|Born||January 3, 1955|
|Organization||Mark NeJame Law|
|Known for||Trial Attorney, Legal Analyst, Philanthropy|
|Parent(s)||Ann and Fred NeJame|
Mark NeJame (born 1 January 1955) is an American attorney, serial entrepreneur, media Legal Analyst, philanthropist, and speaker. He is the co-founder of NeJame Law, a renowned law firm based in Central Florida. He is a noted and top-rated trial attorney specializing in personal injury, criminal defense, commercial/civil litigation, and immigration.
NeJame has been consistently listed in the 50 Most Powerful People In Orlando. He has worked with numerous high profile clients including, leading entrepreneurs, judges, professionals, media celebrities, professional athletes, lawyers, politicians, and law enforcement officials. Among his many accolades he is also recognized by the Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys, a platform that acknowledges the leading lawyers in the United States.
NeJame is also the co-founder of Runway To Hope, a non-profit organization that he established with his wife. It is known for fashion-centric and celebrity hosted fundraisers that aim at donating to children suffering from cancer. To date approximately 9 million dollars has been raised by Runway to Hope.
NeJame has been widely recognized for his involvement in multiple high-profile cases and has garnered the attention of media houses including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times. He has been a regular guest and was a contracted Legal Analyst for CNN. He has also been featured and appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Morning Show, The Nancy Grace Show, The Canadian News Network (CBC), Dr. Phil, MSNBC, FOX News, Joy Behar Show, Studio B with Shepard Smith, Inside Edition, Court TV, TruTv, TMZ, and several other television shows and media outlets.
Early life and education
Mark E. NeJame was born in 1955 in Orlando, Florida, to Ann and Fred NeJame. He grew up with two younger sisters named Paula and Christine. NeJame hails from Lebanese heritage.
NeJame’s father, for a long period of his life, suffered from alcoholism which ultimately became the reason for his parent’s separation in 1965 when NeJame was ten years old. NeJame, with his mother and sisters, moved in with his grandmother, Sitto Edna. From that early age, NeJame began helping to support his family by doing lawn work, washing cars, and working as a bagboy in supermarkets.
NeJame graduated from Edgewater High School in 1972. He then attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. During this time, he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity where he was elected its first Social Service Coordinator. While a college student , NeJame had little funds for a Mother’s Day gift one year. With limited funds he made her a cactus terrarium and soon started selling them throughout Central Florida. Developing contacts in the plant industry, he went back to the University of Florida and sold plants from the back of a truck to returning students for their apartments and dormitories. In 1975 he saved $2,400 from these sales and opened a plant store and plant rental business. He sold it 2 ½ years later for $80,000 and used the funds from the sale to put himself through law school. While in law school, NeJame became President of the Moot Court team and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1980.
NeJame has been a successful businessman and entrepreneur. In addition to law, his businesses that have included technology, real estate, social media, PPE, entertainment, and restaurants.
NeJame started his career soon after receiving his Juris Doctor degree. He moved back to his hometown in Orlando, Florida and co-founded the Law Offices Of NeJame & Hyman, P.A. in 1981. NeJame quickly developed a statewide reputation as a renowned and highly sought after criminal defense and trial attorney. In 1995, NeJame and Hyman, P. A. disbanded and NeJame started a new firm, NeJame Law. It is a diversified law firm with multiple attorneys and multiple litigation divisions focusing on personal injury, criminal defense, immigration, and civil trial matters. NeJame Law is an AV-rated peer-reviewed firm, the highest rating given. NeJame Law has been voted in the Orlando Business Journal’s Annual Reader's Poll as The Best Law Firm in Orlando Central Florida for multiple years.
NeJame is politically active. He was a member of President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee in 2008. He has hosted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at his home along with Congresswoman Val Demings. He and his wife entertained and hosted President Biden at their home in Windermere, Florida in October, 2019.
NeJame, his wife Josie, and their children are extremely active with charities and civic activities. In 2010, they established Runway To Hope, a non-profit organization that raises money for pediatric cancer children and their families. They receive no compensation. In addition to its Family Assistance Fund which provides direct relief to families battling childhood cancer, approximately 4.5 million dollars of the 9 million dollars raised has been pledged or donated to all 3 of Central Florida’s children’s hospitals. Known for hosting fashion-centric fundraisers that have been endorsed or supported by dozens of celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Akon, Katie Couric, Dan Rather, the Jonas Brothers, DJ Khaled, The Back Street Boys, George Lopez, Dr. Drew, Ashley Greene, Gabby Douglas, Jameer Nelson, Hoda Kotb, Giuliana Rancic, Larry King, Don Lemon, Lisa Ling, Maria Menounos, Boyz to Men, David Copperfield, and dozens others. Runway to Hope has been recognized as The Best Charity Event in Central Florida over 12 times.
Apart from Runway to Hope, NeJame has hosted multiple other charity events including the Heart Fund Ball (heart), Shepard’s Hope (working poor), the Masquerade Ball (HIV/AIDS), and Fashion Funds the Cure (pediatric cancer) along with involvement in several other non-profit organizations, such as the Board of Directors of the International Prostate Cancer Foundation and Seeds of Peace.
During his career, NeJame handled cases throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Among his notable clients were Lou Pearlman, Tiger Woods, George and Cindy Anthony, Congressman Alan Grayson, and Leo Visco. He has brought a case and recovered against NBA legend Charles Barkley for throwing his client through a plate glass window and is currently bringing a claim against WBA World Lightweight and Featherweight Boxing Champion Gervonta Tank Davis for battering his client, who was providing aid to Davis’ child’s mother. He notably turned down George Zimmerman’s request for representation on two occasions regarding the death of Trayvon Martin. He additionally terminated his representation of George and Cindy Anthony when they requested that he speak on behalf of their daughter Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering their granddaughter, Caylee Anthony.
He is also a legal speaker, having lectured at numerous events addressing audiences on major legal cases and issues. As a renowned trial lawyer, he has volunteered teaching law enforcement for over 25 years and has been a guest speaker and lecturer to law schools, legal seminars, and the FBI.
Awards and recognition
NeJame has been consistently listed as one of the 50 Most Powerful People In Central Florida and NeJame Law has been recognized as Best Law Firm in Central Florida several times. His awards and accolades include:
- Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy by Association of Fundraising Professionals
- Humanitarian of the Year Award by Onyx Magazine
- Philanthropist of the Year by Association of Fundraising Professionals
- Nominated for an Emmy Award for being a part of the WKMG-TV team that covered the Casey Anthony case
- Visionary Award by annual Mahatma Gandhi Diversity Organization
- Hall of Fame Edgewater High School
- Community Pilar Award by EMERGE USA
- City of Orlando Proclamation “Mark NeJame Day” issued by Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando
- Arab American of the Year by the Arab American Community Center
- Recipient of the Award for Excellence in Fundraising by a Nonprofit, by the Association of Fundraising Professionals
NeJame married Josie NeJame (née Arizola) in 2003 and the couple have two daughters named Valentina and Alessandra.
In the media
- "Mark NeJame - Crunchbase Person Profile". Crunchbase. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- "Mark E. NeJame, One of the Country's Best Attorneys, CNN Legal Analyst, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur is Making a Difference". LawCrossing.com. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Republican, Janice Beetle (30 January 2017). "Voices of the Valley: Mark A. NeJame, Partner, NeJame & Kling Law Offices, 90 Conz St., Suite 208, Northampton". masslive. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- "About Mark NeJame: American lawyer (1955-) | Biography, Facts, Career, Wiki, Life". peoplepill.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Inc, Justia. "Mark Elias Nejame". lawyers.justia.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- "Lawyer Directory – The Florida Bar". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- "orlandosentinel". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Cherney, Elyssa. "Attorney Mark NeJame joins crowd of new real estate agents". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- "State Considers Upgrading Boxing Champ's Charge To Felony". NBC 6 South Florida. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Jaramillo, Caroline Silva, Natalia. "Sexual harassment allegations against owner of Sanctum Cafe and Proper & Wild rattle Orlando restaurant community". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Thompson, Amy Drew. "Sanctum Cafe co-owner says she's divorcing husband, as harassment accusers hire attorney NeJame". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- "Popular Orlando Radio DJ's Home Destroyed by Fire". www.mynews13.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Company, Tampa Publishing. "Will Joe Biden make a former Florida police chief his 2020 running mate?". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
- Brinkmann, Paul. "Mark NeJame's former law partner suspended in billing scandal". orlandosentinel.com. Retrieved 22 April 2021.