Veteran trial attorney Robert L. Parks, principal and founding partner of The Law Offices of Robert L. Parks, is the recipient of the 2012 Perry Nichols Award.
The Perry Nichols Award is the Florida Justice Association’s most prestigious award given annually to a Floridian who has fought with distinction for justice throughout his lifetime. Established in 1977, the Perry Nichols Award is a permanent tribute to Perry Nichols, an FJA founder and nationally renowned Florida trial attorney. Past recipients include Gov. Reubin Askew, Sen. Claude D. Pepper, Gov. Leroy Collins, Justice James Adkins, Al J. Cone, Robert Orseck, William Colson, and Christian D. Searcy among others.
“Bob Parks richly deserves the Perry Nichols Award and I only wish that there were 50 attorneys in Florida who would surrender with a smile and joyfully volunteer their time to make our state a better place to live and work as Bob has,” said Nathaniel Reed, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior.
“Bob Parks is a credit to the legal profession, not only because he is a great trial lawyer, but he exemplifies the need to be a community-minded person and to give his time to the less fortunate,” said Aaron Podhurst, friend and fellow trial attorney.
A nationally recognized trial attorney with more than 48 years of experience, Parks is a highly respected advocate in the courtroom and a leader in the community. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 1964, Parks has represented plaintiffs in hundreds of personal injury, wrongful death, aviation, offshore resort litigation, watercraft, large manufacturing and automobile cases in the Americas and around the world.
Long considered an authority on aviation matters, Parks has been involved in most major airline disasters and has handled over 200 general aviation crashes. His career highlights include product liability cases against large pharmaceutical companies as well as serving as Florida Counsel in the Antitrust Class Action against Microsoft.
A longtime environmental advocate, Parks served as volunteer chair of the state’s Environmental Regulation Commission from 1978 to 1986 under Gov. Bob Graham. In that role alone, he gave 100 hours of volunteer service each year, in meetings, discussions of key issues and in holding public hearings around the state. For his dedicated leadership, Parks was named the National Audubon Society’s Environmentalist of the Year. In keeping with his commitment to protect the environment, Parks was an original member of 1,000 Friends of Florida, where he served as litigation chair for 13 years.
A leader in the South Florida community, Parks served for nearly 20 years under three governors in leading efforts to restore the Miami River culminating in his service as the first chair of the Miami River Commission in 1998. He currently serves on the board of directors of The Everglades Foundation, which is dedicated to a restored Everglades, creating relevant and creative solutions to complex restoration issues without burdening taxpayers.
He has provided hundreds of hours of pro bono services annually throughout his distinguished 48-year career and more than 600 hours of pro bono services over the past four years serving as volunteer co-chair of the highly successful “Together We Must” fundraising campaign for Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc.
By reaching out to South Florida’s highly diverse legal community, “Together We Must” has raised more than $1 million for LSGMI, earning national attention for its remarkable success in attracting financial support during the nation’s economic downturn.
A consummate legal professional, Parks is past president of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and past chair of its Florida Access to Justice Committee. He was an original appointee by the Florida Bar to the Florida Supreme Court Commission of Professionalism and served as chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on Air & Space Law. Parks is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocacy, a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, and a member of the American Law Institute.
He is past president of the Dade County Bar, a former member of the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, past president of the Florida Bar Young Lawyers, and he served for six years as a member of the Board of Governors of the Florida Bar. Parks is Board certified in Aviation Law by the Florida Bar and was the first chair of the Florida Bar’s Aviation Law Certification Committee. Parks also is a member of the Lawyer Pilots Bar Association, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, and co-author of two chapters in Kreindler’s Aviation Accident Law for Matthew Bender & Company Inc., on “Military Accidents” and “Air Traffic Control Negligence.”
Parks is chairof the Board of Visitor’s for the National Judicial College and is on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Florida International University’s College of Law and is on the board of trustees for History Miami. In 2011, Parks received the prestigious War Horse Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Southern Trial Lawyers Association in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the cause of justice.
For more information, visit online at www.rlplegal.com or call 305-445-4430.