Thomas G. Shaia, J.D., is an award-winning, former criminal prosecutor with more than thirty years experience. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1988. He understands the courtroom, the law, and—most importantly—justice. He has worked in many courts throughout Virginia, including the City of Richmond, Henrico County, Spotsylvania County, and the City of Suffolk. As a prosecutor, he fought many cases and succeeded in many jury trials. Shaia understands the dynamics of how the law and the facts interact to form the best case. He was awarded for his work as a prosecutor, and his work in educating other prosecutors.
Tom established Shaia's Law, which is based in Richmond, Virginia. Shaia's Law has filed several complaints involving millions of dollars in various jurisdictions. He has consulted on various criminal cases, contract reviews, and contract enforcement matters. Services are provided throughout the state.
As a prosecutor, Tom excelled in complex cases involving financial information, as well as cases involving multiple defendants. He is well-known throughout the state, and was often consulted for his experience in asset forfeiture; search and seizure; trial procedures and tactics; financial investigations; and many other legal issues in criminal cases. During his time at the Virginia Attorney General's Office, he assisted in developing the Financial Crime Intelligence Center, and was the lead attorney.
Tom not only served as a prosecuting attorney for thirty years, but he also taught prosecutors, law enforcement, other attorneys, and even students. Tom was invited to lecture law students at University of Richmond, regarding DUI circumstances and the law, as well as utilizing technology during trials. He was also invited to speak at the College of William & Mary; taught high-level narcotics techniques for Henrico County and Fairfax County Police Departments; and reviewed the law with law enforcement at the Rappahannock Regional Justice Academy. Tom also taught numerous prosecutor seminars throughout his career.
From 2008-2019, Tom worked as a faculty member of TOP GUN Drug Conference. TOP GUN is a one-week program for narcotic officers and Commonwealth's Attorneys. It is the premiere school for education on searches and seizures, practical exercises, and legal issues, which involve prosecutors on an everyday basis. Tom has lectured at this conference on a variety of topics including: Ethics, Forfeitures, Searches and Seizures, Money Laundering, and Virginia RICO.
From 2015-2019, Tom was the legal director and lecturer at the annual Gang Busters Conference. Gang Busters is a one-week program for gang prosecutors and investigators. It is a school that teaches search and seizures, possible charges, recognition of gangs, investigative techniques, and how to be successful in the prosecution of a gang case.
In 2010, Tom received the Warren Von Schuch Distinguished Assistant Award. This award is presented to the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney who, over years of dedicated service to the Commonwealth, has exhibited service to the Commonwealth, the Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Association, fellow prosecutors, the legal community, and the community as a whole. It is given in recognition to the assistant who has served other jurisdictions throughout the Commonwealth, and is the single-highest honor that may be given to a non-elected prosecutor in the State.
In 2018, Tom Shaia received the Michael R. Doucette Lecturer of Merit Award, issued by the Commonwealth's Attorneys' Services Council. This award is in recognition of exceptional leadership and commitment to the training of Virginia's prosecutors.
Additionally, Tom assisted the legislature in developing and passing the Virginia Racketeering Act, as well as several other statutes in the Commonwealth. He is very familiar with the legislative process in Virginia.