Board Certified in Appellate Practice, member of the firm’s Board of Directors and chair of the firm's Appellate Practice Group, Hala A. Sandridge focuses on all facets of civil appeals and has directly handled hundreds of appeals in both state and federal appellate courts. Hala serves as co-office head of Buchanan's Tampa office.
With 30 years of appellate experience, Hala has produced some of Florida’s most significant appellate decisions, including cases certified by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals to the Florida Supreme Court and in the United States Supreme Court. She routinely serves as appellate counsel against multi-million dollar jury verdicts with weighty legal issues. A sought-after lecturer, Hala enjoys an exceptional reputation for her first-rate advocacy skills. Hala is a past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar, a tribute to her leadership in her practice area.
Some of her recent significant published decisions include:
- Trans Healthcare, Inc. v. Webb, 132 So. 3d 1152 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013). Reversed $900,000,000 personal injury jury verdict.
- Morris Aviation, LLC v. Diamond Aircraft Industries, 536 Fed. Appx. 558 (6th Cir. 2013). Affirmed order dismissing complaint for fraud against airplane manufacturer.
- Diamond Aircraft Industries v. Horowitch, 107 So. 3d 362 (Fla. 2013). Answered certified question to permit award of attorney’s fees under FDUTPA.
- Raymond James Fin. Servs. v. Phillips, 126 So. 3d 186 (Fla. 2013). Answered certified question and finding arbitration agreements subject to statute of limitations defense.
- Comprehensive Care Corp. v. Katzman, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124036 (11th Cir. 2013). Reversed multi-million dollar jury trial judgment for damages and attorney’s fees.
- City of Venice v. Gwynn, 76 So. 3d 401 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011). Granted petition for writ of certiorari because city ordinance regulating short-term vacation rentals not unconstitutional as-applied.
- Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection, 130 S.Ct. 2592 (2010). Affirmed Florida Supreme Court, finding that Florida did not unconstitutionally take property rights through enforcement of the State's Beach and Shore Preservation Act.
Hala has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings. She has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® in the Appellate Practice category since 2008 and listed as a leading Appellate lawyer in Florida by Chambers USA from 2006 – 2019. Hala has been recognized by Florida Super Lawyers consecutively since 2006 and was noted as one of the Top 50 Female Lawyers since 2007 and one of the Top 100 Florida Lawyers by the publication from 2011-2019. She was named to Florida Trend's Legal Elite from 2005-2008, 2013-2016 and 2019. In 2020, Florida Trend named her to the Legal Elite Hall of Fame list.
Hala is a frequent lecturer and moderator on hot appellate topics, post-trial motions, state and federal appellate rules and procedure, appellate jurisdiction and preserving error for appeal, among others. She has taught sections of the Florida board certification review class for appellate practice.
Hala often speaks to in-house counsel, trial lawyers and law students. In addition to her speaking engagements, Hala has authored many appellate articles for law reviews, handbooks, legal periodicals and newsletters on a wide-range of appellate topics.
As a strong supporter of pro bono legal services, Hala has spent countless hours providing free appellate legal services to low-income populations and has championed their cause through her participation in local and statewide legal aid organizations. She was also instrumental in creating the courthouse assistance project at the Hillsborough County Courthouse, which assists pro se litigants in navigating the court system and has garnered statewide praise. For her dedication, Hala has received numerous pro bono awards, including the prestigious Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award, the Hillsborough County Jimmy Kynes Pro Bono Award and Bay Area Legal Service’s Distinguished Pro Bono Advocate Award. In addition, Hala was named a 2019 BusinessWoman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal, which recognizes Tampa Bay’s most influential and dynamic businesswomen.
Florida State University College of Law, J.D., 1984, with honors; Law Review; Intern, Florida Supreme Court, the Honorable Leander Shaw
University of Florida, B.A., 1981
- Florida State Courts
- Florida Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)
University Club of Tampa, Board of Directors
Gubernatorial Appointee to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, 2014-2018
The Florida Bar: Appellate Practice Section, Executive Council, 2007-2014; Chair, 2001-2002; Chair Elect, 2000-2001; Vice Chair, 1999-2000; Secretary, 1998-1999; Treasurer, 1997-1998; Record Editor, 1995-1997
The Florida Bar Foundation: President, 2019, Vice President, 2017; Director, 2011-2014; Fellow
American Bar Foundation: Fellow
The Litigation Counsel of America: Fellow
Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 2014; Leadership Tampa, Class of 2006
Bay Area Legal Services, BALSA Review Committee, 1997-present
Berkeley Preparatory School: Board of Trustees, Secretary; Shades of Blue Co-Chair, 2008-2009; Annual Fund Chair, 2009-2010; Development Chair, 2010-2014; Board Secretary, 2011-2012
United Way: Keel Club; Women's Leadership; 2010 Fowler White Boggs P.A. Campaign Co-Chair