• Group 4 General Info
  • Group 5 Bio
  • Shape Law

General Info

Email: rford@wickersmith.com
Direct: (407) 317-2170
Languages: English
Offices: Orlando, Tampa

Biography

Richards H. Ford is a Managing Partner in the firm’s Orlando office. In his 35+ year career, Mr. Ford has engaged in active civil trial practice, focusing on the defense of professional and corporate institutions. He has tried over 100 civil jury trials, including professional negligence, products liability, construction litigation, medical malpractice, automobile liability, transportation liability, general civil litigation and environmental cases.

Mr. Ford earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Florida in 1976 and a Juris Doctor from Boston University in 1979. An AV® Preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. Ford is also a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, certified with The National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist and as of 2012, a Board Certified Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate by the National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy. In addition, he actively lectures on trial advocacy techniques and various legal issues throughout the state.

Mr. Ford joined Wicker Smith in 1983 and except for a six month hiatus, has been with the firm ever since. In 1988, he was asked to open the Orlando office, which has since grown to become one of the largest of the firm’s twelve Florida locations. Among several honors, Mr. Ford has been named a “2017 Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers of America and a Florida Super Lawyers from 2006 to 2017. He has also been listed among Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” from 2004 to 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2015 as well as Best Lawyers in America 2012-2017. In 2006, he was appointed to the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, an exclusive legal organization that limits its membership to one-third of one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.

His professional and community involvement includes serving on the Orlando Health Foundation Board, the Central Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America Board, the Vestry of All Saint’s Episcopal Church, Trinity Preparatory School Board and Interlachen Country Club Board of Directors.

Legal certifications:

  • Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • Board Certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • Board Certified as a Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate by the National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy

Education

  • Boston University (J.D., 1979)
  • University of Florida (B.A., with honors, 1976)
  • Rijks Universiteit te Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands (1974-1975)

Admitted

  • 1979, Florida
  • 1981, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida including Trial Bar
  • 1989, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • 1994, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • 1996, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

Professional Affiliations

  • The Florida Bar – Health Law Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Board of Directors, 2004-2006
  • Central Florida Medical Malpractice Claims Council (President 1998 and 2011)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Florida Hospital Association
  • Florida Health Care Association
  • Transportation Lawyers Association
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, 2007
    Member, Amicus and Public Policy Committee, 2018
    Florida State Representative, Membership Development and Retention Committee State Representatives, 2018
  • USLAW NETWORK, Board of Directors, 2008-2012

Honors

  • “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers of America,  Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants (2017,2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Professional Malpractice (2012 – 2019)
  • Florida Super Lawyers (2006 – 2016)
  • Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite (2004 – 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2018)
  • Appointed to Fellows of the American Bar Foundation 2006
  • AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell

Speeches & Publications

  • Setting the Stage and Hired Guns and Summation, USLAW Fall Client Conference, Montreal, QB, CA (September 7, 2018)
  • Handling and Defending Sepsis-Related Claims, ASHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition, Seattle, WA (October 17, 2017)
  • Medical Malpractice – 10 Minute Drills, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar, Orlando, FL (May 20, 2016)
  • Defending the Negligent Credentialing Claim, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar, Orlando, FL (May 20, 2016)
  • Are We Afraid to Take Cases to Trial, USLAW Fall Client Conference, Boston, MA (September 18, 2015)
  • Beware the Reptile: No Longer a Rare Deposition Trend, Florida Healthcare Association Annual Conference & Trade Show, Orlando, FL (July 8, 2014)
  • Bad Baby – 10 Minute Drills, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar, Orlando, FL (June 13, 2014)
  • McCall: The Beginning of the End Of Non-Economic Caps On Damages, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar, Orlando, FL (June 13, 2014)
  • The Reptile Brain Canadian Chiropractic Protective Association Toronto, Ontario (June 7, 2014)
  • When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough-Decline of “Judgmental Immunity Defense”, DRI Professional Liability Seminar, New York, NY (December 13, 2013)
  • Bad Faith, Swiss Reinsurance Corporation, Overland Park, KS (October 2013)
  • Social Media and Smartphones, Axis Insurance, Kansas City, MO (October 2013)
  • The Reptile Brain, NCMIC, Kansas City, MO (September 27, 2013)
  • The Reptile Brain, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar, Orlando, FL (June 7, 2013)
  • Owe No! Beware of the Liability or Violating Consumer Protection Statutes When Collecting Fees from Former Client, USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, DC (October 6, 2012)
  • Status of No Injury Warranty Claims, USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, DC (October 5, 2012)
  • Is Anything Safe to Eat?: Defending Food Borne Illness Claims, FDCC, Whistler, British Columbia (August 2, 2012)
  • Handling the Difficult Patient, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 8, 2012)
  • The Social Network, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 8, 2012)
  • Social Networking Sites—Your Best “Friend” for Investigating and Defending Claims, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 10, 2011)
  • Developments in Law Governing Sexual Harassment in Florida, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 10, 2011)
  • Effective Use of Medical Records & Journey Through Government “Neverland”, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 11, 2010)
  • The Bad Faith Set-Up: A Booby-Trap for Insurance Carriers and Defense Counsel, USLAW Radio (November 17, 2009)
  • Lawyers Beware! Becoming Liable for Bad Faith Judgments, USLAW (September 25, 2009)
  • Medicare Reporting and Set Aside Accounts, MAG Mutual Insurance Company (August 5, 2009)
  • The Trouble with Sex, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (May 8, 2009)
  • Liability for Firearm Safety in an Environment of Changing Technology, USLAW (March 28, 2009)
  • Bad Faith Litigation in Florida, SwissRe Insurance America Corporation (October 9, 2008)
  • Punitive Damages, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 6, 2008)
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (June 6, 2008)
  • The Do’s and Dont’s of Representing Professional Malpractice Clients, USLAW (October 6, 2007) – Moderator
  • Hospital Litigation, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (July 27, 2007)
  • Florida Claims Handling Tips & Procedures, AIG/Lexington Insurance Company (January 30, 2007)
  • Medical Malpractice: Statutory Caps in Medical Malpractice Cases, Wicker Smith Claims Seminar (August 18, 2006)
  • Florida’s Medical Malpractice and Determining Non-Economic Damages and Related Topics, CNA HealthPro (May 23, 2006)
  • Florida’s Medical Malpractice and Determining Non-Economic Damages and Related Topics, Orlando Regional Healthcare System (March 9, 2006)
  • Florida’s Medical Malpractice and Determining Non-Economic Damages and Related Topics, First Professionals Insurance Company (FPIC) (March 9, 2006)
  • Florida’s Medical Malpractice and Determining Non-Economic Damages and Related Topics, The Medical Protective Company (February 20, 2006)
  • *Complete List Of Presentations Available Upon Request.
  • Authored: Who Pays for Crime? Defending the Property Owner in Negligent Security Claims, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel 2011 Winter Meeting (June 2011)
  • Co-Authored: Negligent Security in Government Subsidized Apartment Complexes, USLAW Magazine (Fall/Winter 2010)
  • Co-Authored: Radiologists Defense in Failure to Communicate Cases, For the Defense Magazine (November 2007)
  • Co-Authored: Preparing for, Taking and Defending the Expert Deposition, Defense Research Institute Trial Manual (September 2006)
  • Co-Authored: Preparing Your Experts for Deposition, Florida Defense Lawyers Association Defense Manual (August 2006)
  • Co-Authored: Chapter 7 – Pain and Suffering in Pediatric Neurology, Medical-Legal Aspects of Pain and Suffering, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co., Inc. (2003)
  • Co-Authored: On the Defense—Preparing to Defend Yourself in Court, Chiropractic Business Journal (September 1999)