Donald Marcari

Donald Marcari: Attorney with Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban AV stamp icon
Attorney Awards


Donald Marcari began his legal career as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General trial team attorney. As a young JAG attorney he represented a U.S. Marine stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which became the basis for the movie "A Few Good Men." The story exemplifies the lengths to which Don will go to protect his clients' rights and obtain the justice they deserve.

Don is a long-time fighter for injured veterans and their families, helping to ensure they receive the benefits they have a legal right to. Additionally, he continues to defend select members of our military service in courts-martial and administrative proceedings.

Since 1985, he has been helping injured people throughout North Carolina and Virginia, concentrating on plaintiff personal injury law and civil litigation. Don is a highly recognized attorney who has tried more than 200 jury trials. He represented clients whose cases became the foundation for the movie "The Paula Coughlin Story" and the book "The Story of the U.S. Navy's Tailhook Scandal.”

Awards recognizing Don Marcari's legal achievements include:

-Top 100 litigation lawyers in the state of Virgina for 2013

-Top 100 litigation lawyers in the state of North Carolina for 2013

-Top 100 trial lawyers in VA 2007-2012: The National Trial Lawyers Association

-AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated™ by Martindale-Hubbell®: reflects anonymous member opinions of the bar and judiciary

-VA Super Lawyer 2009, 2010, 2011: recognizing the top 5% of lawyers for their professional achievements

-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

-North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ): Order of Service Award

-Navy Achievement Award as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General

-North Carolina Leaders in Law award by North Carolina Lawyers weekly

-Client Distinction Award - the Martindale-Hubbell honor of distinction.

-Selected as one of North Carolina's top rated lawyers

-Selected as one of Virginia's top rated lawyers


Don lectures at law schools, bar associations and continuing legal education seminars. He has been retained as an expert to testify in legal malpractice cases and selected as a mediator or arbitrator in numerous civil litigation cases. Over the years, Don has appeared on television shows including "Unsolved Mysteries," "A Current Affair" and "The Montel Williams Show."

Community service:

In addition to his many professional obligations, Don still manages to make time to give back to the community. Don directs the mock trial teams and serves as a judge for senior projects for two Virginia Beach high schools. Both schools have honored him with the Virginia Beach Partnership in Education Award. In 2009, Don was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award at Princess Anne High School for his commitment and dedication to the students. He also spent time educating students on basic legal principles through The Road to Virginia Justice program.

Memberships & affiliations:

His extensive experience handling diverse types of personal injury cases, his strong belief in personal responsibility and his community commitment has led to Don's selection to the following committees and boards:

-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

-Fellowship of the Litigation Counsel of America

-Virginia Trial Lawyers Association: board of governors, chairman; Committee on Professionalism and Ethics, Governmental Key Contacts Committee and Vice Chairman of the Litigation Support Committee

-Virginia Beach Bar Association: General District Court Liaison Committee

-Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America: national advisory board

-North Carolina Advocate for Justice: educational committee

-Artistic American Veterans: board of directors

-The Brain Injury Association in both Virginia and North Carolina

-Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association

-Practical Care Home Health, Inc.: professional advisory committee

-Volunteer Hampton Roads: co-chairman

-Great Neck Athletic Association: VP board of directors, girl's basketball commissioner and the head coach for advanced soccer, basketball, baseball and football (where his team won the city championship).

Areas of Practice (48)

  • Automobile Accidents and Injuries
  • Trucking Accidents
  • Tractor Trailer Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Wrongful Death
  • Boating Accidents
  • Products Liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Workers Compensation
  • Military Courts Martial
  • Social Security Disability
  • Social Security Appeals
  • Veterans Appeals
  • Military Law
  • Veterans Disability Law
  • Dog Bites
  • Animal Attacks
  • Bus Accidents
  • Construction Accidents
  • Medical Negligence
  • Automobile Negligence
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Bodily Injury
  • Brain Injury
  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Commercial Vehicle Liability
  • Head Injury
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents and Injuries
  • Pedestrian Injuries
  • Plaintiffs Personal Injury
  • School Bus Accidents
  • Slip and Fall
  • Spinal Injury
  • Third Party Wrongful Death
  • Truck Accidents
  • Motorcycle Products Liability
  • Product Recall
  • Automotive Products Liability
  • Product Defects
  • Mass Torts
  • Military Medical Malpractice
  • Veterans Benefits
  • Civil Litigation
  • Complex Litigation
  • Personal Injury Mediation
  • Accidents
  • Personal Injury Arbitration

Education & Credentials

University Attended:
Appalachian State University, B.S., Political Science, 1979; Appalachian State University, M.A., Public Administration, with honor
Law School Attended:
Campbell University School of Law, J.D., 1985
Year of First Admission:
U.S. Court of Appeals for Armed Forces; U.S. District Court, East District of North Carolina; 1985, North Carolina; 1988, Virginia; U.S. Supreme Court
Virginia Beach Bar Association (General District Court Liaison Committee); North Carolina State Bar; Virginia State Bar; North Carolina Advocates for Justice (NCAJ) (Educational Committee/Order of Service Award); Brain Injury Association (Member, North Carolina and Virginia Chapters); American Trial Lawyers Association; Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) (Board of Governors; Chairman, Committee on Professionalism and Ethics/Governmental Key Contacts Committee; Vice Chairman: Litigation Support Committee); Association of Plaintiffs Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America (Member, National Advisory Board); Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation; Fellowship of Litigation Counsel of America; Million Dollar Advocates Forum; Artistic American Veterans (Board of Directors); Volunteer Hampton Roads (Co-Chairman); Great Neck Athletic Association ( VP Board of Director; Football Commissioner; Girls Basketball Commissioner; Head Coach for Advanced Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and Football)
With U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General Corps
English and Spanish

Peer Reviews

Chesapeake, Virginia

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