Richard B. “Rick” Orfinger began his career as a full time neutral in February 2021, one day after he retired from his 30-year judicial career. He was a circuit judge for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida from 1991 to 2000 and served as the circuit’s chief judge from 1996 to 1999. In 2000, Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Rick to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, where he served until the end of January 2021.
He was the court’s chief judge from 2011 to 2013 and was instrumental in the court’s transition to a paperless environment. Earlier, he had organized the Seventh Circuit's Committee on Professionalism and served on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and The Florida Bar’s Professionalism Committee. While on the appeals court, Rick authored hundreds of opinions on numerous legal topics.
Before taking the bench, Rick was a shareholder in the Daytona Beach firm of Monaco, Smith, Hood, Perkins, Orfinger and Stout, P.A. from 1990 to 1991 and a shareholder in Orfinger and Stout, P.A. from 1979 to 1990. His public service began with working as an assistant state attorney in the Seventh Judicial Circuit from 1976 to 1978.
Rick was born in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he would later begin his law practice. He and his wife, Ellen, have been married for 35 years, and they have an adult daughter and son and two grandchildren.
Professional Education and Qualifications
B.A., Tulane University, New Orleans (1974)
J.D. with Honors, University of Florida College of Law (1976)
- Certified Florida Supreme Court Circuit Civil and Appellate Court Mediator
- Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator
- Dunn-Blount Chapter, American Inn of Court of Volusia and Flagler Counties, founding member, president 2002-2004
- Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies instructor
- Frequent lecturer on ethics and professionalism
- Volusia County Bar Association, member
- Flagler County Bar Association, member
- Orange County Bar Association, member
- Florida Bar Appellate Section, member
- The Florida Bar
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida