C. Richard  Newsome

Newsome | Melton Law - Orlando
Newsome | Melton Law - Orlando
201 S Orange Avenue, #1500, Orlando, FL 32801 United States


Rich Newsome is the senior partner of the Newsome Melton law firm. He is a trial lawyer and represents people and families in complex civil litigation.

After graduating from the University of Florida College of Law in 1989, Rich worked as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern and Middle Districts of Florida. Rich left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1993 and went to work for a large product liability defense firm in Orlando, Florida where he represented manufacturers. After defending a manufacturer in a case brought by a family who lost a child in a motor vehicle collision, Rich felt compelled to leave the defense practice and began representing only families and individuals. Since then, for more than 25 years, Rich’s practice has focused on representing people who have suffered catastrophic or fatal injuries.

In 2001, Rich was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Fifth District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission and served as the JNC’s Chairman during his term. He is a Past-President of the Orlando Federal Bar Association, Past-President of the Florida Justice Association, Past-Member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice, Past-President of the Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association, and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocacy (ABOTA).

Rich is a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College and was invited to serve as a member of the College Faculty. Rich is a member of the Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, and U.S. Virgin Islands Bar Associations.

Rich was selected as the “Orlando Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers, a peer review publication. In 2015, Rich received the Steven C. Sharpe Public Service Award from the American Association for Justice, in recognition of his representation of Corey Burdick who was severely injured by a defective Takata airbag. The Steven C. Sharpe Award is awarded annually to one attorney and their client.

In 2017, Rich was appointed to the Constitution Revision Commission by Richard Corcoran, the Speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives. The 37 member Commission drafted and submitted 32 amendments to the Florida Constitution which were placed on the ballot and approved by Florida voters to be part of the Florida Constitution in November 2018.

In 2019, Rich was recognized by the National Law Journal as having won two of the Nation’s 100 largest verdicts in 2018.

Rich is the President of the Central Florida Chapter of ABATE of Florida, Inc., a motorcycle safety and advocacy charity. Rich is also President of the American Council of Motorcycle Attorneys (ACMA), a national association of lawyers who represent motorcycle riders.

Rich is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Trial Lawyers Association, the International Order of Barristers, and the Summit Council. All of these groups are invitation-only organizations who limit membership to the most elite trial lawyers in the country.

Rich is a founding faculty member of Trial School, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which seeks to foster collaboration between lawyers on today’s best trial advocacy methods and to provide free education and practice for trial lawyers who exclusively represent people and families.

Bar Admissions

State of Florida, 1989

State of New Mexico, 2009

State of Texas, 2012

State of Oregon, 2015

U.S. Virgin Islands, 2022

U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1992

U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 1992

U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1992

U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1990

U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 1998


Trial Lawyer’s College, Graduate, Class of September 2016

University of Florida, Juris Doctor, 1989

Winner, National Prince Evidence Appellate Moot Court Competition, 1988

Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 1986 – Bachelor of Science, Economics, Political Science

Honors and Awards

Best Lawyers’ 2016 Orlando Personal Injury Litigation, Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year,” 2016

American Association for Justice’s Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award, 2015

The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2013 to Present

The Summit Council, 2012 to Present

US News “Best Law Firms”, 2011 to Present

Florida’s Legal Elite by Florida Trends Magazine, 2005 to Present

Best Lawyers in Orlando, Orlando Magazine, 2004 to Present

AV Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, 2004 to Present

The Best Lawyers in America, 2003 to Present

Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award, 2001

FL Lawyer’s Action Group, Chairman’s Outstanding Electoral Achievement Award, 1999

United States Department of Justice Special Achievement Award, 1991

Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Million Dollar Advocates

Avvo rating 10.0 out of 10.0

Professional Associations and Memberships

Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, Commissioner, 2017-2018

Florida Guardian Ad Litem Foundation, Board of Directors, 2017

Florida Justice Association (FJA), President, 2010-2011

Florida Justice Association (FJA), Executive Committee, 2005-2012

American Association for Justice (AAJ), Board of Governors, 2005-2015

5th District Court of Appeals Judicial Nominating Commission, Member and Chairman, 1999-2002

Central Florida Trial Lawyers Association (CFTLA), President, 2004

Orlando Federal Bar Association, President, 1990-1996

National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Diplomat

The National Crime Victim Bar Association, Member

ABATE of Florida, Inc., Member and Chapter President

ACMA, Member and President

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