Sara Alpert Lawson
A third-generation lawyer, Sara Alpert Lawson has established a diverse practice representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes government investigations and commercial disputes.
Sara focuses on client goals and how to achieve them efficiently, approaching issues with creativity and attention to detail. Her broad experience handling litigation and investigations in a wide range of industries, including health care, real estate, pensions, and construction, makes her particularly equipped to help clients navigate issues across the board. Her clients include a major health system, health care organizations and providers, Chief Executive Officers and other senior leaders from a diverse range of businesses, large corporations, and entrepreneurs.
Sara is a determined advocate with substantial experience litigating nuanced cases and defending her clients in government investigations conducted by both federal and state agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Industry & Security, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Florida Medicaid Fraud Control unit.
Sara has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for White-Collar Criminal Defense every year since 2017.
Before entering private practice, Sara was in-house general Corporate Counsel for a multinational chemical distributor and manufacturer. In this capacity, she worked directly with the CEO and CFO, advising the business on corporate matters and managing litigation for the company.
In addition to her practice, Sara is active in the community and is committed to pro bono efforts, particularly those involving foster youth. Sara served on the Board of Directors for Bay Area Legal Services from 2011-2018, and is currently a member of the Bay Area Legal Services Development Council.
In 2015, Sara received the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award. Sara is a member of the firm’s Professional Development Committee, the Tampa Bay Chapter of the Federal Bar Association Criminal Law Committee, the University of Maryland Carey Law Alumni Board, the Florida Bar Leadership Academy Committee, the Women’s White Collar Defense Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association.
Sara earned her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she served as an Editor for the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class. She received her B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University.
- The University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 2007
- Articles Editor, University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class
- Professionalism and Diversity Committee
- The Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 2003
- Vice President of Operations, Alpha Phi
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- Member, Law360 2023 Florida Editorial Advisory Board
- Chair, Bay Area Legal Services Development Council
- University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Alumni Board, 2018-present
- Member and Thought Leadership Committee, Women's White Collar Defense Association
- Wm. Reece Smith Jr. Leadership Academy Committee, The Florida Bar, 2018-2020
- Board of Directors, Bay Area Legal Services, 2011-2018
- Alumnus, Wm. Reece Smith Jr. Florida Bar Leadership Academy, Class I
- Barrister, Goldburg-Cacciatore Criminal Law Inn of Court
- Attorney Ad Litem, Crossroads for Florida Kids
- Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
- Member, Federal Bar Association
- Member, Hillsborough County Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Chairwoman and Founder, Foster Care Ministry Mentor Program, Sacred Heart Church
- Lector, Sacred Heart Church
- Representing a large health system in connection with a civil False Claims Act investigation.
- Representing a Taft-Hartley pension plan in litigation filed against the plan’s former actuarial service provider for professional negligence and breach of contract.
- Represented a large health system in civil litigation brought against a provider of actuarial services. The case alleged that the defendant understated the pension plans’ liabilities of a smaller health system acquired by our client by more than $130 million, saddling our client with that liability after the acquisition closed. After an 18-day federal jury trial, the case settled on terms satisfactory to the client.
- Represented a business owner in connection with a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office involving allegations of pandemic-related fraud. No charges were brought against our client.
- Obtained dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit alleging that our client, a health care system, failed to properly obtain informed consent from patients undergoing surgeries, resulting in purportedly false submissions for payment to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.
- Represented a physician in connection with an investigation conducted by the HHS Office of the Inspector General.
- Represented a large, national retailer in litigation in the Middle District of Florida involving an alleged breach of contract. The matter settled on favorable terms for the client.
- Represented a certified class of individuals who were denied coverage for residential treatment, intensive outpatient, and outpatient services by United Behavioral Health.
- Represented co-owners of a home health provider in a civil False Claims Act investigation.
- Represented owners of a Medicare managed care provider in a civil False Claims Act investigation.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a home health provider in connection with internal allegations of possible Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute violations.
- Represented a physician in connection with a False Claims Act investigation in the Middle District of Florida.
- Represented former executives of a health maintenance organization in connection with a government investigation in the Middle District of Florida.
- Represented several employees of a homebuilder in connection with a mortgage fraud investigation arising out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Due to diligent efforts to understand the clients and their business, was able to keep all clients from being prosecuted.
- Represented a freight forwarding company in connection with a joint investigation in the Middle District of Florida by the Department of Commerce and Department of Homeland Security resulting in a non-prosecution agreement.
Supreme Court Criminal Law Update: White Collar Edition
Federal Bar Association - Tampa Bay Chapter
September 27, 2023 | Speaking Engagement
Fla. High Court Urged To Reinstate Atty Ousted By DeSantis
September 18, 2023 | In the news
Legal Ethics Experts Back Pausing Ga. Prosecutor Watchdog
September 12, 2023 | In the news
42 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys, Including Six “Ones to Watch,” Recognized in 2024 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
August 17, 2023 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Partner Sara Lawson Moves to Baltimore Office
August 02, 2023 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized on the DC Courts’ 2022 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
July 27, 2023 | Press release
The Supreme Court Confirms the Government’s Essentially Unfettered Authority to Dismiss False Claims Act Cases
June 27, 2023 | InsightZS Blog
Super Lawyers (Florida)
2023 | Press release
Part III | SCOTUS Ruling: “Knowing” Violations of Unknowable Rules: Is the Supreme Court Poised to Alter the FCA Enforcement Landscape in SuperValu?
June 02, 2023 | InsightZS Blog
Sara Alpert Lawson Recognized as “Best Mentor” by Florida’s Daily Business Review
May 18, 2023 | Press release
Driving Diversity in Law & Leadership: Sponsorship, Change Agents & Allies
May 18, 2023 | Speaking Engagement
Part II | April 18 Oral Argument: “Knowing” Violations of Unknowable Rules: Is the Supreme Court Poised to Alter the FCA Enforcement Landscape in SuperValu?
May 16, 2023 | InsightZS Blog
Best Mentors: Zuckerman Spaeder's Sara Lawson Pays Mentorship Forward
Daily Business Review
May 13, 2023 | In the news
Part I | Background: “Knowing” Violations of Unknowable Rules: Is the Supreme Court Poised to Alter the FCA Enforcement Landscape in SuperValu?
May 11, 2023 | InsightZS Blog
Law360's 2023 Florida Editorial Advisory Board
May 08, 2023 | In the news
Reflections on Generational Diversity in Law | Corporate Counsel
December 22, 2022 | InsightZS Blog
Reflections on Generational Diversity in Law
December 16, 2022 | Publication
How I Made Partner: 'Don’t Dismiss Criticism,' Says Sara Alpert Lawson of Zuckerman Spaeder
December 05, 2022 | In the news
Scholars Slam Fla. Gov's Suspension Of Tampa Prosecutor
August 31, 2022 | In the news
115 Legal Scholars Denounce the “Deeply-Concerning” Suspension of Hillsborough County, Florida State Attorney Warren
August 30, 2022 | Press release
38 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America, Including Three “Lawyers of the Year”
August 18, 2022 | Press release
Driving Diversity in Law & Leadership: Nurturing the Next Generation in Legal
June 08, 2022 | Speaking Engagement
DOJ Unveils Enhanced White Collar Prosecution Focus at ABA National Institute on White Collar Crime
March 16, 2022 | InsightZS Blog
A Government Win That FCA Defense Counsel Can Get Behind
February 01, 2022 | InsightZS Blog
UnitedHealth Subsidiary Owes Millions in Fees in Coverage Suit
January 06, 2022 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder Names Sara Alpert Lawson as Partner
January 04, 2022 | Press release
36 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Two Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; Three Associates Recognized as “Ones to Watch”
August 19, 2021 | Press release
False Claims Complaint Dismissed Against Zuckerman Spaeder Client University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
June 03, 2021 | Press release
On the Rise: Meet Florida's Most Impressive Young Attorneys
May 03, 2021 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder Launches InsightZS – A Legal Thought Leadership Resource
April 06, 2021 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Tampa Attorneys Sandy Weinberg and Sara Lawson Honored by Florida’s Daily Business Review
April 05, 2021 | Press release
33 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; Two Associates Recognized as “Ones to Watch”
August 20, 2020 | Press release
33 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”
August 15, 2019 | Press release
How and Why Are Documents Redacted?
How Stuff Works
April 25, 2019 | In the news
Sara Alpert Lawson named Counsel in Zuckerman Spaeder’s Tampa Office
October 30, 2018 | Press release
31 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”
August 15, 2018 | Press release
29 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2018 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Partner Mark Foster Named “Lawyer of the Year”
August 16, 2017 | Press release
The Yates Memo’s Illusory “Extraordinary Circumstances” Exception
October 18, 2016 | InsightZS Blog
Fired for Taking the Fifth: Famous Firings in History
August 18, 2016 | InsightZS Blog
30 Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Attorneys Recognized in 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Three Partners Named "Lawyers of the Year"
August 15, 2016 | Press release
Pretrial Procedures and Case Management
Federal Bar Association YLD Federal Practice Seminar
2016 | Speaking Engagement
Are You the Vice President in Charge of Going to Jail?
October 16, 2015 | InsightZS Blog
With Yates Memo, the DOJ aims to prosecute more corporate executives. But will there be unintended consequences?
September 30, 2015 | InsightZS Blog
Redefining Success in the Legal Profession
Eighth Circuit Bar Association Leadership Roundtable
April 2015 | Speaking Engagement
Is It Possible to Be Happy in Your First Ten Years of Private Practice?
Federal Bar Association
April 2015 | Publication
Whistleblower Defense Just Got Trickier
National Law Journal
March 09, 2015 | Publication
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Associate Sara L.A. Lawson Receives Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award
January 29, 2015 | Press release
Pro Bono Service Award, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, 2015
January 29, 2015 | Press release
Tampa Bay lawyers, firm and judge flooded with pro bono awards
Tampa Bay Business Journal
January 21, 2015 | In the news
Fired for Taking the Fifth: Part 1 – The Private Sector Employee
November 13, 2014 | InsightZS Blog
Government Investigations: The Treacherous Path to Obtaining (and Keeping!) Defense Costs Paid Under D&O Policies
October 09, 2014 | InsightZS Blog
Zuckerman Spaeder’s pro bono work a highlight of 13th Circuit ceremony
Tampa Bay Business Journal
April 25, 2014 | In the news
Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, 2014
April 25, 2014 | Press release
People on the Move
Tampa Bay Business Journal
August 13, 2013 | In the news
People on the Move
Tampa Bay Business Journal
February 20, 2013 | In the news
Overcriminalization: When In-House Counsel Is the Defendant
September 15, 2011 | Publication
Sampling, Copyright and the Infringing Gymnast
Maryland Bar Journal
March/April 2007 | Publication
2021 On the Rise Award, Daily Business Review
2015 Pro Bono Service Award, Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division
2014 Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Service Award, Outstanding Service by a Young Lawyer
The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; Litigation - Health Care
Super Lawyers Rising Star (Florida)
2023 Best Mentor, Daily Business Review
2022 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, DC Courts