Mark M. O’Mara
Mark M. O’Mara has been a fixture in the Central Florida legal community since 1982. While he started his career as a prosecutor for the State Attorney’s office in Seminole County, he crossed to the other side of the courtroom and has served as a defense attorney ever since. Mark is one of the very few lawyers in Florida who is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and Marital and Family Law, he is certified in Collaborative Law and he is a Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and Circuit Civil Mediator. He has practiced in both state and federal courts throughout the eastern seaboard and has co-counseled on matters throughout the nation. As a trial consultant, Mr. O’Mara helps other lawyers perform at their peak in trials with complicated legal issues and intense media scrutiny.
While leading the high-profile defense of George Zimmerman, Mr. O’Mara received acclaim for his even-handed management of the controversial case. His on-camera experience during the trial won him a spot as a CNN legal analyst, a position he has proudly held since 2013. Since the verdict, Mr. O’Mara has decided to use his voice to contribute to the national conversation about race, guns, self-defense, the media, and the criminal justice system and he speaks frequently on these topics.
Moreover, he started a non-profit organization called Justice Outreach, designed to identify and fix problems with the justice system, particularly in juvenile justice, and he is an advocate for change in state and national laws that lead to the over-prosecution of American citizens, whether it be by unbridled prosecutors or inappropriately applied minimum mandatory sentencing schemes.
Mr. O’Mara earned his J.D. from Florida State University College of Law in 1982, and received his undergraduate degree from University of Central Florida in 1979. Mr. O’Mara has taught at the University of Central Florida, Florida State University School of Law, Duquesne School of Law and Harvard Law School; has taught seminars for the Criminal Law Section of the Florida Bar, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court, the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, the Florida Homicide Investigators Association, the University of Buffalo Mock Court Competition, and the Florida Family Law Practice for Paralegals program. He is Martindale-Hubbell A.V. Preeminent rated, served as President of the Seminole County Bar Association and as President of the Central Florida Family Law American Inn of Court.
Mark O’Mara has been involved in a variety of local, statewide, and national charitable, educational, and professional organizations over his 35 year career, believing in the adage he learned from his father, that to whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48) He is very proud to be a member of the National Trial Lawyers organization, which is an invitation- only selection of the top 100 civil or criminal lawyers from each state. One of his proudest moments was being selected to lead the organization as its President for the 2019-2020 year.
As part of his dedication to the group, he is focusing on helping present the best Summit CLE program ever, and educating lawyers on how to stay healthy, in both body and spirit, as they take on the stress and troubles of their clients.
This tight-knit community connects America’s top trial lawyers to those that soon will be. The group is focused on making lawyers better at what they do: protecting the rights of the accused and injured and guarding the constitutional rights of all of us.
There are a variety of programs available to members of National Trial Lawyers. These include the following:
- Top 100 – The organization is composed of premier trial lawyers with superior qualifications as criminal defense or civil plaintiff trial lawyers. Through this group there are networking opportunities, high quality education programs, and advocacy training for trial lawyers.
- Top 40 Under 40 – This organization is comprised of young trial attorneys and is by invitation only. Those invited must meet stringent qualifications and must specialize in criminal defense or civil plaintiff legal practice.
- Specialty Associations – These areas are devoted to specific areas of practice and are open to any attorney that practices criminal defense or civil plaintiff law. There are 19 different specialty associations and members are encouraged to join as many of them as they’d like.
- The NTL is an organization available by invitation only to attorneys who meet stringent qualifications. Selection criteria is based on an objective process which nominations from peers and research by third-parties. Membership is offered to only those attorneys that demonstrate superior leadership, influence, reputation, public image, and stature in their community.