Board Certified in Appellate Practice, Sarah Lahlou-Amine practices in all areas of state and federal appellate litigation. In addition to handling all types of appeals and original proceedings, Sarah is frequently retained for the strategic focus she brings to trial court litigation, helping clients and trial lawyers create records suited to both protect favorable rulings and document grounds for reversal in the event of an adverse outcome.
With a depth of complex litigation experience in subject matters ranging from commercial to personal injury, a substantial portion of Sarah’s practice is devoted to insurance matters. From coverage disputes to extra-contractual matters, Sarah’s knowledge of the intricate bodies of law governing insurance contracts and practices allows her to assist clients and trial lawyers in their development of effective big-picture strategies, from pre-suit stages through any appellate proceedings.
Sarah served as Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar and has been consecutively recognized in the Florida Super Lawyers magazine since 2010. She has garnered an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings, and has been repeatedly recognized for her dedication to pro bono service. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys writing and is an avid Florida farm enthusiast and agritourist.
Sarah began her appellate career at Fowler White Boggs P.A. in 2006. She practiced at a national firm for several years and joined Banker Lopez Gassler P.A. as a Shareholder in 2016. Throughout her career, Sarah has argued before all five of Florida’s District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She has briefed matters before these courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Sarah has handled well over a hundred appellate matters, including the following:
- Garcia v. United Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., 256 So. 3d 186 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) (Table) (represented homeowners insurer in dispute regarding contractual pre-suit requirements).
- CB Contractors, LLC v. Saxonis Custom Painting, Inc., 261 So. 3d 711 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018) (represented subcontractor in construction matter involving claims for breach of contract, common law indemnity, and contractual indemnity).
- State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Pan Am Diagnostic Servs., Inc., 17th Jud. Cir. Case No. CACE 18-10800 (2018) (represented PIP carrier in contractual dispute).
- M.L. v. Fla. Dep’t Children & Families, U.S. Sup. Ct. Case No. 17-5980 (2017) (represented children’s rights and adoption organizations as amici in termination of parental rights matter).
- Tomasello v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 224 So. 3d 231 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017) (Table) (represented insurance agents in contractual dispute).
- Scales Express Trucking, Inc. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 202 So. 3d 412 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) (Table) (represented insurer in matter involving claim for pure bill of discovery).
- Athey v. Athey, Fla. 5th DCA Case No. 5D16-209 (2016) (represented family law litigant in certiorari proceeding).
- Iniquez v. MIA Resorts, Inc., 221 So. 3d 625 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016) (Table) (represented nightclub owner in premises liability matter).
- THPI Acquisition Holdings LLC v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Fla. 2d DCA Case No. 2D13-788 (2015) (represented third-party purchaser in foreclosure matter).
- Robinson v. Guillot, 175 So. 3d 297 (Fla. 2d DCA 2015) (Table) (represented party to commercial contract in appeal denying relief from judgment on a claim of newly discovered evidence).
- Johnson Bros., LLC v. Kraft Constr. Co., Fla. 5th DCA Case No. 5D13-4497 (2014) (represented contractor and surety in mandamus proceeding regarding enforceability of jury trial waiver).
- Noimbie v. Harvey, 137 So. 3d 606 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) (represented tenant in second-tier certiorari proceeding in landlord-tenant matter).
- Rynd v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., U.S. Ct. App., 11th Cir., Case Nos. 11-15269, 12-11888 (2013) (represented insurer in extra-contractual matter).
- Mills Properties, LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 110 So. 3d 465 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013) (Table) (represented bank in foreclosure matter).
- Wharton-Smith, Inc., etc. v. Int’l Fid. Ins., 122 So. 3d 380 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013) (Table) (represented contractor in bid protest matter).
- Carbajal v. State, 75 So. 3d 258 (Fla. 2011) (appointed by Florida Supreme Court to represent defendant raising subject matter jurisdiction issue in criminal case).
- Roberts v. Sullivan, 46 So. 3d 58 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010) (Table) (represented party in family law matter involving issues of custody, child support, and equitable distribution).
- Cypress Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Patschke, Fla. 2d DCA Case No. 2D09-1279 (2010) (represented insurer in coverage matter involving all-terrain vehicle).
- Smith v. Agency for Health Care Admin., 24 So. 3d 590 (Fla. 5th DCA 2009) (represented Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration in Medicaid lien recovery matter).
- Patwary v. Evana Petroleum Corp., 18 So. 3d 1237 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009) (represented party in commercial contract dispute regarding sale of hotel property).
Presentations and Publications
Sarah lectures and authors articles on appellate and insurance topics, including issues of preservation, appellate strategy and procedure, and insurance coverage and best practices.
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Writing for a Living, Guest Speaker, Issues on Appeal Podcast by Duane Daiker (March 31, 2019)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Exploring Appellate Practice in Our Nation’s Capital, Program Moderator, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (October 5, 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Chair’s Welcome Message at the Supreme Court, Speaker, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (October 4, 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Young Lawyer Award Presentation, Presenter, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee (April 2016)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, A Primer in Appellate Practice, Speaker, Florida Housing Umbrella Group (March 2013)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Appellate Lawyers Embrace The Florida Bar’s One Campaign, Speaker, Hillsborough County Bar Association (March 2010)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Handling Pro Bono Appeals, Speaker, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (October 2008)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, New Year, New Initiatives, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (January 2019)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Analysis of Recent Florida Supreme Court Decision, DeLisle v. Crane Co., Co-Author, Banker Lopez Gassler News (October 23, 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, An Opportunity to Serve Those Who Have Served Our Country, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (September 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, The Appellate Practice Section Explores Appellate Practice in Our Nation’s Capital, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (August 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Incoming Chair’s Message, Appellate Practice Section of the Florida Bar (July 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Same, Similar, and Everything in Between: Appellate Courts’ Review of the Same-Specialty Requirement for Presuit Experts in Medical Malpractice Cases, 92 FLA. B.J. 43 (May 2018)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Common Issues in Insurance Appraisal Non-Final Appeals, Co-Author, Banker Lopez Gassler News (November 8, 2017)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Pro Bono Opportunities with “Appeal,” 24 HCBA LAWYER 16 (February 2014)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Tampa Bay Area Pro Bono Lawyers Mean Business, 24 HCBA LAWYER 12 (February 2014)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Multiple Causes of Loss: An Efficient Standard for First-Party Coverage, Fowler White Boggs Insurance eNews (October 2013)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Does Electronic Service Affect My Ability to Count Mail Days, Fowler White Boggs Insurance eNews (February 2012)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, From the Homeowner’s Backyard to Anywhere in the World, 30 TRIAL ADVOC. Q. 32 (Fall 2011)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Large Law Firms Encourage Attorneys to “Be the One,” 21 HCBA LAWYER 12 (Summer 2011)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Déjà vu in Florida Courts: When Courts “Re-View” the Law of the Case, 82 FLA. B.J. 42 (October 2008)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Where the Trial Court Ends and an Appellate Lawyer Begins, 18 HCBA LAWYER 16 (June 2008)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, Maintaining Removal Jurisdiction in the Eleventh Circuit, 18 HCBA LAWYER 24 (December 2007)
- Sarah Lahlou-Amine, The Termination of Motor Vehicle Insurance Policies: An Insurer’s Roadmap, 26 TRIAL ADVOC. Q. 17 (Summer 2007)
- The Florida Bar: Appellate Practice Section, Past Chair; Executive Council 2011-present; Pro Bono Committee Chair, 2011-2015
- The Florida Bar: Pro Bono Legal Services Committee, Member, 2017-Present
- The Florida Bar: Appellate Court Rules Committee; Executive (Secretary), Family Law, and General Practice Subcommittees, 2020-2021; Electronic Filing (Vice Chair), General Practice, and Family Law Subcommittees, 2019-2020
- Hillsborough County Bar Association: Appellate Practice Section, Pro Bono Committee Chair, 2009-2012
- Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee: Law Firm Subcommittee Co-Chair, 2011-2016
- Defense Research Institute
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
- Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Tampa Bay
- Leadership Tampa Bay (Class of 2016)
- William Reece Smith, Jr. Litigation American Inn of Court: Barrister, 2014-present
As a passionate advocate with a commitment to pro bono service, Sarah assists legal aid organizations throughout the state through trial support, appellate assistance, and programs that promote pro bono service. Sarah has been recognized for her service by the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section, the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, Bay Area Legal Services, and Stetson University College of Law.
- Tampa Bay Pro Bono Partners: Co-founder; Advisory Board Chair, 2014-present
- Bay Area Legal Services: Board Member, Aug 2019-Present
- Crossroads for Florida Kids, Pro Bono Attorney
- SERVE Volunteers in Education: Board of Trustees, 2009-2012; Secretary 2011-2012; Assistant Secretary/Treasurer 2010-2011
- United Way – HandsOn Tampa Bay: Community Volunteer, 2008-2010
- Urban Scholars Outreach Program: Advisory Board Member, 2006-2007