Barry Richard—Andrew Gillum’s recount lawyer—takes leave from firm
Barry Richard is confident 2020 will not be a repeat of the 2000 Florida recount.

Barry Richard of GT Law

Barry Richard, the veteran Tallahassee lawyer now representing Democratic candidate for Governor Andrew Gillum during the gubernatorial vote recount, has taken a leave of absence from his law firm.

That firm, Greenberg Traurig, adopted a leave policy for its lawyers taking on any matter “that might be controversial or disruptive,” Richard told Florida Politics Sunday morning.

“The policy is, you take a short leave of absence and then return to normal,” he added. “It’s really not a big deal … This is probably going to be over next week.”

The firm alerted Richard’s other clients he could continue to represent them personally, or they can find another lawyer. So far, he said he’s not aware of any client that has opted to go elsewhere.

Richard has some history with recounts in Florida: He represented then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential election challenge that played out in Tallahassee.

He said he has an “engagement agreement” to represent Gillum personally during the machine recount and hand recount, if any. “But it’s related to the campaign so I expect that’s who’ll pay me,” Richard said.

That representation likely won’t be inexpensive from an attorney once voted one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.”

“In addition to his successful representation of major corporations in bet-the-company cases, he has advised and represented all three branches of government, including both Democratic and Republican governors and legislatures, members of Congress, and multiple executive branch agencies as well as individual public officers and candidates,” his bio says.

Richard, who lives in Tallahassee, is married to Allison Tant, a former lobbyist who also chaired the Florida Democratic Party 2013-16.

He also served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) of the Navy, was second in command at the Attorney General’s Office under Robert Shevin, and was the Democratic state representative for a Coral Gables-Central Miami district in the 1970s.

Jim Rosica

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at [email protected].


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