Richard C. Klugh
PHONE: (305) 403-8070​

Richard C. Klugh
Of Counsel

Richard C. Klugh is a criminal defense attorney who practices in federal trial, appellate, and post-conviction litigation in Miami. He has been lead counsel in dozens of published victories in state and federal appellate courts, has won numerous trial victories, and has appeared in cases at every level of the trial and appellate courts in the United States, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Richard is the 2006 recipient of FACDL-Miami’s “Against All Odds” award for his representation of criminal defendants in the U.S. Court of Appeals. He has given seminar presentations for CLE programs at regional and national federal defender conferences throughout the U.S., as well as seminars presented by The Florida Bar and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Richard is the author of several published legal articles on subjects ranging from appellate practice to Medicare law and health care regulation.

Richard is the former Chief of the Appellate Division of the Federal Defender’s Office in the Southern District of Florida. He was also editor of the Defense Newsletter, a monthly legal publication for the Criminal Justice Act attorney panel.

Richard is fluent in Spanish and has conducted case investigations requiring Spanish proficiency in several countries in Latin America.

Case Victories

Drug Importation/Possession Conspiracy

  • U.S. v. Pendas-Martinez, 845 F.2d 938 (11th Cir. 1988)(granting new trial based on erroneous admission of evidence)
  • U.S. v. Espinosa-Hernandez, 918 F.2d 911 (11th Cir. 1990)(reversing for denial of discovery on motion for new trial under Fed. R. Crim. P. 33)
  • U.S. v. Villada, 87 Fed. Appx. 713 (11th Cir. 2003) (affirming grant of judgment of acquittal based on insufficient evidence of knowledge of contents of boxes containing drugs)
  • U.S. v. Reed, 259 Fed. Appx. 289 (11th Cir. 2007)(drug conspiracy and Hobbs Act convictions vacated based on insufficient evidence that conspirators shared information as to object of conspiracy)

Firearms Offenses

  • U.S. v. Rogers, 94 F.3d 1519 (11th Cir. 1996)(vacating conviction based on insufficient evidence of illegal features of firearm)
  • U.S. v. Bowe, 110 F.3d 796 (vacating conviction for carrying/use firearm due to absence of evidence active handling of firearm)
    Mail and wire fraud and money laundering
  • U.S. v. Mullens, 65 F.3d 1560 (11th Cir. 1995)(remanding of resentencing on abuse of trust sentencing enhancement and restitution issues)

Tax Evasion

  • U.S. v. Kaiser, 893 F.2d 1300 (11th Cir. 1990)(vacating convictions following remand from Supreme Court based on double jeopardy violation)
  • U.S. v. Edwards, 971 F.2d 756 (11th Cir. 1992)(remanding for new trial based on improper admission of bad acts/similar crimes evidence)

Civil/Criminal Contempt of Court

  • U.S. v. Ciardo, 61 F.3d 30 (11th Cir. 1995)(criminal contempt conviction and sentence vacated where trial court employed civil contempt standard)

Sentencing guidelines cases

  • U.S. v. Campa, 529 F.3d 980 (11th Cir. 2008)(improper enhancement for role in the offense, U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1)
  • U.S. v. Tellez, 915 F.2d 1501 (11th Cir. 1990)(improper enhancement of sentence following probation revocation, 18 U.S.C. § 3565)
  • U.S. v. King, 87 F.3d 1255, (11th Cir. 1996)(improper calculation of theft loss, U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1)
  • U.S. v. Roman, 254 F.3d 74 (11th Cir. 2001)(affirming grant of safety valve, U.S.S.G. § 5C1.2, in drug case despite prior misstatements by defendant)
  • U.S. v. Morrison, 204 F.2d 1091 (11th Cir. 2000)(vacating enhancement of sentence as violative of time/jurisdictional limitations of Fed. R. Crim. P. 35)
  • U.S. v. Hernandez, 145 F.3d 1433 (11th Cir. 1998) (reversing career offender enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 based on nature of prior drug conviction)
  • U.S. v. Williams, 989 F.2d 1137 (11th Cir. 1993)(reversing sentence enhancement based on mere arrest record, U.S.S.G. § 4A1.1)
  • U.S. v. Adams, 89 F.3d 854 (11th Cir. 1996)(affirming downward departure from career offender guideline, U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1)
  • U.S. v. Florez, 163 Fed. Appx. 806 (11th Cir. 2006)(reversing sentence in light of upwardly departure without notice as required under Fed. R. Crim. P. 32)
  • U.S. v. Bryan, No. 02-13834 (11th Cir. 2003) (government dismissal of appeal district court to award of 4-level minor role adjustment under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.2)
  • U.S. v. Walden, 175 Fed.Appx. 308 (11th Cir. 2006)(erroneous application of guidelines as mandatory in violation of Sixth Amendment) (same result obtained in: U.S. v. Vargas-Vasquez, 148 Fed. Appx. 836 (11th Cir. 2005); U.S. v. Cledanor, 137 Fed. Appx. 271 (11th Cir. 2005); U.S. v. Granados, 134 Fed. Appx. 399 (11th Cir. 2005); U.S. v. Almonte, 144 Fed. Appx. 757 (11th Cir. 2005); and U.S. v. Ballestero, 130 Fed. Appx. 363 (11th Cir. 2005))

Speedy Trial Violation

  • U.S. v. Brown, 285 F.3d 959 (11th Cir. 2002)(government notice pleading did not toll running of speedy trial clock)

Supervised release

  • U.S. v. Romines, 204 F.3d 1067 (11th Cir. 1992) (restitution could not be ordered as part of supervised release revocation where not ordered at initial sentencing)
  • Habeas corpus/28 U.S.C. § 2255/writs –
  • Reyes-Vasquez v. U.S., 865 F.Supp. 1539 (S.D. Fla. 1994)(vacating drug trafficking conviction based on improper actions of trial counsel)
  • Hollins v. Department of Corrections, 191 F.3d 1324 (11th Cir. 1999)(upholding unique-circumstances doctrine of tolling of jurisdictional deadlines)
  • In re U.S., 898 F.2d 1485 (11th Cir. 1990)(affirming district court’s reduction of defendant’s sentence and rejecting government petition for writ of prohibition)
  • Schardar v. U.S., 33 F.3d 1381 (11th Cir. 1994)(denial of § 2255 motion vacated based on failure to afford evidentiary hearing)

Supreme Court litigation

  • Brown v. U.S., 538 U.S. 1010, 123 S.Ct. 1928 (2003)(vacating judgment and remanding based on erroneous application of waiver doctrine to failure to appeal magistrate judge’s order)
  • Gonzalez v. Crosby, 545 U.S. 524, 125 S.Ct. 2641 (2005)(second chair counsel; holding that Fed. R. Civ. P. 60 reconsideration rule is applicable in habeas/post-conviction proceedings)
  • Rogers v. U.S., 522 U.S. 252; 118 S. Ct. 673 (addressing determination of harmless error in light of elemental omission from jury instruction; certiorari dismissed following oral argument)

Civil appeals

  • North Broward Hospital Dist. v. Bowen, 850 F.2d 1548 (11th Cir. 1988) (rejecting government appeal of administrative ruling in favor of hospital district as to federal reimbursement process)
  • Doctors Hospital, Inc. v. Bowen, 811 F.2d 1448 (11th Cir. 1987) (affirming district court judgment providing for right of administrative appeal by hospital)
  • St. Francis Hospital v. Bowen, 802 F.2d 697 (11th Cir. 1986) (affirming district court judgment invalidating federal Medicare regulation)
  • Florida Medical Center v. Fla. Dep’t of Health & Rehab. Serv., 484 So. 2d 1292 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986) (reversing state administrative ruling denying hospital right to expand services)


  • Criminal law clerk, U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami
  • Law clerk, United States District Judge Eugene P. Spellman in Miami


  • Harvard Law School, 1980
  • B.A. with high honors, University of Florida, 1977