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Gary L. Sasso

Gary L. Sasso

President and Chief Executive Officer

Overview

Gary Sasso represents business clients in securities fraud and consumer fraud class actions and other complex litigation at the trial and appellate level, in the financial services industry, energy sector, products manufacturing industry, and services sector. Gary has tried cases in the areas of securities fraud, business contracts, products liability, professional malpractice, employment discrimination and termination, eminent domain, bankruptcy, construction, administrative law, and land use in Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Gary has argued appeals on diverse issues including business fraud, federal and state constitutional claims, products liability, personal injury, insurance coverage, national bank regulation, employment discrimination, federal occupational safety and health regulation, eminent domain, county taxation, and public utilities law.

Before joining the firm in 1987, Gary worked as a law clerk for Justice Byron R. White on the United States Supreme Court; and as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Featured Insights

Experience

  • Consumer fraud class action against information services firm for violation of consumer privacy rights (resolved through settlement).
  • Securities fraud case brought by former shareholders of a company acquired by the defendant (class certification denied and state claims dismissed as preempted).
  • Securities fraud class action against issuer for misleading disclosures and violation of accounting irregularities (resolved through settlement).
  • Securities fraud class action against financial services firm alleging stock analyst had conflict of interest (resolved through settlement).
  • Class action brought against a financial institution for aiding and abetting a “Ponzi” scheme (dismissed with prejudice).
  • Multiple, consolidated securities fraud cases brought by investors in a closed-end investment fund (class certification denied).
  • Environmental class action brought against various chemical manufacturers in state court by landowners situated near a Superfund site in Central Florida (resolved through settlement).
  • Professional liability claim brought on behalf of FDIC against law firm that represented failed bank (obtained $21 million jury verdict).
  • Multi-plaintiff products litigation brought by South American plaintiffs against European chemical manufacturers (case dismissed on grounds of forum non conveniens).
  • Citrus Cnty. Hosp. Bd. v. Citrus Mem’l Health Foundation, Inc., Florida Supreme Court. Invalidating special law enacted by the Legislature that transferred control over hospital as violative of the Contracts Clause of the Florida Constitution.
  • Kevin O’Halloran, et al., v. First Union National Bank of Florida, Eleventh Circuit. Represented appellee defending dismissal of claims brought against national bank, alleging that the bank aided and abetted a faith-based “Ponzi” scheme.
  • Lee v. Russell County Bd. of Education, Eleventh Circuit. Represented appellant in discrimination case establishing standard for adjudicating mixed-motive cases under Title VII.
  • Sadlowski v. United Steelworks of America, AFL-CIO-CLC, District of Columbia Circuit. Represented appellant in OSHA case establishing workplace hazard communication standards.
  • Tampa Electric Co. v. Garcia, Supreme Court of Florida. Represented appellant in challenge to order by Florida Public Service Commission authorizing development of “merchant” electrical power plants in Florida.
  • Citizens National Bank and Trust Company v. Loue E. Stockwell, Jr., Supreme Court of Florida. Represented appellee in action brought to challenge action by national bank in terminating executive officers and abrogating employment contracts.
  • American Optical Corp. v. Spiewak, Supreme Court of Florida. Represented defendants in asbestos litigation seeking reversal of ruling that asbestos reform law may not be applied constitutionally to pending litigation.
  • City of Winter Park v. Florida Power Corporation, Supreme Court of Florida. Represented appellant in challenge to ruling by intermediate appellate court upholding permanent injunctive relief requiring utility to pay “franchise” payments to local government previously paid under expired agreement.
  • Walter Goldberg v. Florida Power & Light Company, Supreme Court of Florida. Represented appellee in lawsuit in which jury awarded $30 million to parents of decedent killed in intersection accident attributed to interruption of power to traffic signal.
  • Home Shopping Network, Inc. v. Jovon Broadcasting, Florida Second District Court of Appeal. Represented appellee in defending summary judgment terminating option agreement.
  • Fernandez v. Union Carbide, Florida Third District Court of Appeal. Represented appellee in appeal from defense verdict in asbestos personal injury case.
  • Inter-Tel, Inc. v. Executone of Florida, Inc., Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal. Represented appellant on appeal from $7 million jury verdict for breach of contract.
  • Nuko Holdings I, LLC v. Mobile Mini, Inc., Florida Second District Court of Appeal. Represented appellee in appeal from $14 million jury verdict for tortuous interference with business acquisition contract.

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Recognition

  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed inThe Best Lawyers in America
    • “Lawyer of the Year”
      • Mass Tort Litigation/ Class Action – Defendants (2018)
      • Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants (2017)
      • Appellate Practice (2013)
    • Appellate Practice, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants, Legal Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants (2005-2019)
  • Listed in Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Business Lawyers (2006-2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Trend's Florida Hall of Fame of Top 100 lawyers, Florida Legal Elite (2004-2018)
    •  Representing the top 1.6% of all attorneys practicing in Florida
  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Trend's Florida 500 "Most Influential Business Leaders" (2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers (2010-2018)
  • Selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers' Top 10 and Top 100 (2013)
  • Inductee, Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame (2014)
  • Recipient, Tampa Connection's Tampa Citizen of the Year Award (2010)
  • Recipient, Diversity Best Practices' CEO Diversity Leadership Award (2008)
  • Listed in Florida Trend , "Top Managing Partners: Head of the Firm," Florida Legal Elite (2006-2007)
  • Listed in Lawdragon's 100 Lawyers You Need to Know in Securities Litigation

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
    • Board of Directors (2012-present)
    • Vice Chair, Talent Development (2012-present)
  • Member, Florida Bar Gender Diversity Task Force (2016-2017)
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    • Membership limited to 500 trial lawyers, by invitation only
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
    • Membership limited to 500 appellate lawyers, by invitation only
  • American Law Institute (ALI)
    • Council (2011-present)
    • Executive Committee (2012-present)
  • American Bar Association
    • Death Penalty Steering Committee (2008-2010)
  • American Bar Association Section of Litigation
    • Jury Innovation Task Force (2009-2010)
    • Council Member (2003-2006)
    • Co-Chair, Task Force on Independence of the Judiciary (2006-2007)
    • Task Force on Vision Implementation (2006)
    • Editor-in-Chief, Litigation , Published by the ABA Section of Litigation (2001-2002)
  • Straz Performing Arts Center
    • Board of Trustees (2008-present)
    • Chair (2014-Present)
    • Vice-Chair (2012-2014)
    • Chair, Broadway Ball (2011)
  • The Florida Council of 100 (2010-present)
    •  Board of Directors (2017)
  •  Tampa Museum of Art
    • Board of Trustees (2013-2016)
  • Tampa Bay Partnership 
    • Chair, Board of Directors (2009-2010)
    • Executive Committee (2008-2016)
  • United Way Suncoast
    • Chair, Regional Board of Directors (2012-2013)
  • Tocqueville Society
    • Chair, United Way of Tampa Bay (2010)
  • American Heart Association
    • Chair, Heart Ball (2008)

Speaking Engagements

  • "Lessons Learned from Leading Transportation Initiatives," Café con Tampa, Tampa, FL (February 16, 2018)
  • "May It Please the Court: Effective Appellate Oral Advocacy," American College of Trial Lawyers & the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX (June 23, 2017)
  • “Diversity in All Things,” Greater Cincinnati Minority Counsel Program (GCMCP), Cincinnati (May 10, 2012)
  • “Appellate Advocacy,” Stetson Law School (March 2010)
  • “Harnessing the Winds of Change to Bring Balance and Meaning to the Workplace,” ABA Litigation Section (August 2008)
  • “Opposing Class Certification in the United States,” Barreau du Quebec, Montreal, Canada (October 2006)
  • “Defending Class Actions,” Practicing Law Institute, New York (July 2006)
  • "Florida Supreme Court Advocacy Seminar, Government Law Section, The Florida Bar (June 2005, June 2006)
  • “Energy Policy Act of 2005,” Emerging Issues Policy Forum, Orlando, FL (October 2005)
  • “Preserving Error for Appeal in Civil Cases, Federal Practice and Courtroom Advocacy,” New Orleans (April 2005)
  • “Preservation of Error in Civil Cases,” 20th Annual Federal Practice & Advocacy Seminar, New Orleans (April 7-8, 2005)
  • Annual Program on Successful Appellate Practice sponsored by Stetson College of Law and Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section of The Florida Bar. As a core faculty member, presented demonstration oral arguments and lectured on appellate practice, brief writing, and oral advocacy.  (2005, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999)
  •  "Defense of Federal Question Class Actions,” Practicing Law Institute program, New York (July 2005, 2004, 2003)
  • “Innovation and Investment in Telecommunications,” Emerging Issues Policy Forum, Orlando, FL (April 2004)
  • “Preserving the Record on Appeal – An Exercise in Trial Advocacy,” 5th Circuit Annual Conference, New Orleans (January 2004)
  • Florida Circuit Judges Conference, Class Action Litigation, Orlando, FL (June 2003)
  • “Effective Oral Argument,” Practice Before the First District Court of Appeal, demonstration oral argument (January 1999)
  • “Effective Oral Argument,” Third Annual Liability Claims Institute, demonstration oral argument (July 1999)
  • “Appellate Ethics,” Annual Meeting of The Florida Bar (1998)

Credentials

Education
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1977)
    • ​Editor-in-Chief, University of Pennsylvania Law Review
    • Awarded Peter McCall Prize for attaining the highest grades in law school graduating class
    • Awarded Carrye G. Barkenkopf Scholarship at Penn Law School for first in class ranking
  • Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (B.S., magna cum laude, 1974)
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Pennsylvania
Court Admissions
  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • Florida State Courts
Clerkships
  • Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Justice Byron R. White, United States Supreme Court

Background

  • Litigator, Bredhoff & Kaiser, Washington (1979-1987)
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Byron R. White, United States Supreme Court (1978-1979)
  • Law Clerk, The Honorable Spottswood W. Robinson, III, United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (1977-1978)

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.