Hala Sandridge

Shareholder & Co-Head of the Tampa Office at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Hala Sandridge

Hala Sandridge

Shareholder & Co-Head of the Tampa Office at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Biography

How Hala Helps Clients

With 35 years of appellate experience, Hala Sandridge 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 focuses on all facets of civil appeals and has directly handled hundreds of appeals in both state and federal appellate courts. Hala is one of the original Florida Bar Board Certified Attorneys in Appellate Practice (1994). She is a member of Buchanan’s Board of Directors, chair of the firm's Appellate Practice Group and co-head of the firm’s Tampa office.

Hala is a strong leader in the legal and business community, including serving as the immediate past president of The Florida Bar Foundation and past chair of The Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section. Governor DeSantis recently re-appointed her to the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission. In 2019, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court appointed Hala to the IOTA Task force to examine the use of IOTA funds used to provide legal services to the poor. She was also named a 2019 Business Woman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. Hala currently serves as President of the University Club of Tampa, only the sixth women to hold that title in its 75-year history.

Land Use

Hala is recognized for her expertise in land use appeals - from local jurisdictions to the United States Supreme Court. She has garnered astonishing results for property owners fighting local governments that seek to deprive them of valid land uses. Hala obtained a 2019 court order enforcing an annexation agreement against a local government, along with a multi-million dollar award against that local government. In 2018, she successfully appealed a Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners’ rezoning denial, creating such favorable law, the decision is now frequently cited by landowners. In 2014, the appellate court agreed with Hala that a Florida statute afforded limited standing to third parties to challenge a developer’s rezoning. In fact, Hala went on to win six appeals for that developer client filed by neighbors and competitors seeking to stop the 884-acre development.

Reversals

Hala routinely serves as appellate counsel against multi-million dollar jury verdicts with weighty legal issues, such as the 2013 reversal of one of Florida’s largest jury verdicts at that time -- $940 million and the 2020 reversal of a $109 million verdict. She is also skilled in assisting post-verdict to reduce runaway jury verdicts, including a recent remittitur of a $30 million verdict to $9 million. Sandridge attributes these victories to ensuring her briefs focus on solid legal issues, while avoiding fact disputes with the attendant standard of appellate review likely to be unsuccessful on appeal.

Pro Bono

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. Hala served as the 2019-2020 President of the Florida Bar Foundation, a statewide public charity that provides funding for legal aid and improvements in the administration of justice. She recently handled two pro bono appeals for the statewide guardian ad litem program, reaching successful conclusions for her foster care clients.

Hala is a frequent lecturer and moderator on trending appellate topics, post-trial motions, state and federal appellate rules and procedure, appellate jurisdiction and preserving error for appeal, among others and often speaks to in-house counsel, trial lawyers and law students. She has taught sections of the Florida board certification review class for appellate practice. 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. Additionally, she is a past chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar, a tribute to her leadership in her practice area.

Every appeal tells a story, no matter how technical the subject matter. Who doesn’t enjoy a good story? Appellate judges are no different.

What Clients Can Expect

Hala is supremely skilled at distilling and analyzing complex legal matters and employing creative ways to identify public policy reasons to bolster the correctness of her appellate position. Her clients appreciate that she is willing to take on decisions she believes courts have incorrectly reached and explain – against what are seemingly long odds – why courts should correct what was previously misinterpreted.

Outside the Office

Hala enjoys spending her free time hiking with her husband and two adult sons in the Colorado mountains.

Awards

* 2020 Legal Elite Hall of Fame (top 10 in Florida)
* 2019 BusinessWoman of the Year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal
* Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award
* The Hillsborough County Jimmy Kynes Pro Bono Award
* Bay Area Legal Service’s Distinguished Pro Bono Advocate Award
* AV® Preeminent distinction, from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings
* The Best Lawyers in America® since 2008
* Chambers USA, leading Appellate lawyer in Florida since 2006.
* Florida Super Lawyers since 2006
* Top 50 Female Lawyers since 2007
* Top 100 Florida Lawyers 2011-2019
* Florida Trend's Legal Elite from 2005-2008, 2013-2016 and 2019

Proof Points

* Bd. of Trs. of the Univ. of S. Fla. v. Carter, 298 So. 3d 94 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020). Overturned $109,000,000 jury verdict based on exclusion of exculpatory evidence.
* WCI Communities, LLC et al v. City of Bonita Springs, Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court, Lee County Florida, Case No.: 17-CA-3966 (October 2019). Obtained order requiring city to grant agreed-to rezoning in annexation agreement and awarding national homebuilder $6.3 million for City’s breach of annexation agreement.
* Gerelco Traffic Controls, Inc. v. Ming, No. 2D18-3701 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019). Affirmed order remitting excessive $30 million jury verdict to $9 million because non-economic damage award resulted from jury sympathy.
* Trans Healthcare, Inc. v. Webb, 132 So. 3d 1152 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013). Reversed $900,000,000 personal injury jury verdict.
* Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection, 130 S.Ct. 2592 (2010). Affirmed Florida Supreme Court, finding Florida did not unconstitutionally take property rights through enforcement of the State's Beach and Shore Preservation Act.

Overview
Career Highlights

The Florida Bar Foundation, Inc.
Fowler White Boggs PA

RelSci Relationships

881

Number of Boards

3

Number of Awards

48

Contact Data
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Relationships
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President & Director at The Florida Bar Foundation, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Managing Shareholder, Philadelphia at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Executive Chairman at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Former Chief Financial Officer at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Executive Shareholder at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Chair, Pennsylvania State Government Relations at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Co-Chair of the Corporate Section at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Co-Chair, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights Group at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Chair, Health Care Section at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Shareholder at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

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Hala Sandridge
Shareholder & Co-Head of the Tampa Office at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
Education
J.D. with Honors

Florida State University College of Law is the law school of Florida State University in Tallahassee. The law school's highly accomplished and accessible law faculty delivers a program that has an interdisciplinary orientation designed to produce well-rounded and effective lawyers. The law school borders the southeast quadrant of the University's campus, near the Donald L. Tucker Center, an arena and part of the Tallahassee civic center area. The College of Law campus consists of four major buildings, four historic houses around a green and five parking lots. It occupies two full city blocks and is directly across the street from the Florida Supreme Court and one block from the Florida Legislature. The school's most recent addition is its 50,000-square-foot Advocacy Center, which includes five courtrooms.

Memberships
Member
Current

American Bar Association provides legal services. It provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, legal information and other services to assist legal professionals. The firm has members which include judges, court administrators, law professors, and non-practicing attorneys. The company was founded on August 21, 1878 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.

Career History
Office Managing Shareholder
Prior
Shareholder & Co-Head of the Tampa Office
Current

Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PC provides legal services. The company provides its services in areas including commercial litigation, taxation, government relations, family law, labor and employment law, European law, and intellectual property. It was founded in 1850 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.

President & Director
Prior

The Florida Bar Foundation, Inc. provides judicial services. It funds programs that expand representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters, administration of justice and promote legal services to public. The company was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Maitland, FL.

Boards & Committees
Member, Board of Directors
Current

Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney PC provides legal services. The company provides its services in areas including commercial litigation, taxation, government relations, family law, labor and employment law, European law, and intellectual property. It was founded in 1850 and is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA.

Director
Tenure Unconfirmed

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a nonprofit company headquartered in Tampa, FL. The firm operates as non-profit business membership organization. Robert Rohrlack is the current CEO of the firm.

President & Director
Prior

The Florida Bar Foundation, Inc. provides judicial services. It funds programs that expand representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters, administration of justice and promote legal services to public. The company was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Maitland, FL.

Trustee
Prior

Founded in 1960, Berkeley Preparatory School is a Pre-K - Grade 12 co-educational independent, Episcopal day school located in Tampa, Florida. Berkeley educates the whole child by nurturing students’ intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical development so they may attain their highest potential. Their philosophy encompasses a balanced curriculum of academics and arts, clubs and activities, competitive sports and community service. An emphasis on academic excellence combined with a spirit of social responsibility engenders in students a newfound confidence and shared sense of purpose. Students exchange ideas, study virtues and explore ethics as they define their attitudes and values.

Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
N/A
2010

The Florida Bar Foundation, Inc. provides judicial services. It funds programs that expand representation and advocacy on behalf of low-income persons in civil legal matters, administration of justice and promote legal services to public. The company was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Maitland, FL.

Political Donations
$250
2013

Representative from Florida's 12th Congressional District

Awards & Honors
2019
Best Lawyers - Best Lawyers in America
2019
Super Lawyers - Florida Super Lawyers
2019
Super Lawyers - Top 50 Women Lawyers
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