Staples was born in Patrick County, Virginia. He attended the University of North Carolina for two years and then entered the College of William and Mary from which he graduated in 1845. After graduation, he moved to Montgomery County, Virginia to begin the practice of law.
In 1853-54, he was a member of the state legislature and, in 1862, became a member of the Confederate House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 1863 and served until the end of the war when he resumed his law practice in Montgomery County.
In February, 1870, he was elected to the Supreme Court of Appeals but, in 1882, the Readjuster Party controlled the state and none of the judges on the Court of Appeals were re-elected. Judge Staples served as a member of the committee to revise the civil and criminal laws of Virginia in 1884. In 1893-94, Staples was president of the Virginia Bar Association. He was also one of the revisors 1887 Code of Virginia, along Edward C. Burks and John W. Riely, both of whom also served as Justices on the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.
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de:Waller Redd Staples