Robert A. Rush

Robert Rush has been certified as an expert in both Civil Trial Law and Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar.  He has been litigating cases continuously since 1985, when he began his criminal law career at the Public Defender’s Office. In 1988 Mr. Rush opened his own office, which now employs severalr other attorneys practicing criminal law, personal injury, wrongful  death, automobile accidents, commercial litigaion, municipal law and civil trial law. Mr. Rush has the rare distinction of having tried numerous first-degree murder cases, as well as almost every other type of criminal case. He has also tried and won multi-million dollar verdicts in civil cases ranging from automobile accidents to civil rights violations. He hasalso successfully defended clients in jury trials when the jury has returned a zero verdict. He also handles appeal issues arising from trials that he has conducted.

While attending law school at the University of Florida, Robert participated on the inaugural trial team for the Law School which won the National Championship. For many years Mr. Rush taught Trial Practice at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and coached the College of Law’s Trial Team onto more national championships. 

Robert served as Governor for the Florida Bar Board of Governors representing the Eighth Judicial Circuit from 1999 through 2005. He also served on the Florida Bar’s Executive Committee.

When not practicing law, Robert is active in the Gainesville community. He has completely restored five historic houses in downtown Gainesville, including our current law office. He is an expert gardener and often does the landscaping around the office himself, including planting the flowers.  Alachua County has been his home for the past 34 years. He served 12 years on the Volunteer Center Board of Alachua County, including serving as president.

Legal Practice History

  • 1998 to present: Senior partner at Robert A. Rush, P.A. in Gainesville, Florida
  • 1988-1998: Sole proprietor - Law Office of Robert A. Rush, P.A., with emphasis on civil rights, personal injury, wrongful death, auto and truck accidents, and criminal defense
  • 1987-1988: Associate with Weiss, Kann & Kerner, P.A., Gainesville, Florida, with emphasis on personal injury and automobile and truck accidents
  • 1985-1987: Assistant Public Defender,  Eighth Judicial Circuit
  • 1984: Certified legal intern - Office of the State Attorney - Eighth Judicial Circuit

 

Legal Teaching Experience

  • 1998 to Present: Adjunct Professor, University of Florida Levin College of Law. Teaches trial practice seminar; presides as judge over mock trials
  • 1998 to Present: Coach - Trial Team - University of Florida Levin College of Law. Competes in Regional and National trial competition. Winner of U.S. Regional Trial Competition, 2001; Final Four in National Trial Competition
  • 1996 to Present: Guest Lecturer - Trial Advocacy - University of Florida College of Law. Teaches one class per semester on Voir Dire, opening, closing, direct examination and cross examination
  • 1990-1992: Coach - Trial Team - University of Florida Levin College of Law

 

Education

  • Juris Doctor -  University of Florida College of Law, 1985
  • Bachelor of Arts - University of Florida, 1979 - High Honors - Major in Religion and certification in Environmental Studies
  • 1971-1972 - Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD - Varsity Lacrosse, 1972

 

Bar Association Memberships

  • Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association
  • The Florida Bar
  • Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • American Trial Lawyers Association

 

Board Certification

  • 1997 to Present: Criminal Trial
  • 1998 to Present: Civil Trial

 

Bar Association Activities

  • 1998 to 2005: The Florida Bar Board of Governors for the Eighth Judicial Circuit of Florida

 

Circuit Committees

  • 1998 to 2005: Grievance Committee, Designated Reviewer
  • 1998 to 2005: Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee, Designated Reviewer

 

Standing Committees

2001-02Disciplinary Procedure Committee
 Investment Committee
 Liaison to Government Lawyers Section
 Liaison to Appellate Practice Certification Committee
 Liaison to Criminal Procedure Rules Committee
2000-01Disciplinary Review Committee
 Investment Committee
1999-2000Disciplinary Review Committee
 Rules Committee
 Liaison to Criminal Procedure Rules

1998-99

Disciplinary Review Committee

 Rules Committee
1996 -present

James C. Adkins American Inns of Court, Master. This organization is fashioned after the English Inns of Court system and is dedicated toimproving the ethics, competency and professionalism of lawyers.

  

1997

Program Chairperson - Designed and presented panel discussions onmultidisciplinary practice of law; Merit selection v. Judicial elections

 

Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association - Local Voluntary Bar Association

1996-97Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee
1997Chairperson for creation of circuit-wide lawyer referral service
1998 - presentNewsletter article contributor
2000Law Week lecturer on Constitution
2002Professional seminar - panel member

 

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

1994-95

President, Eighth Judicial Circuit
1993- present

Member, Eighth Judicial Circuit

 

Volunteer Activities and Awards

Volunteer Center of Alachua County - Provides, coordinates and places volunteers for non-profit organizations

  • 1990 to 2002 - Member of Board of Directors and Pro Bono attorney
  • 1994 - President of Board of Directors
  • 1993 - Chairperson,  Hope for the Holidays - coordinates food and gift distribution to needy families

Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida - Provides assistance to disabled persons, including services for deaf, blind, and wheelchair-bound citizens

  • Pro Bono attorney 1991 to 2003

Hippodrome State Theater - Production sponsor 1998 to present

Historic Gainesville, Inc. - organization dedicated to protecting and preserving historic buildings.

  • 1994 Historic Preservation award for restoration of house built in 1908
  • 1999 Historic Preservation award for restoration of house built in 1920
  • 2000 Historic Preservation award for restoration of 1903 Shands house built by Senator Shands family (namesake of Shands Teaching Hospitals located in Gainesville, Fla.)
  • 2008 Historic Preservation award for restoration of house built in 1895

City of Gainesville - Beautification Awards 1990, 1994

Alachua Babe Ruth - Team sponsor for Little League Baseball Team 1990-2000

 

Community Activities Sponsor

  • Ebony Appreciation Awards
  • Keystone Heights HS Project Graduation
  • Fightin’ Gator Touchdown Club
  • Civic Media Center
  • Santa Fe High School Boys Basketball
  • Matheson Museum
  • Acorn Clinic
  • United Way of Alachua County
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Alachua County
  • The Volunteer Center Hearts of Gold
  • Fraternal Order of Police
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Police Explorers