denial of coverage for collapse of building in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, including affirmance by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
• Defense of suits challenging denial of employment disability claims.
• Defense of liability and extra-contractual suits arising from denial of fire, construction, automobile, and property damage claims.
• DRI Law Institute Liaison for annual Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute.
• DRI Law Institute Liaison for bi-annual Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Conference.

Media Law
• Represents newspapers and television stations in connection with attempts by litigants in criminal and civil cases to subpoena reporters to testify or to produce newsgathering materials.
• Defends media organizations in libel actions.
• Represents media entities in freedom of information and access to courts matters.

Representative Cases

• Featured, "Driving Ambition," UVA Lawyer, Fall 2016
• Featured, "Downtime: The Fastest Lawyer in Richmond," Richmond BizSense, March 2016
• Featured, “Zeal Behind the Wheel: Lawyers at Top Speed,” ABA Journal, July 2015
• Author, "Motorsports Law 101,", 2013

• "High Risk and High Reward: Fast Times on Track," The Racing Attorney Conference, 2018
• "Torts and Releases: Critical Incidents at the Track," The Racing Attorney Conference, 2016
• Moderator, "Managing Automotive Product Liability Litigation: The Inside View," DRI Strictly Automotive Seminar, 2011
• "The High Performance Vehicle—When Things Go Off Track at the Track," DRI Strictly Automotive Seminar, 2009

University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1992
Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review
Editorial Board, Virginia Journal of International Law

Amherst College, B.A., 1989
Magna Cum Laude


Virginia Bar Association
• Civil Litigation Section, Chair, 2010-2011; Secretary/Treasurer, 2008-2009

Defense Research Institute
• Law Institute, 2017-present
• Product Liability Conference, Chair, 2016; Vice-chair, 2015
• Strictly Automotive Conference, Program Chair, 2011
• Strictly Automotive Conference, Steering Committee, 2013-present; Co-chair, 2009  
• Automotive Specialized Litigation Group, Chair, 2009-2011; Vice-chair, 2008 

International Association of Defense Counsel

Boyd-Graves Conference
• Attorney Member

The Bar Association of the City of Richmond
• Litigation Section, Executive Committee, 2014-2015


Richmond Little League
• Board, 2004-2015; President, 2009-2012; Vice President, 2008

• AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Virginia Super Lawyers
• Civil Litigation Defense, 2013-2020 

Roman is a husband to a renaissance woman, father of five remarkable adult children, accomplished race car driver, avid photographer, enthusiastic traveler, and long-suffering Minnesota Vikings fan.

Roman’s fascination with cars and motorsports began at an early age. He started participating in track events in the early 2000s, eventually earning an instructor certification and progressing to wheel-to-wheel racing at renown tracks like Virginia International Raceway, Road Atlanta, Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Barber Motorsports Park, and others.

Roman’s wife, Hallie, is an occupational therapist and owner of a small business providing nutrition counseling, myofascial release, and active retreats. Their five children include an innovative theater director, a Division I athlete, and an NFL analytics specialist. When not visiting with their children, Roman and Hallie enjoy traveling to (and sometimes sailing around) captivating destinations like Greece, Croatia, Costa Rica, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, and any other place with interesting history, distinctive culture, delicious food, and beautiful scenery. They also are CrossFit devotees.

When at home, they enjoy the company of their 130-lb. Great Pyrenees.