Roy Black is a founding partner of the firm and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier trial and appellate lawyers. Roy is a veteran advocate, formidable litigator, and proven trial counselor. Roy’s analytical abilities, intellectual acumen, artistry in telling each client’s unique story, undeniable thirst for continuous learning, and absolute commitment to sharpening his skills have cemented his reputation as one of the most diligent, hard-working, and effective criminal defense and civil litigation lawyers practicing today. With over five decades of experience representing some of the most well-known individuals and companies throughout the United States, Roy has resolved hundreds of high-profile matters in Florida and across the country.
Roy has mounted veritable defenses for charges ranging from murder to securities to bank, healthcare, and mail/wire fraud, as well as money laundering, internet sex crimes, and tax evasion. He is best known for his successful defense of William Kennedy Smith on rape charges in Palm Beach, Florida. Roy also successfully defended Eller Media (now known as Clear Channel Outdoor) against manslaughter charges stemming from the bus-bench electrocution of a 12-year-old boy in Miami.
In addition, Roy defended Albertsons, Inc. when the State of Florida charged the Fortune 500 company with manslaughter in the death of a shoplifter. Moreover, he successfully defended New York artist Peter Max on income tax evasion and three-time Indy 500 winner and Dancing with the Stars champion, Helio Castroneves, in a 6-week tax trial where he was charged with income tax evasion. A selection of Roy’s other noteworthy clients includes Rush Limbaugh, Kelsey Grammer, South Florida police officers Luis Alvarez and William Lozano, and banker Fred De la Mata.
Recently, Roy represented the online news publication BuzzFeed and defeated a defamation lawsuit by a Russian entrepreneur and his tech company who were mentioned in a report by a former British spy about links between Russia and Donald Trump. Roy helped convince a federal judge in Florida that BuzzFeed’s publication of the Christopher Steele dossier was protected as accurate reporting on an official proceeding. Roy has also been involved in various other high-stakes civil litigation cases, such as defending Rolls Royce against contract claims by various cruise lines. He also represented the chairman of one of the most famous entertainment companies in a series of lawsuits over allegations that a Canadian businessman tried to secretly harvest his DNA.
Since 1987, Roy has been included every year among The Best Lawyers in America®. Chambers USA describes Roy as a top litigator with “the best national reputation in the State (of Florida)” and “famous for being good and actually practice(s) at that standard.” In fact, Chambers also said that Roy is “(s)o good, he is scary good,” is “uniquely gifted in front of juries,” and that “no one is as well prepared or has the presence in court of Roy Black.”
Featured on the cover of and in many national legal and business publications, Roy served as NBC’s legal analyst on “The Today Show” and has frequently appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and several other network and cable news programs. He is the author of Black’s Law, a book that recounts the strategies he employed to safeguard the freedom of four clients.
Nicknamed “the professor” for his erudition and dedication to education, one of Roy’s great professional joys, outside of the courtroom, is teaching advanced criminal evidence at the University of Miami School of Law, a position he has held since 1973. Roy derives a deep sense of personal satisfaction. He feels honored to have the opportunity to teach and train decades of UM law students and assist them in becoming successful trial lawyers.
- Acquittal of William Kennedy Smith on rape charges in Palm Beach, Florida
- Dropped charges of doctor shopping obtained for Rush Limbaugh Acquittal of Eller Media on manslaughter charges stemming from the bus-bench electrocution of a 12-year-old boy in Miami
- Dismissal of a matter involving Albertson’s, Inc., when the State of Florida charged the Fortune 500 Company with manslaughter in the death of a shoplifter
- Represented artist Peter Max in New York on income tax evasion charges
- Acquittal of South Florida police officers Luis Alvarez and William Lozano, who were accused of manslaughter in separate shootings
- Acquittal of a Miami jewelry supplier and his sales manager on charges of laundering more than $8 million in cocaine profits for Colombian drug lords
- Acquittal of a Miami attorney charged in an internet sex case
- Acquittal of 3-time Indy race car and Dancing with the Stars champion Helio Castroneves charged with income tax evasion
- The lead trial attorney defending one of the largest charged financial crimes involving derivatives in the Southern District of New York to date, this Senior Executive and Vice President of the once leading residential mortgage lender in Puerto Rico, received a 4-year sentence following the government aggressively seeking a 27-34 year sentence.
- Represented the father of an infant child who was under threat of imminent arrest and the removal of his infant son and young daughter to DCF custody. The client, the father of a nine-month-old who sustained a severe brain injury, appeared in our office for urgent help. The father said the injury occurred when the child fell backward off his parents’ bed and onto a hardwood floor. Police detectives and treating physicians did not believe our client’s explanation and pressed the State Attorney for an arrest and charges. Given only two weeks by the prosecutor to convince her that charges should not be filed, attorneys Roy Black and Mark Shapiro tapped every available resource, pulling together the country’s leading engineering and medical experts on “shortfall” injuries. Meeting the two-week deadline, the prosecutor was presented with detailed written opinions from our consultants and a full PowerPoint presentation given by one of the medical experts. No charges were filed.
- Working alongside partners Scott Kornspan, Maria Neyra and Mark Shapiro, in addition to outside co-counsel, successfully defended one of the world’s largest corporations and employers in an investigation conducted by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office. Approximately five months after the investigation began, the State of Florida declined to prosecute.
- Obtained probation at sentencing for Mary Estelle Currant which resulted in possibly the shortest term of federal probation ever imposed. Ms. Curran is an elderly widow charged in one of the largest offshore bank account tax cases for failing to pay taxes and disclose $43 million held in accounts at UBS and LGT in Switzerland. At sentencing in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Ms. Curran was sentenced to probation, which was immediately terminated, resulting in five seconds of federal probation.
- Working with partner Maria Neyra, conducted an internal investigation of a vending machine company entangled in a nationwide multi-agency operation against business opportunities. Presented findings to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Branch Division, which resulted in a resolution of the case for the successor company and the non-prosecution of our client.
- Represented a prominent South Florida gastroenterologist charged with fraudulently underpaying more than five million dollars in federal income taxes over a five-year period. Roy was integral in negotiating a global plea agreement binding on the U.S. government and the IRS that resulted in the dismissal of all but one of the charges. Additionally, the agreement explicitly included the understanding that the client’s underlying conduct in no way involved or implicated the practice of medicine. This agreement component was critical to preserving the client’s medical license and his ability to continue practicing medicine. More importantly, however, preserving the client’s medical license ensured his ability to continue providing first-class medical care to the many “medically underserved” communities he served for over a decade. At sentencing, Roy’s presentation included a 177-page sentencing memorandum and a 13-minute DVD consisting of interviews of patients, colleagues, friends, and community leaders highlighting the client’s tremendous community service efforts. Ultimately, Roy successfully convinced the District Court to impose a sentence well below the punishment recommended by the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and actively sought by the government.
- Together with Jackie Perczek, represented the CEO of one of the largest affordable housing developers in the nation in connection with a grand jury investigation and prosecution relating to the procurement of millions of dollars in tax credits to develop low-income housing under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Following a two-day sentencing hearing, Roy and Jackie were able to convince the Court to sentence well below the guideline range. They also reached an agreement with the government that mitigated the client’s financial responsibilities to the government.
- Roy represented the CEO of a publicly-traded specialty finance company in connection to one of the most significant federal grand jury investigations in the history of the investigating district. The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined prosecution, and the ensuing civil and SEC matters settled.
- Roy obtained an acquittal of the only defendant to go to trial in what became known as the “Varsity Blues” Georgetown college admission scandal. There were two defendants who went to trial and were convicted, and 54 other defendants who plead guilty.
Roy served as a public defender in Miami-Dade County before entering private practice. During his five years as a public defender, he represented hundreds of indigent defendants in felony and capital cases.
- Florida, 1970
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1976
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1984
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1984
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1984
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2003
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1981
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2007
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2008
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1975
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2010
Awards and Recognition
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell since 1980
- Best Lawyers, 1987-2021
- “Best Lawyers,” Best Lawyers, Miami: White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2006-2021; Commercial Litigation, 2016-2021; Criminal Defense: General Practice, 2006-2021; Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense, 1987-2017; Appellate Practice, 2018-2021
- Best Lawyers Business Edition, Criminal Defense: General Practice, 2016
- “Lawyer of the Year” Best Lawyers, Miami Criminal Defense: General Practice, 2010, 2015; Miami Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2012
- Florida Super Lawyer
- “The Top 10,” Florida Super Lawyers, 2006, 2009-2010, 2013 (Ranked #2), 2014 (Ranked #2), 2015 (Ranked #3), 2016 (Ranked #3), 2017,2020
- “Top 100 Miami Super Lawyers,” Florida Super Lawyers, 2010-2021
- “The Top 100,” Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2021
- “Top 50 Orlando Super Lawyers,” Florida Super Lawyers, 2007
- Selected for Super Lawyer Advisory Board, 2010
- Featured on the Cover of 2007 Florida Super Lawyers
- “Top Lawyers,” South Florida Legal Guide, 2001-2019
- Florida Trend
- “Florida Legal Elite Hall of Fame,” Florida Trend, 2009-2020
- “Florida Legal Elite,” Criminal Law, 2004-2021; Civil Trial, 2020, Florida Trend
- Chambers and Partners
- Notable Practitioner (Senior Statespeople) – Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations:
- Florida, 2022. “Roy Black offers impressive experience in a wide range of criminal cases, including those relating to allegations of fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.
‘Roy Black is in a class of his own.'”
- Florida, 2019. “He is one of the most lauded defense attorneys in the state and has a stellar reputation and an unrivaled record of success.”
- Florida, 2021. “He is one of the major figures in the market.”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2018. “Black offers ‘a really outstanding legal practice,’ and . . . ‘nobody works harder, no one puts more effort in.'”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2017. “Roy Black is . . . ‘the king of white-collar defense in Miami.'”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2016. “Roy Black stands out to peers as someone who has ‘gotten amazing results over his career . . .'” and “with one source describing him as ‘one of the best cross-examiners I have ever seen!'”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2015. “The ‘wonderful’ Roy Black is an ‘outstanding criminal defense attorney,’ . . . [and is] particularly highly regarded for the caliber of his white-collar criminal defense practice . . . .”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2014. “[H]is reputation is well deserved . . . a class act, a quick study and always a gentleman.”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2013. “[O]ne of the best lawyers down here, hands down.”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2012. He is “the ‘go-to guy if you need to try a case and you need to win.'”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2011. “He is the guy you want sitting next to you if you go to court.”
- Key Individual, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Star Individual), 2010. “There’s no denying he’s a winner!”
- Ranked as Star Individual in Chambers and Partners Legal Guide, Florida Litigation: General Commercial, 2012
- Highest ranked in Chambers and Partners Legal Guide, Florida Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2004-2011
- Finalist (short-listed), Chambers USA Awards for Excellence, Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations (individuals), 2008, 2010
- Key Individual – Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, 2005-2009.
- List of Top Lawyers, Palm Beach Media Group’s Aventura Magazine, 2021
- Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence, 2005-2020
- “Legal Legend,” Attorney at Law Magazine, 2019
- “The Round Table: America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers,” The Trial Lawyer Magazine, 2017-2018
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, 2007-2012; State Executive Committee Member, 2018
- Voted as Legal Luminary (Top White Collar Attorney), Dade County Bar Association, 2017
- The Daniel S. Pearson – Harry W. Prebish Founders Award (given in recognition of a lifetime commitment to preserving the constitutional rights of all citizens), Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Miami Chapter, 2017
- Who’s Who Legal – Compendium Edition, 2017
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Daily Business Review, 2015
- “The Round Table: America’s 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers,” The Trial Lawyer Magazine, 2012-2015
- Nation’s Top One Percent, National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Founding Member, 2015
- Nation’s Top Attorneys, National Association of Distinguished Counsel, Founding Member, 2014
- Person of the Year, Daily Business Review, 2014
- Iron Arrow Honor Society® (The Highest Honor Attained at the University of Miami)
- Minette Massey Award (presented to distinguished alumni for bringing honor and recognition to the University of Miami School of Law for a lifetime of outstanding personal or professional achievement), University of Miami School of Law, 2014
- “Top 100 Litigation Lawyers in the State of Florida,” The American Society of Legal Advocates, 2014
- “Leading Lawyer 500,”Intercontinental Finance Magazine, 2013
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, 2010-2012
- Marquis Who’s Who in the World, 2011
- “Best of the Bar,” South Florida Business Journal, 2003-2010
- “Legal IMPACT Leader,” South Florida Business Leader, 2010
- “South Florida Power Player,” South Florida Business Leader, 2010
- “Most Effective Lawyers: Criminal Justice,” Daily Business Review, 2009
- “Most Effective Lawyers: Criminal Defense,” Daily Business Review, 2005
- William R. Butler Community Service Award, University of Miami, 2005
- Criminal Justice Award, Dade County Bar Association, 1991
- Nelson Poynter Award (for voluntary representation of prisoners on Florida’s death row), 1982
- Achieved the highest score on the Florida Bar Exam in 1970
AV® Preeminent™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Life Member)
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- American College of Trial Lawyers (Fellow)
- The National Trial Lawyers (Executive Committee)
- American Bar Association
- Miami-Dade County Bar Association
- Eugene Spellman Inns of Court
Interviews & Published Articles
Cross: Roy Black, The Lawyer You Hope To Be, Mimesis Law, June 29, 2016
Roy Black – Educate from Within, Attorney at Law Magazine, February 22, 2019