Leslie M. Sammis
Leslie M. Sammis is an attorney at Sammis Law Firm in Tampa, FL. Her practice is limited to defending clients in serious criminal, DUI, and civil asset forfeiture cases.
Gaining valuable insight into the criminal justice process, Ms. Sammis completed internships with the State Attorney’s Office prosecuting felony offenses, the United States Attorney’s Office in Tampa assisting federal prosecutors, and a federal judicial internship with the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge, for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.
Her passion for trial advocacy led her to the Public Defender’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida where she gained valuable jury trial experience while representing individuals in misdemeanor, juvenile, and felony divisions. After two years as an Assistant Public Defender, Leslie Sammis entered private practice.
She worked for five years as an associate attorney at Head, Thomas, Webb, and Willis, a criminal and DUI defense law firm in Atlanta, GA. After returning to Tampa, she worked for two years at Escobar, Ramirez & Associates, P.A., where she continued to focus exclusively on criminal defense.
In 2008, she founded the Sammis Law Firm, P.A. Over the past twelve years, the firm has grown to four attorneys who each focus on criminal and DUI defense, as well as civil asset forfeiture. Staff members include four paralegals and an intake coordinator.
As a lifetime member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACDL), Ms. Sammis enjoys networking with other attorneys fighting similar battles in the courtroom.
For more than ten (10) years, Ms. Sammis has been a proud member of the NORML National Legal Committee (NLC) focused on the reform of marijuana laws. During that time, she has attended several of the annual NLC seminars in Aspen and Key West. She is also passionate about the reform of civil asset forfeiture laws.
Education and Training in Trial Advocacy
Since high school, Ms. Sammis knew she wanted to be in the courtroom conducting jury trials. From 1989 to 1991, she competed in the National Law Explorer Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the ABA. Over those three years, her team won first place during the national competition held in Honolulu, Boulder, and Atlanta.
After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1996, Leslie Sammis completed her first year of law school at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was the only first year student on Stetson’s Trial Team that won second place overall in the 1997 National Association of Trial Lawyers (ATLA) Competition in Denver.
For her second and third year of law school, Ms. Sammis transferred to the University of Florida (UF) College of Law in Gainesville, Florida, where she graduated with Honors in 1999. While at the University of Florida, Ms. Sammis competed in several moot court competitions and served on the Executive Board of the UF Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Board as the Vice-Chair of Public Relations.
Recent Speaking Engagements
On November 21, 2019, Ms. Sammis was invited to speak in a panel discussion on Florida’s version of Marsy’s Law at The Bruce R. Jacob-Chris W. Altenbernd Criminal Appellate American Inn of Court meeting. The two other participants on the panel included the Police Legal Counsel for the St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clerk of Court for the Second DCA. The discussion was titled “Marsy’s Law: Protecting Victims’ Rights: The Practical Effect of Florida’s Adoption of Amendment 6 on Criminal Practice.”
On May 17, 2019, at the St. Pete Yacht Club, Ms. Sammis presented at a CLE seminar on “Know Your Client’s Rights: Adapting to Legislative Changes in Criminal Defense.” Her presentation focused on representing the respondent facing weapons removal and restriction under Florida’s new Risk Protection Order statute. After her presentation, she was included in a panel discussion on balancing the rights of the individual with the risk of future harm which included two Circuit Court Judges in Pinellas County, FL, an attorney for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, an attorney for the Tampa Police Department, and another attorney in private practice.
On May 31, 2014, Leslie Sammis was a co-presenter for “Marketing the Certification Credential” at the Annual National Specialization Roundtable, hosted by the American Bar Association. The event was held in conjunction with the National Conference on Professional Responsibility in Long Beach, CA.
- University of Florida College of Law, Gainesville, Florida, 1999
- Juris Doctorate, with Honors
- University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, 1996
- Bachelor of Arts
- State Bar of Florida, 1999
- State Bar of Georgia, 2002
Criminal Trial Experience:
- Former Assistant Public Defender, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida
- Federal Judicial Internship with the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., United States District Judge, for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division
- Internship with the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida prosecuting felony cases and conducting felony jury trials under the supervision of the State Attorney’s Office
- Internship with the United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, assisting federal prosecutors
- UF’s Justice Campbell Thornal Moot Court Executive Board – Vice-Chair of Public Relations
- Second Place National 1997 Trial Team Competition sponsored by the National Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACDL) – Life Member
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) – Life Member
- National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) – Member
- DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) – Member
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) – Member
- NORML’s National Legal Committee (NLC) – Member
- Forfeiture Endangers American Rights Foundation (FEAR) – Attorney Directory