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Our Office

  • Fort Lauderdale Office

    Address

    101 N.E. Third Avenue
    Ground Suite 110
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

Proactive and aggressive. Mr. Merlino is a former State Prosecutor with over 25 years of experience. He served between 1993 – 1997 in the Broward County State Attorney’s Office where he worked initially as a Supervisor in the County Court Division and later as a Felony Trial Unit Prosecutor. Richard has tried over 200 jury trials as a Prosecutor and Defense Attorney, ranging from DUI to Murder. After leaving the State Attorney’s Office, Richard handled a variety of Federal Appeals as a partner with Lieberman, Gutierrez & Merlino, P.A. in Miami, Florida. Richard then joined forces with Jeffrey M. Voluck, a career criminal defense attorney who hails from the Philadelphia area, to form Voluck & Merlino, P.L., a firm focused on criminal trial and appellate work in State and Federal Courts with offices in Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia. Richard has been selected to be a Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Attorney; representing law enforcement in Police Involved shootings and with regard to charges of malfeasance. Richard is also Florida Death Penalty qualified.

Richard was appointed by a joint committee of Federal judges, Federal Public Defenders, and private attorneys to the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel for the Southern District of Florida. A handful of attorneys are selected to the CJA Panel regionally and are carefully screened in order to ensure that the attorney possesses the professionalism and experience necessary to handle complex Federal matters. The CJA Panelists are called upon and appointed by Federal Judges to handle any/all Federal criminal cases where a conflict exists with the Federal Public Defender’s Office.

Areas of Practice

  • All Federal and State Courts
  • Probation/Parole Violations/ Warrants & Bond
  • Major Felonies
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Money Laundering
  • Firearm Charges
  • Drug Offenses
  • Sex Crimes
  • Homicides/Death Penalty Qualified
  • Grand Jury Matters
  • Asset Forfeitures
  • Trafficking
  • Appeals
  • RICO
  • Seal/ Expunge Records
  • Reinstate Civil Rights/ Clemency

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Florida Bar
  • Police Benevolent Association (PBA) Attorney
  • United States District Court Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court Southern District of Florida
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Former Chairman of Florida Bar Grievance Committee, 11th Circuit
  • Broward County Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • United States District of Colorado
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Education

  • NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Fort Lauderdale, Florida Juris Doctor (January 1993)
  • Florida Bar (May 1993)
  • Activities and Honors: Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity Intramural and Interscholastic Trial Competitions’ Coordinator Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, Miami, Florida, Bachelor of Arts, English Literature (May 1990) with Honors, Minor, Business Administration
  • Activities and Honors: National Dean’s List and English Literature Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

Press

Recent Trials

  • State of Florida vs. L.M. Case #: 11-018248-MM-10-A Charges I. Disobeying Lawful Order/Direction of Law Enforcement Officer; II. Driving Under the Influence. October 15, 2014 International Hedge Fund Operator stopped by police after allegedly driving through crime scene on a roadway by driving through yellow crime scene tape and past illuminated marked units at roadblock was acquitted by a jury on all charges including the DUI. Result: NOT GUILTY VERDICT, ALL COUNTS
  • State of Florida v Patrick Powers Case # 85-000645 Charges Count I. Grand Theft 3rd Degree Count II, Forgery, 3rd Degree March 19, 2014. The Florida State Clemency Board, consisting of the Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General, Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner at Agriculture, Adam Putman, voted to grant a four-time convicted felon a FULL PARDON, restoring his civil rights in full, despite the Florida Department of Parole’s report objecting to same. Result: Full Pardon
  • State of Florida Vs. Kyle Brooks Case #: 13-005425-CF-10-A Charges: Possession of Ecstasy and Drug Paraphernalia- April 17, 2014 Officers located a felony amount of Marijuana and MDMA in Defendant’s cooler. Upon Defendant’s Motion to Suppress before trial challenging the basis of the search, the Court granted the Motion finding that the officer violated Kyle’s 4th Amendment right against unlawful searches and seizures and suppressed all drugs seized by law enforcement. Result: State Dismissed All Charges
  • US v. Osvaldo Cuello Case #: 86-511-cr-Ryskamp Charges: A Miami police officer found guilty of racketeering and drug charges. Main Defendant in “Miami RiverCops Case.” Represented in Federal Parole Termination Hearing. Parole was Terminated. Mr. Coello is now a free man. Result: Parole Termination 11/22/2013
  • State of Florida v. Gabriel Perez Case No: 11-006451MM10A Broward County Court; Judge John Fry (February 2, 2012) CT 1: DUI VERDICT: NOT GUILTY & CITATIONS DISMISSED BY COURT Major Airline carrier executive arrested for DUI Acquitted by a jury after state’s theory of impairment was successfully challenged, client was facing termination after 33 years with the airline and risked loss of his accrued benefits if he was convicted.
  • State of Florida v. D.S., ET.AL. Case No: F10-020301E Miami-Dade County Circuit Court; Trial Judge Darrin Gayles (March 28, 2011 – April 4, 2011) CT 1: GRAND THEFT, FIRST DEGREE VERDICT: GUILTY OF LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE: GRAND THEFT, THIRD DEGREE (STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS VIOLATION MOTION PENDING) Defendant was charged in a multi-count, multi-defendant mortgage fraud case involving multiple defendants. Client was alleged to be a straw buyer of a luxury condo unit in a high rise on Miami Beach. Client was acquitted of Grand Theft, 1st degree, and found guilty of a lesser included offense.
  • State of Florida v. Charles V. Kertesz Case No: 2010MM002200AXXX Palm Beach County Court; Trial Judge Barry Cohen (March 5, 2011 – March 6, 2011) CT 1: STALKING VERDICT: HUNG JURY/MISTRIAL Defendant was charged with stalking a Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office detective’s wife. The trial resulted in a mistrial-hung jury.
  • State of Florida v. Christina Rodriguez, Case No: 09-005482MM-10-A Broward County Circuit Court, Ginger Lerner-Wren CT I:DUI (October 5, 2010) VERDICT: NOT GUILTY Christina is a registered nurse, and due to an arrest for DUI, she may have lost her nursing license if convicted. The Broward Sheriff’s Office DUI Task Force deputy’s testimony and video of the DUI investigation was successfully challenged and Ms. Rodriguez was acquitted.
  • United States of America v. Neville Neil Thompson; Case No: 1:10-CR-20080-WMH U.S. Southern District of Florida; Senior Judge William M. Hoeveler (May 24 – 27, 2010) CT I: 21 U.S.C. § 963-Consp. to Import Controlled Substance CT II: 21 U.S.C. § 841-Poss. w/intent to Dist. Controlled Subst. VERDICT: JURY ACQUITTED HIM OF ARMED TRAFFICKING, AND FOUND HIM GUILTY OF LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES. Mr. Thompson was charged with Armed Trafficking over 50 kilos of Marijuana, together with a 924 (c) (Firearm) count, after a go-fast boat was boarded off the coast of Florida en route from the Bahamas. Mr. Thompson allegedly was to accept delivery of the drugs and was armed. He was acquitted of armed trafficking.
  • State of Florida v. Hasco Logan, Case No: 2008-011890-CF10A Broward County Circuit Court, Judge I. Holmes (March 30 – April 5, 2010) CT I: CT II: RESIST/ARREST W/VIOLENCE; BATTERY ON POLICE; DISORDERLY CONDUCT VERDICT: NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS A Broward jury acquitted Mr. Logan after he allegedly spit, kicked, and severely bit the cheek of a Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective during a struggle at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.
  • State of Florida v. Eugenio Spitalieri, Case No: 2008-CF-001500 Lake County Circuit Court, Judge G. Richard Singletary (November 16 – 20, 2009) CT I: CT II: MURDER VERDICT: GUILTY OF LESSER OFFENSES Mr. Spitalieri was charged with two counts of murder after shooting two individuals in the back after they attempted to steal his money and drugs. Mr. Spitalieri was found not guilty of both counts of murder, but was found guilty of lesser included offenses.
  • State of Florida v. Everett Leon, Case No: 07-020777-CF-10A Broward County Circuit Court, Judge Michael Gates (March 30, 2009 – April 1, 2009) CT I: MURDER VERDICT: NOT GUILTY Mr. Leon was charged with murder after firing a .357 Magnum and striking a front passenger in a vehicle traveling parallel to his vehicle in the head. Upon asserting self-defense, whereby Mr. Leon was challenged to a fight by four occupants of the other vehicle, chased, and threatened with various deadly weapons, he was acquitted by a jury.
  • State of Florida v. Abdelaziz Hamze, Case No: 07-10490-CF-10A Broward County Circuit Court, Judge Andrew Siegel CT I: MURDER (March 9 – 23, 2009) VERDICT: NOT GUILTY Mr. Hamze was charged with striking an individual while driving a vehicle and dragging her two and a half miles to her death. The jury acquitted Mr. Hamze of murder, but found him guilty of lesser crimes.
  • State of Florida v. Jeffrey Frye, Case No: 2600-CF-00322-A-P Monroe County Circuit Court, Judge Luis Garcia CT I: CT II: CAPITAL SEXUAL BATTERY (January 20 – 27, 2009) VERDICT: NOT GUILTY ALL COUNTS Grandfather charged with rape of a child in his care over a long period of time. A variety of issues challenging the veracity of the allegations were challenged successfully.
  • State of Florida v. Volney Mondelus, Case No: 07-002031-CF-10A Broward County Circuit Court, Judge Jeffrey Levenson CT I: MURDER; CT II: ATT. MURDER (October 22 – 27, 2007) VERDICT: NOT GUILTY ALL COUNTS Mr. Mondelus was identified by two state witnesses as allegedly being the triggerman sitting in the rear of a vehicle during a drive-by shooting. The credibility of the State’s two material witnesses was challenged and an alibi defense was presented successfully.