E. Richard Alhadeff was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1999, but as in all other aspects of his life, he took this personal, devastating diagnosis and turned it into years of advocacy and leadership for many. Richard served as Vice Chair of the Parkinson’s Foundation Board for many years, led many important initiatives and continues to provide invaluable legal guidance in his current role on the Emeritus Board. He has always been a strong advocate for helping people with Parkinson’s lead the highest quality of life possible, while also promoting research that will one day find a cure.
Richard grew up in Montgomery, AL, and had a pet cow! He is a true Southern gentleman in the finest sense. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama and later obtained a Masters in Taxation at the University of Miami.
Richard is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and served as a U.S. Army First Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General Corps. He has long been interested in why 100,000 people (or 10% of the population) in the U.S. living with Parkinson’s are veterans. It is only natural that Richard is proud that the Parkinson’s Foundation has recently partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs and that recently retired U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson has joined the Foundation Board.
After Richard was discharged from the Army, he married the love of his life, Meme Coleman, in 1962. Meme and Richard moved to Miami, FL, where he began practicing as a divorce lawyer. He was so effective that the husband of one of Richard’s clients pulled a gun out of a bag in court and shot at Richard. Fortunately, the bullet only nicked his ear, but the unsettling experience prompted him to call Meme on his way to the hospital to tell her that he was going to focus on real estate.
Richard co-founded the Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson law firm, where he practiced law for 25 years before retiring in 2009. He became one of the most respected real estate lawyers in the country and was never shot at again. He has received many awards and been active in a number of associations. He is particularly proud to be a Past President of the Miami Beach Bar Association and a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate.
“For me, Richard's constant friendship for over 50 years, and his good nature has made my life and my career so much brighter,” said Robert (“Bobby”) Weissler, Richard’s longtime law partner and best friend. “He has always been a lawyer's lawyer. His incredible knowledge, his wisdom, his judgement, his humor and his warmth are just some of the qualities that make him cherished by his partners, his appreciative clients, and all of us that he has advised and mentored. We are all better, smarter and happier to have Richard in our lives."
Meme and Richard’s son, Mark, is also a lawyer in Miami. They have three grandchildren who live nearby and love their “Papoo.” Meme and Richard will be the first to admit that Parkinson’s has been tough to manage over the past few years, but they both remain positive and committed to helping the Parkinson’s Foundation and others who are dealing with the disease. Richard continues to inspire his family and friends to do a little more and be grateful.