2018 Selig I. Goldin Memorial Award Recipient
C. Richard Parker
Each year, the Criminal Law Section bestows the Selig Goldin Award on a member of the Bar who has made a lasting contribution to Florida’s criminal justice system. This year, we are pleased to recognize Rick Parker. In his 46 years of practice, Rick has made a significant and lasting contribution to the state’s criminal, juvenile and mental health justice system.
Rick’s first job after graduation from the University of Florida (UF) College of Law and admission to The Florida Bar was in the Gainesville firm of Goldin and Turner while waiting for deployment as a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant. After completion of his military commitment, Rick worked in his hometown of Miami with Wicker, Smith, Psyzka, Blomqvist and Davant before returning to Gainesville as an Assistant Public Defender.
Rick worked in the 8th Circuit Public Defender Office for 38 years, 11 as an Assistant and 27 as Public Defender. In addition to representing clients and trying cases, including capital murder, in the six-county region, he assumed duties as Chief Assistant Public Defender and served as the elected representative of Florida’s Assistant Public Defenders on the Florida Public Defender Association (FPDA) Board of Directors.
Upon becoming 8th Circuit Public Defender in 1984, Rick focused on statewide issues of interest to public defender clients, and the men and women who provided their representation. Executive and legislative branch lobbying and The Florida Bar committee service resulted in improvements in criminal, mental health and juvenile justice. Rick served FPDA as President five times, and chair of the Legislation (10 years) and Appropriations (12 years) Committees.
Rick also served 24 years as an adjunct lecturer teaching Trial Practice for the UF law school and managed the UF criminal defense clinical internship program.
Following retirement in 2010, Rick accepted employment as a contractor, living and working in Afghanistan for 5 ½ years providing training and mentoring to Afghan justice system institutions. After starting with a team of two Afghan lawyers, Rick was promoted through supervisory and management levels culminating in serving as Chief of Team for the program’s 500 national and international employees working in all 34 Afghan provinces. At end of mission in 2016, Rick was made an honorary member of the Afghanistan Independent Bar Association.