As national counsel and consultant for a number of waterparks, theme parks and other entertainment venues and industry trade groups, perhaps no one is a bigger advocate for the waterpark industry than attorney and author R. Wayne Pierce.

A nationally recognized authority on adventure/amusement industry legal issues, he started his private practice, the Pierce Law Firm, LLC, in 1982 and opened the Adventure Law firm in 2005. Based in Anapolis, Md., he focuses on helping clients build better businesses through prevention and regulatory compliance. He’s also consulted on safety standards in more than 35 states and taught more than 180 preventive law classes for various facilities and organizations.

His most notable work is in the area of complex or catastrophic amusement-ride incidents. Pierce is perhaps best known as the author of the Uniform Rider Safety Code, a rider responsibility bill that has been introduced in whole or in part in more than 20 states. An inductee in the World Waterpark Association’s Hall of Fame, he is a leader in the Children’s Drowning Prevention Council’s efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy for dealing with child drownings in waterparks.

Pierce sums up his passion for the waterpark industry with a story about taking his son to one such park as a young boy.

“He was in tears and I had to gently convince him to go down a particular slide with me,” Pierce says. “He finally agreed to go and was still crying when we started down, but by the time we reached the bottom, he was laughing and excited. Watching the effect of that experience on him was inspiring and showed me the true power of amusement and adventure.”