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. Since being admitted to the Florida Bar in 1964, Parks has represented plaintiff s in hundreds of personal injury, wrongful death, aviation, off shore 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 .
AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND COMMUNITY ADVOCATE
A longtime environmental advocate, Parks served as volunteer chairman of the state’s Environmental Regulation Commission from 1978 to 1986 under Governor 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 also served for nearly 20 years under three governors in leading efforts to restore the Miami River culminating in him serving as the first chair of the Miami River Commission in 1998. He currently serves on the board of directors of Th e Everglades Foundation, which is dedicated to a restored Everglades, creating relevant and creative solutions to complex restoration issues without burdening taxpayers.
For nearly 45 years, Bob Parks has been an active supporter of Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., the primary provider of free legal services to the most vulnerable residents of Miami- Dade and Monroe counties. “Aft er graduating from law school in the 1960s, I realized there was a strong need for community legal services,” says Parks. “Although South Florida has changed tremendously since the 1960s, the need for free legal assistance has been a constant theme in our community, and today that demand is even greater.”
In 2009, Parks joined two other distinguished Miami attorneys to co-chair “Together We Must,” a three-year fundraising campaign for LSGMI. 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.
A PROFESSIONAL LEADER
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 also serves on the board of directors of Trial Lawyers to Public Justice and the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society board of trustees.
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.
He is on the dean’s advisory board for Florida International University’s College of Law and the board of directors of the Boys and Girls Club. In 2011, Parks was honored with the prestigious War Horse Award presented by the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, and last year he was the recipient of the Perry Nichols Award, the Florida Justice Association’s most prestigious award given annually to a Floridian who has fought with distinction for justice throughout his lifetime.
Presently serving as chairman of the board of visitors for the National Judicial College, the national organization involved in the training of state court trial judges, this past June Parks took part in a symposium dealing with the preservation of the civil jury system as part of the college’s 50th anniversary.