Peter DePaolis

Since entering private practice in 1980, Peter C. DePaolis has exclusively represented personal injury victims in Virginia and the District of Columbia.

He has represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. By providing free consultations to those who may find themselves in difficult situations, he aims to make individuals and families aware of their rights. He will discuss whether prospective clients have recourse to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Mr. DePaolis has successfully handled claims involving WMATA bus collisions as well as subway accidents. From smaller car accidents to devastating collisions between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles, his knowledge working in these fields can benefit anyone needing legal guidance. Having Mr. DePaolis on your side makes sure that your case receives the support it needs to obtain a just result.

He continues to represent victims of medical malpractice involving negligent care from doctors, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. Mr. DePaolis has handled many cases involving traumatic brain injuries arising from car accidents as well as workers compensation accidents.



A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families. Early in his career, Mr. DePaolis won a landmark decision in Wilson v. Johns Manville, which established the right of asbestos victims to file two separate claims: one for asbestosis and the other for a subsequently diagnosed mesothelioma or asbestos-induced cancers. The Wilson decision has been followed by courts throughout the country and has led to successful recoveries for thousands of victims of asbestos diseases.


Mr. DePaolis was born in Hartford, CT, and graduated as Phi Beta Kappa Scholar from Lafayette College in 1971. He served for two years as a Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1971-1973. After discharge from active duty, he attended the George Washington University Law Center where he graduated in 1976, having received recognition as an Order of the Coif Scholar. Mr. DePaolis is active in a number of civic associations in the Northern Virginia area and has coached his children in the West Springfield Little League, Burke Soccer Club and Burke Athletic Club for more than 20 years. He is married to Karen Crist DePaolis and has four children.

Prior to joining the law firm in 1980, Mr. DePaolis was a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable William E. Stewart, Jr., in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Thereafter he served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia for three years from 1977-1980. Mr. DePaolis is extremely active in a number of bar associations, having served in a number of capacities, including as President of the Fairfax Bar Association. He is a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers as well as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia State Bar, as well as the District of Columbia Bar Association and the Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Mr. DePaolis is also a member of the Virginia Boyd Graves Commission. He has also served as a mediator and arbitrator in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.


  • Medical Malpractice Settlement – In 2010 obtained a $4.75 million settlement for a young man who suffered bilateral arm amputation and brain injury.
  • Virginia Auto Crash & Workers’ Compensation Case – Obtained $3.6 million settlement for a worker who suffered spinal cord injury (quadriplegia) in an auto crash.
  • Medical Malpractice Settlement – Brain Injured Newborn – In 2011 obtained a $3.2 million settlement.
  • Virginia Bus/Tractor Trailer Death Case – In 2011 obtained $1.4 million settlement for bus driver struck by a tractor-trailer.
  • Virginia Automobile Collision – $1.2 million settlement for an 82-year-old man who was pinned between two cars in a parking lot. (December 2007)
  • Virginia Child Mauled by Dog – $270,000 settlement for 5-year-old child mauled by neighbor’s dog.
  • Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Case – $2 million verdict in Fairfax, Virginia, for 50-year-old Virginia woman who was struck by teenage drivers speeding on a parkway. (Reported in Virginia Lawyers Weekly, June 11, 2007).
  • Virginia Metro Subway Fatality – $650,000 verdict for an elderly man, who was legally blind, killed after falling between two Metro subway cars.
  • Asbestos Victims’ Verdict – $3.5 million verdict for 10 workers who developed asbestosis after years of exposure to defective products containing asbestos.
  • Virginia Auto Crash – Neck Injury – $300,000 verdict in Fairfax, VA for 27-year-old woman struck by another vehicle, leading to a cervical fusion.
  • Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case – Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement – $500,000 settlement for worker who suffered traumatic brain injury when struck by a vehicle while working. The worker was on benefits for over 15 years prior to settlement.
  • Virginia Workers’ Compensation Case – Traumatic Brain Injury Settlement – $1.2 million settlement for construction worker who fell from steel beam on a jobsite.


  • 2022 Washingtonian Top Lawyers Hall of Fame
  • 2022 Washingtonian Top Lawyer
  • 2023 Virginia Super Lawyers
  • 2023 Best Lawyers in America
  • 2022 Northern Virginia Magazine Top Lawyer
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers 14 times as one of Virginia’s top rated personal injury attorneys, including every year from 2006 – 2010 and 2013 – 2021
  • Recognized by Washingtonian Magazine in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, and 2019 as one of DC area’s top personal injury lawyers
  • Recognized by Northern Virginia Magazine as a 2011, 2013, and 2019 Top Lawyer
  • Recognized by Richmond Super Lawyers for 2009
  • Received Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent award for highest ranking Peer Review Rating in 2008, 2020, and 2021

To speak to Mr. DePaolis or one of our other attorneys in Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C., please call any one of our locations or contact us by filling out our contact form.

Client Reviews
  • “Peter DePaolis and his team at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP represented me for a personal injury claim after a car accident. They took care of everything including all communication with the insurance companies so I could just focus on getting better. The team focused on every detail and prepared for various scenarios and outcomes of my case, while keeping me up to speed the whole time. They were very professional, caring, accessible, and trustworthy. They did everything they could to help me through a difficult time and get me a great settlement from my claim. They truly showed that they cared about me and my family, not just the outcome of the case. I am so very grateful for all of their help through this process, and I highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of representation.” – W.K.
  • “Mr. DePaolis and his team were wonderful to work with. After getting hit from behind on the road, I was left with a lot of pain and a lot of confusing paperwork. Having someone who understood the whole process, could explain everything in clear terms, and took care of interacting with the at fault party’s insurance for me let me focus on getting better. While I hope to never be in such a position again, if it were to happen, I would work with Mr. DePaolis and his team again without a second thought.” – A.C.
  • “I highly recommend the law firm Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP. Mr. Peter DePaolis and his team represented me after being rear-ended in an automobile accident and sustaining multiple injuries. Every day I count my blessings for the legal representation I received from such an honorable and highly competent team. Mr. DePaolis and his staff are consistently professional, and always prompt and proactive regarding communication. Mr. DePaolis personally possesses great integrity, superior intelligence, and a remarkable competency/understanding of the law… You will not find a more competent, highly qualified attorney in this region” – R.M.
  • “Mr. DePaolis has never once forgotten about my Father, and while he was still alive, Mr. DePaolis was attentive and kind, while never losing sight of his purpose which was to represent my Father. He has continued to do so while maintaining contact with my family regarding all legal matters surrounding my father’s disease and death. I would highly recommend Peter DePaolis and cannot say enough good about him. Thank you Mr. DePaolis!” – D.F.
  • “Mr. DePaolis and his team helped me navigate a very unusually complex personal injury case following an auto accident, that spanned five years and involved 3 insurance companies. He did not waver in his determination to bring my case to closure, despite numerous obstacles. He knows how to navigate the complex legal system, and performs well in high-pressure situations. He is a thoughtful and highly competent attorney that will work very hard for you. He is trustworthy, honest and accountable throughout the legal process. I would highly recommend him for legal representation in personal injury cases.” – J.B.