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Meet our Directors

Rick Katz

 

Rick Katz's professional career began in 1973 when he was hired by Janet Reno to serve as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office. After graduation from the University of Miami in 1975, he continued in that office as an Assistant State Attorney. Between 1975 and 1979, Rick served as a senior trial counsel in the Career Criminal and Major Crimes divisions. During this time, Rick had first chair responsibility on numerous first degree murder and other complex cases. Rick was the senior prosecutor on the prosecution of Ronny Zamora, the first modern day criminal case to receive gavel-to-gavel television coverage.

In 1979, Rick resigned from the State Attorney's Office to open his own law firm in Coral Gables. By the early 1980's, Rick's practice was concentrated in commercial and administrative litigation. Rick developed an expertise in the federal Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and has represented an international list of clients in the produce industry. From 1986 to 1989, he served as U.S. general counsel to the Albert Fisher Group PLC, a UK firm which engaged in an unprecedented flurry of U.S. produce industry acquisitions. From 1990 to 1992, Rick was retained by the U.S. State Department's Agency for International Development to conduct seminars throughout Central and South America for produce companies doing business in the United States.

Rick was a long-standing member of the Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar. He served on Criminal Rules of Procedure Committee from 1980 to 1989, the Executive Council from 1981 to 1989, and chaired the Florida Bar's Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Insanity Defense from 1984 to 1985 which was formed following the Hinckley assassination attempt on President Reagan.

Rick has handled trials and appeals in numerous federal districts and circuits as well as the state courts in Florida. In September 1996, Rick tried and won a $1.3 million jury verdict in the Southern District of New York in favor of actress Cicely Tyson (who was, by then, divorced from Miles Davis) against Elizabeth Taylor.

In 1995, Rick founded The Fresh Software Company, a startup firm which developed an acclaimed parental control software program, Time's Up! The program was described as "ingenious" by the Chicago Tribune and "one of five utilities every parent should have" by PC Magazine. Notwithstanding the favorable press, the company closed in 1998 when its sales did not warrant re-engineering the software for Windows 98.

Since 1998, Rick has practiced as a sole practitioner, representing the business and litigation interests of varied clients such as medical groups, high-technology firms, private real estate investors, trust beneficiaries, and other lawyers. In 2006, Rick was appointed by a creditor’s committee to serve as Chairman of the Board of Sunny Industries, Inc., a distressed Wisconsin printing firm with over 350 employees.

Rick is rated AV from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, the most-recognized objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability.

Rick has a passion for jazz.  He regrets that he has no musical talent but is honored to be collaborating with such an esteemed group of musicians to establish the Miami Jazz Cooperative.

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