Kaleo Legal’s attorneys have successfully litigated, tried, and resolved toxic tort cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including in some of the most plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions.  As both lead and local counsel, we have gone and defeated some of the most well known plaintiff firms in the country, navigating thorny legal theories, defeating class certification, tackling complex technical and scientific issues, and managing difficult facts in the process. 

Shep Wainger is a nationally recognized asbestos trial attorney, who routinely defends asbestos claims for some of the world’s largest automobile and chemical companies.  He has a unique set of relationships with scientific expert witnesses across the country, which he leverages to his clients’ advantage, whether at the settlement table or in front of a jury. 

Ryan Dougherty was a member of the team on the front lines of the litigation following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, defending claims by civil class action claimants.  As a firm, we assess the unique challenges each case presents, identify litigation and resolution options, and implement strategies to resolve individual cases or litigation dockets – whether through trial, arbitration, mediation, or settlement – in a cost effective manner that accomplishes our clients’ business goals. 

Toxic Tort Litigation Counsel Team:

Shep Wainger

Position: Partner
Phone: 757.214.9213
Email: swainger@kaleolegal.com
Undergraduate Degree: Duke University
Law School: Emory University


Shep is not your traditional litigator. He is a true trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience trying and winning big cases before juries in Hampton Roads and around the country. Shep started his career as an Assistant and then Deputy Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia Beach where he was in court every day, trying thousands of cases. Ultimately, Shep supervised the presentation of all violent crime in Virginia Beach, trying many rape, robbery and murder trials himself.  Shep then joined Kaufman and Canoles in Norfolk, Virginia, spending 10 years there as an associate and equity partner in the litigation section. Shep focused on product liability, toxic tort commercial litigation, civil rights litigation, including Section 1983 cases and municipal matters, and personal injury and traumatic brain injury cases.  His representations included the defense of police officers in excessive force and wrongful death cases, the defense of hotels and businesses in premises liability cases, and the defense of a video producer in unauthorized use of name and image cases.

Shep then joined McGuireWoods where he continued his product liability and civil rights practice, focusing on the defense of asbestos related mesothelioma and lung cancer cases.  For the last 10 years, Shep has served as national coordinating counsel for an American automobile manufacturer, managing the scientific defense of thousands of asbestos-related claims. Shep serves as Daubert/Frye counsel in asbestos litigation and as lead trial counsel throughout the country, obtaining numerous defense verdicts, including in Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Arkansas.  Shep joined our firm in 2018.

Shep Wainger


About: Shep is not your traditional litigator. He is a...

Ryan V. P. Dougherty

Position: Partner
Phone: 757.761.0934
Email: rdougherty@kaleolegal.com
Undergraduate Degree: College of William & Mary
Law School: University of Virgina


Ryan focuses his practice on state and federal court litigation in Virginia and the District of Columbia.  Ryan developed his practice at two AmLaw 100 law firms.  At Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, Ryan defended a company involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill against class action claims by businesses allegedly injured by the spill.  Additionally, he maintained an active pro bono practice, including co-drafting an amicus curiae brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the American Bar Association.

After moving to Norfolk, Ryan joined McGuireWoods’ commercial litigation department, where he represented clients in a wide variety of industries – from Fortune 100 financial institutions to local entrepreneurs – at all levels of the Virginia state and federal court system.  For every case, Ryan focused on developing an assertive and effective litigation strategy in line with each client’s business goals, and he continues to do so as a member of Kaleo Legal.

Ryan graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Dillard Fellow for Legal Research & Writing.  Prior to attending law school, Ryan earned his B.A. in art history from the College of William & Mary and his M.A. in art history from the University of Delaware.  In the course of his art history studies, Ryan held internships at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the Guggenheim Foundation in Venice, Italy.

Ryan is a member of the American Bar Association and the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association.  He is admitted to practice before the courts of Virginia and the District of Columbia; US District Courts for the Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, and the District of Columbia; the US Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; and the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Years of Experience: 10

Past Work Experience: McGuireWoods LLP, Arnold & Porter LLP

Professional Affiliations: American Bar Association, Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association

Awards & Honors: Dillard Fellow for Legal Research & Writing

Bar Admissions: Virginia, District of Columbia

Ryan V. P. Dougherty


About: Ryan focuses his practice on state and federal court...