Robert L. Parks

A nationally recognized trial attorney with more than five decades of experience, Robert L. Parks is a highly respected advocate in the courtroom and a leader in the community. He is committed to providing personal attention and professional services to every client. Instead of focusing on case volume, his Firm focuses on case selection and likelihood of recovering for his clients and their family.

 

An Exceptional Trial Lawyer:

A native of the Bahamas, Parks has enjoyed boating, diving and other water activities all his life, and is deeply familiar with marine equipment, as well as safety standards and practices. He brings that knowledge and experience to his legal practice, representing plaintiffs in litigation involving drownings, watercraft deaths and injuries, in both U.S. and offshore resort litigation. Parks has been an effective advocate in bringing negligence-related death or catastrophic injury cases to trial in U.S. courts rather than offshore jurisdictions.

Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 1964, Parks has represented hundreds of plaintiffs in personal injury, wrongful death, aviation, large manufacturing and automobile cases in the Americas and around the world. Board-certified in aviation law, Parks has handled more than 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.

In 2017, Parks received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers’ Distinguished Fellow designation, which has only occurred on ten occasions since the founding of the Academy, the honorary association of elite trial attorneys. In 2017, Parks received the Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA) Personal Injury (Plaintiff) Trial Attorney of the Year Award, given to a candidate who has had a distinguished career and a superb reputation of high ethics and fair play.

Parks received the 2015 Legal Legends Award from History Miami’s 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society. The award recognizes members of the legal community who have made significant contributions to the law, legal system or the administration of justice in the 11th Judicial Circuit for at least 25 years or more. Parks was also the recipient of the 2012 Perry Nichols Award from the Florida Justice Association, given annually to a Floridian who has fought with distinction for justice throughout his life. The prestigious award was established in 1977 as a permanent tribute to Perry Nichols, an FJA founder and nationally renowned Florida trial attorney.

In 2011, Parks was honored by The Southern Trial Lawyers Association as the recipient of the prestigious War Horse Award, its highest honor, for extraordinary contributions to the cause of justice. All nominees for this award are acknowledged leaders in their communities who have been actively practicing for more than 30 years, demonstrated outstanding skill as trial advocates and shown exceptional contributions to furthering the cause of justice.

Parks is a member of America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys and the National Aviation Trial Lawyers Top 10. He has been named one of the ‘Best Lawyers of America’ every year since its inception in 1983. Out of the estimated 30,000 ‘Best Lawyers of America,’ only 1,397 have been consecutively named since 1983. Parks has been included in Florida Super Lawyers’ annual listing for the past ten years, earned the distinction from his peers as a ‘Top Lawyer’ in South Florida Legal Guide every year since 2003, and he is a member of Lawdragon’s Top 3000. In addition, the Firm is listed in the U.S. News & Best Lawyers® list of ‘Best Law Firms.’

An Environmental Advocate:

A longtime environmental advocate, Parks serves as litigation chairman and board member for The Everglades Foundation, an internationally recognized organization dedicated to creating relevant and creative solutions to complex restoration issues without burdening taxpayers. Parks served as volunteer chairman of the state’s Environmental Regulation Commission from 1978 to 1986 under Governor Bob Graham. 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 also served for nearly 20 years under three governors in leading efforts to restore the Miami River culminating in serving as the first chair of the Miami River Commission in 1998.

A Professional and Community Leader:

A consummate legal professional, Parks serves on the Board of Trustees for the National Judicial College. He is a past chairman of the Board of Visitors for the College, which educates and trains trial judges from around the country. Parks is a 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 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 holds a lifetime membership in the American Law Institute.

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 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 served for six years as a member of the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar.

Parks was the first chair of The Florida Bar’s Aviation Law Certification Committee. He is also 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.”

In the South Florida community where he resides, Parks serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for Florida International University’s College of Law, and on the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society Board of Trustees. He is a past member of the Board of Trustees for HistoryMiami and an active member of Legal Services of Greater Miami, where he has dedicated hundreds of hours in pro bono service to the community.

CAREER SUMMARY

A nationally recognized trial attorney with more than 50 years of experience, Robert L. Parks is a highly respected advocate in the courtroom and a leader in the community. He focuses his plaintiff’s practice on offshore resort litigation, mass tort, aviation, wrongful death and product liability cases, bringing negligence-related death or catastrophic injury cases to trial in U.S. courts rather than offshore jurisdictions.

Born in 1938 in Nassau, The Bahamas, Parks has enjoyed boating, diving and other water activities all his life, and is deeply familiar with marine equipment, as well as safety standards and practices. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 1964, Parks has represented hundreds of plaintiffs in personal injury, wrongful death, offshore resort, aviation and automotive cases. Board-certified in aviation law, Parks has handled more than 200 general aviation crashes, and as well as product liability cases against large pharmaceutical companies. He also served as Florida Counsel in the Antitrust Class Action against Microsoft.

PRIMARY PRACTICE AREAS

  • Aviation
  • Mass Torts
  • Personal Injury
  • Product Liability
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Offshore Resort Litigation
  • Wrongful Death

PROFESSIONAL HONORS AND AWARDS

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers’ Distinguished Fellow designation (2017), which has only occurred on ten occasions since the founding of the academy, the honorary association of elite trial attorneys.
  • Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA) Personal Injury (Plaintiff) Trial Attorney of the Year Award (2017), given to a candidate who has had a distinguished career and a superb reputation of high ethics and fair play.
  • History Miami’s 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society’s “Legal Legends Award,” 2015, which recognizes members of the legal community who have made significant contributions to the law, legal system or the administration of justice for at least 25 years or more.
  • The Florida Justice Association’s “Perry Nichols Award,” 2012, given annually to a Floridian who has fought with distinction for justice throughout his life.
  • The Southern Trial Lawyers Association “War Horse Award,” 2011, its highest honor for extraordinary contributions to the cause of justice.
  • Best Lawyers of America, 1983 to present
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2005 to present
  • South Florida Legal Guide “Top Lawyer,” 2003 to present
  • Lawdragon Top 3000, 2010-11
  • U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers® and “Best Law Firms” rankings, multiple years

COMMUNITY OFFICES AND ACTIVITIES

  • Board of Directors and Litigation Counsel, Everglades Foundation
  • Member, Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Club of Miami
  • Member, Dean’s Advisory Council, FIU College of Law
  • Past Board Member, HistoryMiami
  • Past Member, Advisory Council, Trust for Public Land
  • Past Co-Chair, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., Fund Raising Committee

PROFESSIONAL LEADERSHIP

  • Executive Committee Member, Board of Trustees, National Judicial College
  • Past Chairman, Board of Visitors, National Judicial College
  • Member, Dade County Bar Association, President, 1980-1981
  • Member, Board of Governors, The Florida Bar, 1978-1982
  • Member, Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, 1974-1975
  • Distinguished Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers (President, 2000- 2001)
  • Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • Fellow, American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (Past Chair, Access to Justice Committee)
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Past Chairman, ABA Forum on Air & Space Law
  • Past Chairman, Aviation Law Certification Committee, The Florida Bar Association Fellow, American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Fellow, Roscoe Pound Foundation
  • Lifetime member, American Law Institute
  • Fellow, Florida Bar Foundation
  • Diplomate, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers
  • Member, America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
  • Past Member, Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Board of Trustees
  • 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Member, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association
  • Member, International Society of Air Safety Investigators
  • Tort Litigation Review Commission of The Florida Bar, 1983-1988
  • President, Young Lawyers Section, The Florida Bar, 1972-1973
  • President, Young Lawyers Section, Dade County Bar Association, 1971-1972
  • Board of Governors, Young Lawyers Section, The Florida Bar, 1966-1971
  • State Committeeman, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1978-1980

PROFESSIONAL ARTICLES AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Co-Author, “Military Accidents” and “Air Traffic Control Negligence” in Kreindler’s Aviation Accident Law for Matthew Bender & Company, Inc.
  • Has lectured nationally regarding jurisdiction, litigation, aviation law, personal injury and other issues.

GOVERNORS’ APPOINTMENTS

Chairman, Miami River Commission, 1998-2005

Member, Governor’s Commission on Property Rights, 1993-1994

Chairman, Miami River Coordinating Committee, 1984-1989

Chairman, Environmental Regulation Commission, 1979-1987

Member, Environmental Land Management Study Committee (ELMS II), 1982-1984

EDUCATION

University of Florida, B.A. in Political Science, Gainesville, FL, 1960

Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 1963

Member, Georgetown Law Review

Chairman, Barristers Council (Appellate Advocacy)

Aviation – Recent Cases:

2016 Jihlavan KP5 ASA (Skyleader 500) crash, Rhoadesville, Virginia

2015 Boeing 767 incident in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2015 Lockheed Martin F16 crash, Albacete, Spain

2014 Cessna crash in Hinton, Virginia

2013 Piper crash in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2013 Learjet crash in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

2012 Bell Helicopter crash in Auyan-tepui, Venezuela

2012 Cessna crash, Stock Island, Key West, Florida

2010 Robinson Helicopter crash, Blairsville, Georgia

2010 Smith Aerostar 601p crash, Sugar Grove, Illinois

2010 Robinson Helicopter crash in Blairsville, GA

2009 Boeing/McDonnell Douglas crash in Shanghai, China

2009 Piper PA-32R-301T crash in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

2008 Santa Barbara Airlines ATR 42-300 crash in Venezuela

2008 Beech 35-B33 crash in Homosassa Springs, Florida

2008 Cessna crash in Cedar Key, Florida

2008 Piper PA-28-161 crash in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Venice, Florida

2008 Cessna 208 injury in St. Barthelemy, French Caribbean

2008 Rockwell International 690B crash in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

2007 Hughes 369A crash in Moulton, Alabama

2007 American Champion crash in Orlando, Florida

2007 Piper PA-30 crash in the Everglades, Florida

2007 TAM Linhas Aereas crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil

2007 One Two Go Crash in Facade, Thailand

2007 NASCAR crash in Sanford, Florida

2006 Cirrus SR22 crash in Statesville, North Carolina

2006 GOL (Brazil mid-air collision)

2006 Comair crash in Lexington, Kentucky

2005 Chalks crash in Government Cut in Miami, Florida (lead liaison counsel)

2004 Canadair crash in Montrose, Colorado

2004 Raytheon T-6A Texan II in Savannah, Georgia

2003 Sikorsky MH-53M Pavelow helicopter crash near Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan (representing three families)

2000 Osprey crash in North Carolina

1999 Bell UH-1H Huey Helicopter crash in Panama (representing seven passengers)

1997 T-3A Firefly trainer aircraft crash in Colorado Springs, Colorado (death of Air Force Academy Cadet)

1996 T-3A Firefly trainer aircraft crash in Colorado Springs, Colorado (death of Air Force Academy Cadet)

1996 Sukhoi 31 aerobatic aircraft crash in Immokalee, Florida

1996 Sukhoi SU-29 aerobatic aircraft crash, ten nautical miles southeast of Lakefront Airport, New Orleans, Louisiana

1996 American Airlines Flight 869 crash in Puerto Rico (in multi-district litigation)

1996 Million Air Flight 406 crash in Manta, Ecuador

1996 Valujet Airlines Flight 592 crash in the Everglades, Florida

1996 American Airlines Flight 965 crash in Cali, Colombia

1996 TWA Flight 800 crash over New York State waters of the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island

1995 Principal attorney in the Million Air disaster

1995 Intercontinental Airlines Flight 255 crash in Bogota-Cartagena, Colombia

What Our Clients Say

“When our son was critically injured and left with a traumatic brain injury, Bob Parks and Gabe Garay helped us get through the darkest time in our life. They showed enormous compassion while providing wise legal counsel. Ultimately, they obtained a just settlement to ensure that our son would have the funds needed to secure his future.”

MBClient