Attorney Robert P. Fitzsimmons

As a Wheeling, West Virginia native, Attorney Robert P. Fitzsimmons was proud to attend the local Wheeling Central Catholic High School. Upon graduation, he pursued a higher education – receiving his Bachelor of Science from the Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. From there, he went on to attend the University of Baltimore School of Law where he graduated with highest honors and his Juris Doctor degree.

Mr. Fitzsimmons is proud to have been admitted to practice laws in several states – including West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He has also been admitted to practice in the United District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, as well as the Southern District of West Virginia, the Southern District of Ohio, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Throughout his legal career, Mr. Fitzsimmons has had varied experience and diversified accolades. In fact, in 1985, he was elected to the governing body of the West Virginia State Bar, the Board of Governors for a three year term. He has also received appointments to the Commissioner of the State of West Virginia Athletic (Boxing) Commission by Governor Bob Wise. He served on that for four years from 2003 to 2007.

Mr. Fitzsimmons served as counsel in the case of the late Mike Webster, the Hall of Fame center from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The disability claim and lawsuit was pursued against the National Football League (NFL). To date, this case has been the only reported disability claim which was successful against the NFL.

One of Mr. Fitzsimmons' proudest accomplishments is his work with Julian Bailes, M.D., former Chairmen of the West Virginia University Department of Neurosurgery and Chairmen of the North Shore Hospitals Neurosurgery Department in Chicago, as well as Bennett Omalu, M.D, Neuro-pathologist at the University of California at Davis. Together, all of them co-founded and co-served on the Brain Injury Research Institute (BIRI).

BIRI was designed to help pursue helpful and meaningful research into the brain through autopsies – these would allow those in the medical profession to better diagnose evidence of concussions. Since its inception, BIRI has been involved in the autopsies of over 35 brains – including those of NFL veterans, WWE wrestlers (including Chris Benoit and Test Martin), as well as professional boxers, mixed martial arts fighters and military men and women.

The institution has gained considerable recognition for its work. In fact, it has been prominently featured in the September 2009 issue of G.Q. Magazine, as well as Nightline, Good Morning America, HBO "Real Sports" and ESPN "Beyond the Lines." BIRI hopes to continue it works into genetic testing to better be able to understand what factors may affect the predisposition and to find more effective treatment protocol.