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Virginia’s Go To Lawyers – Workers’ Comp Law: Richard D. Lucas

lucas_richardRichard D. Lucas
President and Managing Partner
Lucas & Kite PLC


University of Richmond
University of Virginia School of Law

Best known for:

Workers’ compensation – defense

Signature case:

VPI & SU v. Wood, 5 Va. App. 72, 360 S.E. 2d, 376 (1987) Virginia Court of Appeals reversed full commission finding that a teaching assistant who was authorized to attend a conference to present a paper and who sustained injuries while bicycling from conference site to campsite prior to commencement of conference did not sustain injuries in course of employment and, thus, was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This decision better defined the criteria for accidents that were outside the course of employment.

Most satisfying:

The workers’ compensation bar is fairly small. In addition to the intellectual challenges and facing new issues every day, I enjoy the friendships developed with clients and other lawyers as well as mentoring younger attorneys.

Working with clients:

Be honest and realistic about strengths and weaknesses of the case, as well as expectations. Do not overpromise.

Best career advice:

Don’t overanalyze decisions to the point of paralysis. Make best decision based on the information available. Make a decision and go with it, but remain flexible and willing to change if new information becomes available.

Surround yourself with good people.

Looking ahead:

While COVID is hopefully in the rear-view mirror, I believe the new normal will consist of more virtual hearings, depositions and mediations than before the pandemic. It also appears based upon the current make-up of the General Assembly that legislation will continue to be introduced and passed to expand coverage for injuries under the Act.