Samuel T. Bernier


804-503-7488 (D)

Sam Bernier represents and supports healthcare providers dealing with all types of situations, including malpractice lawsuits, licensing board matters, and contract concerns.

Sam defends doctors, advanced practitioners, nurses, facilities, and other healthcare providers in medical negligence actions in state and federal courts, including those faced with Section 1983 civil rights claims. He also assists clients with matters before their professional licensing boards, including the Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, and others. And he works with healthcare providers who have credentialing or contract issues (employment contracts, practice agreements, and partnership agreements).

Sam is a contributing author of two sections of Virginia CLE’s treatise Medical Malpractice Law in Virginia – the Theories of Recovery and Defenses and Negotiation and Settlement sections. And he regularly publishes and presents on various topics related to civil defense litigation, both individually and alongside Matt Kelley and other colleagues at Frith Anderson + Peake. He is an officer of the Henrico County Bar Association, a member of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (and a former Chair of the Medical Malpractice Section), and a Master of the Bench in the John Marshall American Inn of Court.

In addition to assisting healthcare providers, Sam defends a wide variety of clients involved in non-healthcare related civil claims. These include commercial negligence, premises liability, toxic tort, defamation, malicious prosecution, and others.

In 2022, Sam was named to the list of Virginia Super Lawyers®, an honor afforded to only 5% of Virginia attorneys. Previously, he was name to the Super Lawyers® Virginia Rising Star® list each year from 2016-2021, a selection reserved for just 2.5% of attorneys 40 or younger or having been in practice 10 years of less. Prior to starting private practice, Sam clerked for then-Magistrate Hon. M. Hannah Lauck, now a US District Judge, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, assisting the court with civil rights claims (§ 1983 and Bivens claims) and writs of habeas corpus (§ 2254 and §2255 claims) brought by pro se incarcerated individuals.

Before law school, Sam was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps infantry (K Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment) and then the Hawaii Army National Guard infantry (D Company, 2nd Battalion, 299th Infantry Regiment). From January 2005 to January 2006, he deployed with the 299th Infantry to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Iraq, Sam earned the Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.


  • University of Richmond, TC Williams School of Law (JD – cum laude)
    • McNeill Writing Competition, Winner – 2010 & 2011
    • Journal of Law and Technology, Associate Articles Editor
  • Hawaii Pacific University (BA – Environmental Studies)


  • Employment
  • Health Care Licensing
  • Local Government Defense
  • Local Government Employee Defense
  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Premises Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Toxic Tort

Bar Admissions:

  • Supreme Court of Virginia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia


  • Samuel T. Berier and Matthew E. Kelley, Defending Advanced Practioners in the Age of Telemedicine and Expanding Autonomy, 34 J. CIV. LITIG. 167 (2022).
  • Samuel T. Bernier, et al., Theories of Recovery and Defenses, in Medical Malpractice Law in Virginia (Malcolm P. McConnell, III ed., 4th Ed. 2017)
  • Samuel T. Bernier, et al., Negotiation and Settlement, in Medical Malpractice Law in Virginia (Malcolm P. McConnell, III ed., 4th Ed. 2017)
  • Samuel T. Bernier, Death to Dying Declarations: The Case for Killing a Hearsay Exception, 29 J. CIV. Litig. 197 (2017)
  • Samuel T. Bernier, Is All of Your Electronic Patient Information Secure?, Virginia Dental Journal (October 2013).
  • Samuel T. Bernier, Comment, SexTual Healing: Solving the Teen-to-Teen Sexting Problem in Virginia, 14 RICH. J.L. & PUB. INT. 357 (2010).

Professional Honors, Affiliations & Activities:


  • Member – Defense Research Institute


  • Member – Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Board of Directors – Membership Chair (2019-2021)
    • Member – 2020 Annual Meeting Committee
    • Member – 2018 (50th Anniversary) Annual Meeting Committee
    • Medical Malpractice Section Chair (2017-2018)
    • Medical Malpractice Section Vice-Chair (2016-2017)


    • Member – Henrico County Bar Association
      • Officer, 2022 – present
      • Director, 2019 – present
    • Member – Richmond Bar Association
    • Member – John Marshall American Inn of Court
    • Volunteer – Scouts BSA Troop 715 – Cardinal District, HOVC

Honors and Awards:

  • Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, 2016-21
  • Virginia Super Lawyers, 2022-Present

Presentations and Speaking Engagements:

  • “Telemedicine and the Law for PAs – What you need to know,” 2022 Va. Academy of PA’s Fall Conference, November 5, 2022
  • “Defending Advanced Practioners in the Age of Telemedicine and Expanding Autonomy,” with Matthew Kelley, Esq., 2022 VADA Spring Sections Seminar, May 6, 2022
  • “Stress, Attention, Wellness, and the Legal Profession,” with Janet Van Cuyk, MSW, JD and Megan Wagner, Esq., 2021 VADA Annual Meeting, October 22, 2021
  • Henrico County Bar Association legislative Update, with Jeff Miller, Esq., Sen. Dunnavant, Sen. McClellan, Del. VanValkenburg, & Del. Willett, November 15, 2020 and May 20, 2021
  • “Legislative Update,” with Stephen Marshall, Esq., 2020 VADA Annual Meeting, October 14, 2020
  • “Defending Improper Informed Consent Claims v. Technical Battery Claims,” with Matthew Kelley, Esq. and Nathan Moberley, Esq., 2020 VADA Spring Sections Seminar, May 14, 2020
  • “Health Care Law,” Annual Lecture at Eastern Virginia Medical School to Physician Assistant students, 2019 – present
  • “How to Try a Case in General District Court,” with Madelaine Kramer, Esq., 2018 VADA Young Lawyers Boot Camp, December 7, 2018
  • “A Beer Before, And A Beer After: The Effects of The 2012 Legislative Changes on the Craft Beer Industry,” with Hon. Jennifer McClellan and Porter Hardy, JD, 2018 VADA Annual Meeting, October 12, 2018