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Richard M. Gerry


Practice Area

Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

Honors and Awards

The Best Lawyers in America® “Lawyer of the Year,” Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiff (Phoenix), 2017

The Best Lawyers in America (Personal Injury), 2010-2018

Super Lawyers (2007-present): Personal Injury

Outstanding Trial Lawyer for 2008: Arizona Trial Lawyers Association

One Hundred Largest Jury Verdicts for 2008
(Graham v. ValueOptions, $36 million, #58)

Ten Largest Arizona Jury Verdicts for 2008
(Graham v. ValueOptions)

Ten Largest Arizona Jury Verdicts for 2006
(Hudgins v. Southwest Airlines, $9 million)

The Top 100 Trial Lawyers (Arizona), The American Trial Lawyers Association

Arizona's Finest Lawyers

Professional Memberships

State Bar of Arizona

State Bar of California

Arizona Personal Injury Trial Lawyers Association

American Trial Lawyers Association: Board of Directors

Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

publications and lectures

“Tips, Tactics & Tools for Trial Lawyers” (panelist), Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, April 2014

“Setting Up and Obtaining Multi-Million-Dollar Verdicts: Depositions, Trial and the ‘Judo’ Closing Argument,” Advanced Trial Advocacy Conference, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, October 2013

“Overlooked Personal Injury Law,” 2006

“Cross Examining the Expert,” Lorman Education, 2004

“Appeals,” ASU College of Law, 2002

“Civil and Criminal Contempt,” Arizona Supreme Court, 2001 and 2002

“Don’t Lose Your Appeal,” State Bar of Arizona, 2001

“Affirmative Defense,” Maricopa County Bar Association, 2000 

Useful articles

Umbrella Policies Don't Cover UM/UIM Claims

The Ethics of Fee Divisions in Personal Injury Referrals


J.D., Arizona State University, 1978

B.S., summa cum laude, Arizona State University, 1975


Phoenix, Arizona



Richard Gerry, an 11-time Super Lawyers selectee, focuses on serious personal injury claims. Over the past 25 years, juries have awarded Richard's clients multi-million-dollar verdicts to compensate for wrongful deaths and catastrophic injuries.

In fighting for just compensation for injured persons and their families, Richard has built a well-deserved reputation among Arizona attorneys and judges for professionalism and his steadfast commitment to:

  • rejecting frivolous claims,

  • trusting the common sense of Arizona juries, and

  • seeking only just and reasonable compensation.

His experience ranges from automobile cases to complex litigation involving freeway design. Appearing before the Arizona Supreme Court, the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Richard has tried and won cases that have established new legal precedents to protect the rights of injured clients.

Multi-Million-Dollar Verdicts and Settlements: Representative Cases

$36 million jury verdict

Graham v. ValueOptions (2008): Patrick Graham was shot to death by a dangerously mentally ill patient under the supervision of ValueOptions, one of the nation's largest behavior health care companies. The jury found ValueOptions 90% at fault for failing to seek a court order to evaluate the shooter for involuntary commitment. Court testimony showed that the shooter had not received treatment for eight months, even though a nurse practitioner charged with his care had warned ValueOptions that the shooter could be a danger to himself and others due to his deteriorating condition. The $36 million jury award was Arizona’s fifth-largest for 2008 (Arizona Attorney, June 2009) and the 58th largest in the nation (Verdict Search).

In 2010, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed that mental health practitioners owe a duty to protect the public from mentally ill individuals who they should know are dangerous. This is the first case in the nation to uphold this duty when the patient was treated on an outpatient basis and the victim was a random member of the public. (Related article)

$3 million settlement

Adamowicz v. Ryan et al (2007): A 68-year-old woman was killed by a drunk-driving teenage girl. The victim’s surviving adult children sought compensation from the teenager’s parents, for allowing her to drive despite knowing she had a history of alcohol abuse; from the owner of the home at which the girl attended a party where alcohol was provided; and from the mini-mart that sold her alcohol. Settlement was based on claims of negligent entrustment of a vehicle to a minor, parental liability for children under the age of 21 who supply alcohol to minors, employer liability for employees who sell alcohol to minors, and punitive damages for conscious disregard of the probable injury and death caused by intoxicated minors.

$9 million jury verdict

Hudgins v. Southwest Airlines (2006): Two men were directed and given written authorization to carry their weapons aboard a Southwest Airlines flight. Southwest then reported that the men did not have authorization. The men were arrested, jailed and prosecuted for taking weapons aboard the plane and faced ten years in prison. Southwest refused to provide to the FBI the facts proving the men’s innocence unless the men signed a release agreeing not to sue Southwest for their false arrests. The $9 million jury award was among Arizona’s top ten jury awards for 2006 (Arizona Attorney, June 2007).

$2.6 million jury verdict

Esson v. LaPuesta Del Sol (2004): Death of a 29-year-old man killed in an auto accident by a drunk bartender. Although the accident occurred after work, jury found the bar 100% responsible for negligently allowing its employee to get drunk on the job.

$9 million settlement

Burton v. State of Arizona and Yavapai County Fair (2003): Jockey suffered severe brain injury from a head-on collision with another horse, which was blinded by mud after slipping on the track and ran in the opposite direction. State stewards and track officials failed to cancel races due to unsafe track conditions.

$4 million jury verdict

Chadwick v. State of Arizona (2000): Nine-year-old girl strangled by her brother, who was on supervised probation. Trial verdict after Supreme Court reversed Court of Appeals' dismissal. Supreme Court ruled probation officer had a duty to report foreseeable danger to the court.

$4.5 million settlement

Landers v. State of Arizona and City of Phoenix (1999): Police officer killed when drunk driver crossed through freeway median. Unsafe freeway design without median barrier to prevent cross over collisions.