• Jaffe, Hanle, Whisonant, Knight, P.C
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  • Criminal Defense Attorney Birmingham
  • Aggressive Alabama Attorney

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Aggressive • Criminal • Defense

Richard S. Jaffe

Richard S Jaffe
Senior Partner
Birmingham, Alabama

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.. 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.).
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.

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 2014 Super Lawyers listed him among the top 10 Super Lawyers in Alabama. Mr. Jaffe is a sought after speaker to legal organizations and trains lawyers on trial strategies and communication skills throughout the United Sates. In 2015 Best Lawyers of America lists him in both white-collar and non-white collar criminal defense. He is serving his 4th term as a Board Director for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). 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 none have been executed. 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. From 2002 until 2008 Mr. Jaffe served as co-counsel as the personal lawyer of Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid.

Mr. Jaffe is licensed to practice law in New York, Georgia, D.C. and Alabama. 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. In 2002 The Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (ACDLA) presented Mr. Jaffe The Roderick Beddow Award, it’s most prestigious award field- "in recognition of a lifetime achievement in the practice of criminal law." Mr. Jaffe is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL).

He taught "Evidence" at the minority Miles Law School in Birmingham, Alabama for eight years. He 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. 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. He is the author of “Quest for Justice; Defending the Damned.”

Click her to view Mr. Jaffe's in the news videos.

Areas of Practice
Criminal Defense
Federal Litigation
Personal Injury
White Collar Crime

Litigation Percentage
90% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions
Alabama, 1976
New York, 1982
District of Columbia, 1983
Georgia, 1984

The University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, Alabama - 1976
Honors: Honors Finalist Moot Court Competition
Honors: National Moot Court Team

Published Works
Quest For Justice; Defending the Damned, www.questforjusticethebook.com, 2009
Defending DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases , Inside the Minds; “Proven Strategies for Complex DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases” Chapter Written by Richard Jaffe, Aspatore, 2011
The Colorado Method of Jury Selection, NACDL, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2009
Opening Statements, Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers, Pensacola Florida, 2009
Winning Trial Themes from Voire Dire Through Jury Instructions, Arkansas Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2009
Jury Selection in Death Penalty Cases, Making the Case for Life, NACDL and Southern Center for Human Rights, 2008
Brainstorming and Coordinating the Themes and Theories for Life, Capital Defense - The Punishment Phase, The Center for American and International Law, Piano, Texas, 2007
Using Experts - Sinking or Swimming, NACDL, Key West, Florida, 2007
Twelve Principals of Capital Litigation, Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2007
Ten Principals for Individual or Small Group Panel Individualized Voir Dire on Death Penalty, Capital Defense Training, Center for American and International Law, Piano, Texas, 2006
Attacking the State's Aggravation Case: Cross Examining The State's Aggravation Witnesses, Clarence Darrow Death Penalty College, De Paul University College of Law, 2006
Obtaining The Necessary Funds to Save a Life - Primer, The Brian R. Shechmeister Death Penalty College, Santa Clara University School of Law, 2006
Power Themes to Winning, Tennessee Trial College, 2006
Themes of Life - Helping The Jury Choose Life by Telling the Clients Story, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), 2004
The Insanity Defense and Diminished Capacity, The Champion (NACDL) 1986, The Champion, Trial Magazine (AAJ), 1995
Ten Principles for Individual Voir Dire in Death Penalty Cases, The Champion, NACDL, 2001

Representative Cases
Former Lead Counsel, USA v. Eric Rudolph
USA v. Price
USA v. Kelley
USA v. Holley
State of Alabama v. Drinkard
State of Alabama v. Padgett
State of Alabama v. Cochran
State of Alabama v. Ford
State of Alabama v. Gratton

"No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers."

Speaking Engagements
Richard Jaffe will be speaking at a Leadership Birmingham event Thursday January 12th, 2017 at 1:45pm - 2:45pm. Click here to view the full event schedule.