Richard S. Jaffe is the Senior Partner of the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Richard Jaffe and Associates, P.C. The firm concentrates in the area of criminal defense and personal injury, with Mr. Jaffe specializing in the areas of white collar criminal defense and criminal litigation in the federal and state courts. He has been certified as a Criminal Trial Specialist by The National Board of Trial Advocates (NBTA) since 1984. He is past president of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the founder of the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association.
Best lawyers of America named Mr. Jaffe “Lawyer of the Year” in non-white-collar criminal defense in Birmingham for 2010 and “Lawyer of the year” in white-collar criminal defense for Birmingham for 2013. In 2012, Super Lawyers listed him among the top 50 lawyers in Alabama. Mr. Jaffe is a sought after speaker to organizations and trains lawyers on trial strategies and communication skills throughout the United Sates. He is serving his 3rd term as a Board Director for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). He is the author of Quest for Justice; Defending the Damned.
Mr. Jaffe has handled over sixty capital cases, including 5 federal death penalty cases. Only one of his clients has ever received the death penalty and only a small number are serving life sentences. His acquittal rate is among the highest in the country. He is the only attorney in the nation who has successfully defended three death row inmates at new trials after they had previously been sentenced to death. He and his firm have participated in numerous other acquittals of individuals facing serious punishment, both at trial and on appeal. In addition, Mr. Jaffe has successfully represented many individuals and corporations facing significant sentences for violations of Federal Criminal Offenses.
Mr. Jaffe began his career as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama, then served as a Deputy District Attorney, before entering the private practice of law in 1978.
Mr. Jaffe has been board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trial Specialist since January 31, 1984. (Copyright 2006 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.). He is currently listed in both Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Jaffe has served on the board of directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers for over 6 years. He is licensed to practice law in New York, Georgia, D.C. and Alabama. He is a sought after speaker at litigation conferences throughout the United States.
In 1994, the Alabama Bar Association awarded him the prestigious Clarence Darrow Award for the contributions he has made in defending indigent people charged with criminal offenses. The Roderick Beddow Award, the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer Association’s most prestigious award for service in the criminal defense field, was presented to Mr. Jaffe in the summer of 2002. It is awarded “in recognition of a lifetime achievement in the practice of criminal law.”
Mr. Jaffe served as president of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, and is a founder and past-president of the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. He taught “Evidence” at the minority Miles Law School in Birmingham, Alabama for eight years.
Mr. Jaffe has published many articles and papers in connection with the training of attorneys. His February 2001 article in the Champion magazine was repeatedly cited in the Cornell Law Journal in a definitive study on jury selection in capital cases. It has been reprinted by several organizations that train trial lawyers.
Mr. Jaffe is frequently called upon to comment on death penalty issues and other areas of criminal law by television, radio and print media. He has been the subject of numerous stories reporting his successes in the death penalty area. One recent television story led with the byline, “Birmingham’s Matlock.”