Zuckerman Spaeder Tampa Attorneys Sandy Weinberg and Sara Lawson Honored by Florida’s Daily Business Review
The Daily Business Review has named two Tampa-based Zuckerman Spaeder attorneys as winners of its 2021 Florida Legal Awards. Morris “Sandy” Weinberg Jr. has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award – one of three attorneys statewide to receive the recognition – and Sara Alpert Lawson has been named to the “On the Rise” list. The annual Florida Legal Awards recognizes professional excellence in the legal community throughout the state.
Mr. Weinberg founded Zuckerman Spaeder’s Tampa office in 1991 and has practiced law since 1975. He began his career with Powell Goldstein in Atlanta and then served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted white collar criminal cases and led the headline-making prosecution of international financier and commodities dealer Marc Rich. His work earned him the Director’s Award for Superior Performance and an outstanding service award from the Treasury Department. In 1985, he began his time in Florida as a partner with Carlton Fields, where he established its white collar criminal practice.
At Zuckerman Spaeder, Mr. Weinberg is frequently sought out by high-profile individuals and organizations facing their most difficult legal challenges. His work has included securing an acquittal for retired four-star general Wallace Nutting after a 6.5-month federal jury trial in a government contracting fraud case. He has defended numerous executives, including the former general counsel of a large public health care company in a highly publicized Medicaid fraud case. He also won a federal habeas corpus case that freed two men who wrongfully sat on death row for nine years.
Throughout his career, Mr. Weinberg has consistently given back to his profession and his community. As Chair of the ABA’s 20,000-member Criminal Justice Section and Co-Chair of the White-Collar Crime Committee, he pursued new initiatives to advance the criminal justice system. Together with his wife Rosemary Armstrong, Mr. Weinberg founded Crossroads for Florida Kids, a non-profit providing pro bono legal services for disadvantaged youth in foster care.
Ms. Lawson’s work at Zuckerman Spaeder focuses on representing healthcare organizations and executives facing government investigations and allegations of fraud or False Claims Act violations. She is tremendously skilled at navigating clients through difficult legal challenges and has become one of Zuckerman Spaeder’s go-to attorneys for government investigations. Her work has helped deliver impressive results and, in just the last few years, she obtained favorable settlements in a government investigation of a leading Florida physician, a False Claims Act lawsuit against the CEO of a non-profit hospice provider, and a civil fraud investigation of two former healthcare company executives.
Outside of her professional work, Ms. Lawson is passionate about using her legal and leadership skills to support youth in foster care. She represents young people facing foster care legal battles as a pro bono attorney with Crossroads for Florida Kids and she built a mentorship program at her church that served nearly a dozen foster kids. She has also spent years working on behalf of Bay Area Legal Services (BALS), including serving on the Board for seven years. On top of that, Ms. Lawson has been a member of the Pearl Society – a women's philanthropic organization that raises funds for BALS – and previously served as the group’s president.
Ms. Lawson’s commitment to youth in foster care has earned her multiple recognitions, including the statewide Pro Bono Service Award from the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and the Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Young Lawyer Award, given to just one attorney annually in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit.
The Daily Business Review’s annual legal awards event will be held in person in May.