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Richard Anthony Merlino Jr.

Criminal defense Attorney at Fort Lauderdale, FL

4.5   22 reviews

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About Richard

Learn Richard’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    Federal and State Criminal Trial & Appellate Practice with Offices in Philadelphia, PA and Fort Lauderdale, FL

    30 years, 1,000 cases

  2. Federal crime

    30 years, 800 cases

  3. DUI and DWI

    30 years, 1,000 cases

  4. Domestic violence

    30 years, 750 cases

  5. Juvenile law

    30 years, 500 cases

As of October 2012, Richard was appointed by a joint committe of Federal judges, Federal Public Defenders, and private attorneys to the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of Florida. A handful of attorneys are selected to the CJA Panel regionally and are carefully screened in order to ensure that the attorney possesses the professionalism and experience necessary to handle complex Federal matters. The CJA Panelists are called upon and appointed by Federal judges to handle any/all Federal criminal cases where a conflict exists with the Federal Public Defender’s Office.

Licensed for 29 years
State FL
Status Member in Good Standing
Acquired 1993
Updated 11/23/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Richard

101 N.E. Third Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 333011186
Philadelphia Office
1500 Market Street
Suite 2727
Philadelphia, PA, 19102
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4.5 / 5.0
  22 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | August 26, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Attorney!!!
Mr. Merlino helped me over a 3+ year period. I found myself in a federal healthcare fraud case. He held my hand through all the ups and downs. He didn’t sugar coat anything and was always straight and to the point. His vast knowledge of the processes involved without a doubt got us the result we deserved. I can’t imagine having gone through this craziness without him.
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Posted by anonymous | July 18, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hands Down, The Best Ever!!
Rich has represented me more than once, and each time was with GREAT Results!! I would recommend this Law Firm time and time again....
Posted by Gary | February 4, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Attorney Richard is one the the best lawyer , GURANTEED satisfaction . I hired Richard to be my attorney for a case years ago battery on pregnant woman , and today February 4th the case is dismissed he stood on his word and took full control of my case and it was the best thing ever highly recommended! He led me in the right direction to get my life back together , answered all phone calls comments & concerns i can’t thank him enough .
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Posted by Kimberly | May 30, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The absolute best!
Simply put, Richard Merlino is the absolute BEST! I cannot thank Mr. Merlino and his team for all the time and effort they put into my case. I never needed legal counsel before and had no idea what to do or who to call. I was referred to him by a dear and trustworthy friend. Mr. Merlino met with me and explained what the process would involve. He also met with me several times over the course of my case. He answered any and all questions I had and put my mind at ease during the extremely stressful situation. Mr. Merlino is a straight shooter and will be honest with you about what you can and cannot expect, which is what you need from an attorney. Mr. Merlino is an extremely knowledgeable and well-respected attorney. The judge even made mention of how well-respected he is amongst his peers during my hearing. Barbara, his paralegal, is AMAZING. I will forever be grateful for what they did for me. I highly recommend Mr. Merlino as you will be in the best of hands.
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Posted by anonymous | October 14, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Words are not enough to explain
Richard was the hope to my family when my options felt limited , he was there with a caring heart and not once hesitated to guide me through any Questions or concerns. If it wasn’t for Mr. Merlino I would not be a free man today. I am Forever grateful to him. His assistant Barbara was also the most hard working , caring and dedicated human being anyone can ever come across. If god forbid ever needed I would recommend the law office of Richard Merlino over and over again. Thank you Rich and Barbara. Our family is forever grateful
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Posted by Andrea | September 25, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Criminal defense lawyer
I want to thank Richard and his staff for a job well done. I dont know where my son would have been today if it wasn't for Richard. All the calls, the messages and the emails, he gave us his all. Richard fought for my son Dandre he never gave up on him he crossed every T's and dot every I's. He fought a good fight and the battle was won. Richard is a peoples lawyer. Barbara was on top of everything she overlooked nothing as soon as she saw a change on something she make her calls and his investigator Rob he was amazing he did everything he could have done for the case. They sit my son down and they talk to him as he was their own. My son now has become the man that you and I knew he was and D'Andre and i thank all of you from the bottom of our heart for the kindness you have shown us. Thank you for the hard work and dedication. it gives me great pleasure of recommending your firm to each and everyone who may need your services. Thank you all again.
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Posted by Marquise | April 9, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lawyer
I hire Richard Merlino for a big case of mine and he is the man. Lets just say this is not the first time I been arrested. But this was the biggest case I caught. Richard was great and his two best traits were he always communicated with me great and got me a really good result. Better than I could have ever asked for. If you are looking for an amazing lawyer, this is your guy.
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Posted by anonymous | March 22, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended
My family hired Mr. Merlino to represent me on a criminal (federal) matter. He was able to work with the prosecutor and get me a plea offer that was better than I would ever have expected. Mr. Merlino and his staff were both very helpful and patient throughout this very stressful process. Upon meeting with him you can tell immediately that he is kind, compassionate and caring as well as an excellent and experienced attorney! He EXCELS BEYOND expectations. I would recommend Mr. Merlino to anyone needing legal help.
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Posted by Kelley | March 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Reasonable and Caring Lawyer
This lawyer exercise the most tolerance and patience with my family when we are in serious trouble. He came highly recommended and turned out to be far more than expected.
Posted by Melissa | January 11, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer ever
I hired him for a friend and from the beginning to the end him and his staff made sure everything went smooth and everyone of my questions was answered and they kept me up on what was going on with the case !!!
Posted by Justin | April 24, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best there is
I got into some trouble 10 years ago down in Dade & Broward counties. I currently reside in New Jersey and wasn't sure who I should of hired to handle these matters. I spoke with a few attorneys but none were as impressive as Rich, so I hired him as my council. I had a very confusing & difficult case where I used a false name and was also charged with a felony and also had a DUI in Dade, these case's would of been an absolute head ache for most attorneys but Rich and his paralegal team worked their butts off to make sure I had the best outcome, they were very communicative throughout the entire 9 month process which is huge for me, even though I had to turn myself into jail and spend a couple days in, they spoke to me and my family everyday I was in there and made sure they got me out as quickly as possible. While in court Rich was extremely impressive and made everyone else ask "whose your attorney"? and "how much was your attorney"? He turned heads with his impressive knowledge of the law and I would not recommend anyone other then Richard Merlino for their cases in Florida, HE WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY. My DUI case was dismissed and I got 6 months on probation for my felony which will not stay on my record once I am done. I could not have asked for a better outcome and I thank everyone in his office especially his paralegal Barbara Parman, such great people and I am thrilled with my experience. HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND
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Posted by Jessica | March 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Really great, caring lawyer
Mr. Merlino was with me since the time I hired him through helping me to early terminate my probation. I really liked that when I called, even though his paralegal Barb is also excellent, I always got to speak directly to my lawyer which made me feel so much better. He is a great guy, its obvious he really cares. Soft on eyes too!
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Posted by Larry | May 8, 2014
Best Attorney- hands down!
Some would say I have a colorful past. Several attorneys I met with prior to Mr. Merlino weren't very optimistic. Mr. Merlino made me feel like I had a fighting chance. He took my case and got me the best possible outcome. I was looking at serious jail time and ended up with probation. I owe Mr. Merlino my life and am forever in his debt. I will never hire any other attorney... only Richard Merlino! He IS THE BEST.
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Posted by anonymous | May 8, 2014
Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Tri-County Area!
My husband had two drug cases, one in Miami and one in West Palm Beach. Mr. Merlino has been a life saver and changer for my husband and our family. Not only did he save my husband from serving Jail time, but he guided him in the right direction to turn his life around. Mr. Merlino has proven to be not only a great attorney, but a caring person outside the courtroom. Mr. Merlino has the confidence and strength that one needs in desperate times inside the courtroom, and out. I would recommend Mr. Merlino to anyone who is in need of a strong defense and some well deserved guidance in living on the right path.
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Posted by Jose | February 22, 2013
A Life Saver
I was charged with Manslaugher...stemming from a bar fight.. I am not proud of that time in my life, but I am greatful that I had the best lawyer, Richard Merlino. He fought for me and for my life. I was acquitted of the charges. Saying those words today, still amaze me. He is the best, if you are looking for a top notch attorney, look no further.
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Posted by anonymous | January 18, 2013
Richard Merlino is the man for the job!
Mr. Merlino is the best of the best! I will never hire another attorney. He saved my life!
Posted by Josh | December 27, 2012
A man you should hire!
Mr. Merlino Represented me on a criminal traffic case that could have violated my 2nd degree probation, facing 20 years. How he managed to get this taken care of without my probation or judge finding out is still a mystery. I put my life in this mans hands and he delivered extremely quickly and went above and beyond. I highly reccommend this man to anyone who has a problem that needs to be taken care of!! Not only that he returns calls promptly and will throuroughly explain everything that is happenning.
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Posted by anonymous | July 28, 2012
One of the few GREAT lawyers that CARE.
I was referred to Mr. Merlino from a good friend. As soon as he got on my case he got to work immediately and started discussing strategy to win my case. After a few months my case was over and I was a free man. I owe everything to Mr. Merlino and now I can be the family man I wanted to be and show my kids the right way. If you need a GREAT lawyer this is the one to go to!
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Posted by anonymous | July 27, 2012
The BEST of the Best
Richard Merlino is a life-saver. He went above and beyond on my case and I owe my freedom to him, he truly saved my life. He is professional, kind, understanding, and a truly AMAZING lawyer. I hope I will never need a lawyer again, but if I do, there is no question... Mr. Merlino is the man for the job.
Posted by John | March 18, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Deep regret
Be sure and read the fine print on the retainer. I didn't and lost $10,000 for 1 days representation. Retainer suggests by the hour but goes on to say 'considered earned when paid' which in legal jargon for no refunds. In my situation I hired him but found a lawyer local (Texas) 1 day after paying retainer. He did nothing. Legal: yes immoral: absolutely. Then led me to believe he was returning my money only to open a copy of his engagement letter and a check for $800. In hindsight I'm glad I found out early what type of man I hired.
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Response from Richard Merlino April 3, 2020
"John," I find your defamatory allegations disappointing and disingenuous to say the least despite my long tenure in a very adversarial profession. The Firm was hired pursuant to a formal plain language flat fee written agreement to initiate proactive investigative research, review of corporate documents and communications, and communication with the Government during the investigative stage of an alleged federal, multi-corporation, large scale medicare fraud scheme involving, at a minimum, tens of millions of dollars in total loss to the United States Medicare Program. The allegations included, in part, not only a scheme to defraud the Medicare Program, but vulnerable elderly Medicare recipients. Most of the work on this matter was done in good faith even prior to receipt of the executed flat fee agreement and fee payment. The flat fee agreement was discussed with you at length prior to your execution of same. As a 27 year criminal trial attorney with a pedigree in federal trial practice who has been the Chairperson of 2 Florida Bar Ethics Grievance Committees, I find it repugnant and ironic, given the allegations, that our timely and efficient efforts have resulted in this unfortunate situation. A fair reimbursement was provided.
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  • Free Consultation 5 minutes
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • 2006 - Present
  • Felony Trial Unit Prosecutor
  • Broward County State Attorney's Office
  • 1995 - 1997
  • Supervisor County Court Division
  • Broward County State Attorney's Office
  • 1993 - 1995


  • Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad Law Center
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1993

Legal Cases

  • Guilty of lesser included offense, Case still pending appeal
View all legal cases

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2017
  • 10 Best for Client Satisfaction
  • American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
  • 2017
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2013
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • 2004

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (1)
Endorse Richard
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 31
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I highly recommend Attorney Richard Merlino. I have handled numerous criminal matters with him. We have worked as co-counsel on complex criminal matters. Mr. Merlino is highly skilled and competent in his field. He is well respected among our peers and I find him to have high ethical standards. I completely endorse Richard with no reservations whatsoever."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 28
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Rich is one of the most committed and dedicated attorneys I've ever worked with. I wholeheartedly endorse Rich and his team and look forward to working with them again in the future."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I've known Rich for approximately six years. There are few, if any, more professional, well-respected attorneys in the courthouse. Having worked many cases against him, I can attest that Rich has an excellent reputation and knows the law as well as anyone. He's an exceptional trial lawyer who always fights for his client's best interest!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 09
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I have tried cases with Richard. He is a highly skilled trial lawyer with the ability to win cases other less skilled lawyers might lose. He is a difference maker for those who truly care about their freedom."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Rich for many years, and had the opportunity to share several clients with him. Rich is a zealous advocate for his clients, achieves great results, and the clients we shared have provided overwhelmingly positive reviews of his services. I highly recommend Rich as a criminal defense lawyer."
Criminal defense

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Fort Lauderdale Criminal defense Lawyer Richard Anthony Merlino Jr.
Richard Anthony Merlino Jr.
Criminal defense Attorney
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Licensed for 29 years
Free Consultation