Richard A. Sinapi is a Rhode Island attorney with over thirty years of legal experience spanning a broad range of civil fields. Mr. Sinapi is the principal and managing attorney of Sinapi Law Associates, Ltd., in Warwick, where his practice includes governmental affairs, employment law, civil rights, municipal law, real estate, and personal injury law, among many other matters.
The 2010 recipient of the William G. McLoughlin First Amendment Award from the Rhode Island Chapter of the ACLU, Mr. Sinapi has dedicated his career in law to advocating for those who need it most. Looking back, he describes his inspiration for becoming an attorney:
My intent in becoming a lawyer was to get involved in public service as an elected official. Though that never materialized, the focus of my practice has always been to help out the little guy.
After earning his Juris Doctor cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1983, Mr. Sinapi set about making this noble goal a reality. In 1986, he founded Sinapi Law Associates, Ltd., and has since established himself as a champion for those who so often face an uphill battle when they come face to face with the justice system.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Sinapi has practiced in areas ranging from family law and medical malpractice to commercial and business law. Now leading a team of five attorneys, he and his associates maintain a broad practice. Mr. Sinapi’s own work encompasses a significant amount of employment law—including discrimination and harassment claims, leave act claims, unemployment benefits claims, minimum wage and overtime claims, and workers' compensation—and civil rights law, including many cases in which he works on behalf of the Rhode Island ACLU.
Though he is known as a skilled litigator, many of Mr. Sinapi’s contributions to the legal field have happened outside of the courtroom. He has worked as a lobbyist for over three decades and has co-drafted and successfully lobbied for the passage of numerous pieces of legislation, as well as revised agency regulations on behalf of Governmental Affairs clients. Many of the laws he has helped to pass relate to matters protecting workers and school children.
Additionally, Mr. Sinapi is a prolific writer, speaker, and teacher. Among other academic positions, he was previously an adjunct professor at Bryant University in the Department of History and Social Sciences, where he taught classes in Legal Environment of Business and Civil Rights and Liberties. With his finger on the pulse of prevailing issues in his area of specialty, he has also penned numerous articles on both legal and public policy matters in prominent law journals as well as local newspapers. Currently, he notes that he is paying close attention to the rise of A.I. in the legal field:
The obvious trend is the automation of legal research. A.I. is diminishing the need for attorneys in a lot of routine matters. Today, you can go on the Internet and ask routine legal questions, and you’ll get the right answer ninety percent of the time, which is better than what many attorneys can provide. Fortunately, our firm focuses on more complex areas in civil rights and employment law where people need a personal touch, so it's going to be a long time before A.I. can be of much help.
After more than three decades dedicated to law, Mr. Sinapi shows no signs of slowing down. Looking to the future, he hopes to continue helping to tip the scales toward the little guy both inside and outside the courtroom. Additionally, Mr. Sinapi notes that he intends to grow his firm’s practice in governmental affairs and business law.