Therese A. Savona
Therese A. Savona, Esq., is a 2009 graduate from St. Thomas University School of Law. She began her professional career in the Office of the Attorney General in Tallahassee, handling criminal appeals before the First District Court of Appeal. For a little more than two years, Therese handled almost 300 criminal appeals from 2010 to 2012. During this time, she was integral to the arguments presented in Eighth Amendment cases post Graham v. Florida, as well as those immediately following Miller v. Alabama. Her involvement in such cases led to authoring a law review article on whether lengthy term of life sentences for juveniles committing non-homicide offense equated to a life sentence.
This valuable appellate experience paved the way for her position as Chief Appellate Counsel with the Florida Department of Health in 2012. There, she served as the sole appellate attorney for the Prosecution Services Unit in the State of Florida. In addition to handling all final and non-final appeals concerning disciplinary proceedings for all Florida health care professionals, Therese reviewed all emergency suspension and restriction orders prior to their filing to ensure compliance with Florida law. While handling cases in all the District Courts of Appeal in the State and the Florida Supreme Court, she provided litigation support to approximately 55 prosecutors litigating in more than 40 professionals and appearing before more than 20 different professional boards. In 2014, Therese was invited to join the First District Court of Appeal Appellate Inn of Court. To date, she has almost 100 published opinions with countless unpublished decisions to her name.
In late August 2015, Therese was offered an associate position with Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., a civil defense firm, in its Orlando office. Being from Orlando and having family in the Central Florida area, she was excited to accept the offer and all the new challenges of becoming a trial attorney. Currently, Therese is a member of the firm’s medical malpractice section, also handling cases involving professional liability, general civil liability, and condominium and homeowners’ association law.
During her time at St. Thomas, Therese was actively involved in the Moot Court Board. After being awarded Best Brief in the Intramural Moot Court Competition, she became a Research Assistant to the team competing in the Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court. The following semester, Therese was a member of the inaugural St. Thomas team at the John J. Gibbons National Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition. Not long after Gibbons, Therese was selected to coach the team competing in the Robert Orseck Memorial Moot Court Competition, her two fellow competitors from the Gibbons competition. Being knocked out in a sudden death round during the Gibbons competition, redemption fueled Therese and her team all the way to the final round of Orseck, where they were crowned champions. During her third year, Therese assisted every Moot Court competition team in both brief writing and oral advocacy.
Her passion for Moot Court did not end in law school. During her time in Tallahassee, she judged Appellate Advocacy rounds for the Florida State University School of Law. Therese surprised Professor Blumberg, our esteemed Faculty Advisor, by attending the Gibbons competition several years ago, and was honored to be in the United States Supreme Court during his victorious argument in Florida v. Jardines. And in June 2015, Therese returned to Orseck, as a competition judge.
“When I was approached for this spotlight, I was asked the impact of Moot Court, the Appellate Litigation Clinic, and the man behind these entities, Professor Howard Blumberg. To say that my involvement in both Moot Court and the Appellate Litigation Clinic was the most influential for my professional career would be an understatement. The captain of the ship for these two programs is Howard Blumberg. His impact as a professor, mentor, and now colleague transcends appellate advocacy, epitomizing the very essence of the legal profession.”
Published: October of 2015