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Richard C. McCrea, Jr. ("Rich") focuses on jury trials related to employment, civil rights, and trade secret and other restrictive covenant litigation. Board Certified in both Labor & Employment and Civil Trial, Rich has been repeatedly recognized as a premier litigator by various independent legal ranking services. Key clients include Checkers and Rally’s, University of South Florida, University of Florida, and Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.


  • Labor & employment litigation
  • Trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation
  • Civil rights litigation



  • Mitchem-Green v. MHM Health Professionals, Inc., (N. Fla. 2020), Case No. 3:20-cv-00054. Representation of a health care company in a suit alleging violation of Florida Private Whistleblower Act, §§448.101-102, Fla. Stat., and 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq and race discrimination in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Summary judgement in favor of MHMHP was granted on all counts. Plaintiff appealed the lower court’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the panel affirmed summary judgement in favor of our client.
  • McCarter v. MHM Health Professionals, Inc., (N. 2018), Case No. 5:18-cv-157, Representation of a health care company in a suit alleging retaliation in violation of Florida Private Whistleblower Act, §§448.101-105, Fla. Stat., and 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq and race discrimination in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Summary judgment in favor of MHMHP was granted on all counts.
  • Obtained defense jury verdict, in a rare state court class action, on behalf of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, in a matter filed by a detention deputy representing approximately 1,000 detention deputies seeking unpaid wages for meal breaks and roll call periods which could have resulted in up to $40 million in damages Morgan v. Gualtieri (July 2013).
  • Obtained defense jury verdict in a federal race discrimination trial in Arizona. Branscomb v. Group USA (January 2013).
  • Obtained summary judgment for employer in ADA lawsuit. Pinder v. ExpressCare of Bellview, LLC (July 2014).
  • Obtained summary judgment for employer in FMLA case, which was upheld after appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. Pivac v. Component Services & Logistics, Inc. (July 2014).
  • Defended University and law school dean in discrimination and retaliation case brought by former law professor. After dismissal of plaintiff's claims, obtained judgment of $624,351 against plaintiff and sanctions award of $23,427 against plaintiff's counsel. Russell-Brown v. University of Florida (September 2014).
  • Obtained summary judgment for employer in federal court on a Title VII case where plaintiff alleged constructive discharge, race discrimination, retaliation, and violations of the Equal Pay Act. Later prevailed in the related state court action when the state court trial judge ruled that plaintiff's claims were precluded by the federal court ruling. Lawrence v. USF Federal Credit Union (August 2013).
  • Defended lawsuit filed by former University of South Florida football coach, Jim Leavitt, for breach of his employment agreement. Leavitt was terminated on January 8, 2010 after an investigation by the University determined that he had struck a student-athlete, lied to investigators, and interfered with the University's investigation. Leavitt contended that he was terminated without cause and sought more than $7.1 million in damages. (See St. Petersburg Times, June 9, 2010; Tampa Tribune, May 5, 2010, June 10, 2010, September 22, 2010).
  • Represented a professional sports franchise in a four-day arbitration against its head coach in an action seeking $2.2 million in contract damages.
  • Tussing et al. v. Quality Resources, Inc., et al., No. 8:09-cv-1833, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110190 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 25, 2009) Obtained ruling denying collective action certification in a Fair Labor Standards Act case involving over 500 potential plaintiffs.
  • Tech Data Corporation v. Jeffrey English et , (6th Cir. 2021), Case No. 21-CA-003700, Represented five D & H Distributing executives in an action calling for injunctive relief to enforce Restrictive Covenants, Misappropriation of Trade Secrets, Tortious Interference with Contractual Business Relationships, Violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Aiding and Abetting Breach of Employment Agreements. The parties engaged in extensive discovery and eventually participated in mediation which resolved the matter.
  • Financial Information Technologies, LLC v. iControl Systems USA, LLC, (M.D.Fla. 2017), Case No. 8:17-cv-190-T-23SPF, Represented Financial Information Technologies in a six-day jury trial alleging claims of trade secret misappropriation. The jury awarded our client $5.7 million in damages. Plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the panel upheld the jury's finding that iControl misappropriated trade secrets.
  • Southeastern Mechanical Services Inc. v. Brody, No. 8:08-CV-1151, 2009 WL 2883057 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 31, 2009)  Served as co-counsel in this federal action filed against four individual defendants and two corporate defendants, claiming, among other things, misappropriation of trade secrets. Following a two-day evidentiary hearing, obtained a preliminary injunction against the defendants. The Court imposed spoliation sanctions for destruction of e-mails, calendar entries, and text messages that were stored on portable electronic devices. (See The National Law Journal, December 17, 2009).
  • McCullough v. Antolini et al., 559 F.3d 1201 (11th Cir. 2009) Defended Pinellas County Sheriff and two deputy sheriffs against claims brought by a motorist who died of multiple gunshot wounds after a traffic stop. Obtained reversal by Eleventh Circuit of trial court's denial of summary judgment on excessive force claims, resulting in dismissal of all claims against all defendants.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America
    • Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management; Litigation - Labor and Employment, 1995-2024
    • Trade Secrets Law, 2018-2024
    • Commercial Litigation, 2022-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Litigation - Labor and Employment, Tampa, 2011, 2013-2014, and 2019
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Labor Law - Management, Tampa 2013-2014, and 2018
  • Listed, Chambers USA Guide, 2000-2023
    • "Star Individual," 2010-2023
  • Listed, The Legal 500 United States, 2013-2015 and 2018-2021
    • Labor and Employment - Labor and Employment Disputes (Including Collective Actions): Defense, 2020-2021 
    • Litigation - Trade secrets, 2013-2015 and 2018-2019, 2021
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Florida Super Lawyers, 2006-2023
    • "Top 100 Lawyers in Florida," 2006-2015
    • "Top 50 Lawyers in Tampa," 2014-2016
  • Listed, Florida Trend magazine – Employment Law, 2004-2013, 2015-2022
    • "Hall of Fame," 2013, 2015-2022
    • "Legal Elite," 2004-2012
  • Listed, Chambers Global, Labor & Employment (USA), 2014-2023
  • Listed, Lawdragon 500
    • Leading Litigators in America, 2022-2023
    • Leading U.S. Corporate Employment Lawyers, 2020-2022
  • Listed, Benchmark Litigation, "Labor & Employment Star," 2021-2024
  • Listed, Who’s Who Legal: Labour, Employment & Benefits, "Labour & Employment," 2016 and 2023
  • Listed, Thomson-Reuters, "Stand-Out Lawyers," 2022
  • Listed, Acritas Stars™ Independently Rated Lawyers, "Star Lawyers," 2020-2021
  • Team Member, The American Lawyer, "Florida Regional Litigation Department of the Year," 2019
  • Listed, The International Who's Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers, 2009-2014
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Employment Practice Group of the Year," 2011 & 2013
  • Listed, Lawdragon 3000 "Leading Lawyers in America," 2010
  • Inducted, Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, 2004
  • Board Certified Labor and Employment Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, 2001
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, 2000
  • Board Certified as Civil Trial Advocate, The Florida Bar
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Past Chair, The Florida Bar, Board of Legal Specialization and Education
  • Past Chair, The Florida Bar, Labor & Employment Section
  • Past Chair, The Florida Bar, Labor & Employment Law Certification Committee
  • Past Vice Chair, Miles for Moffitt Board of Directors 


  • J.D., Rutgers School of Law - Newark, 1982
  • B.A., Rutgers College - New Brunswick, 1976
  • Florida
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida