Diana Santa Maria

About the Speaker
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  • Address
    5220 S University Dr #205c Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33328
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Diana Santa Maria attended the University of Miami where she received both her undergraduate and law degrees. During law school she represented the school in Mock Trial and Moot Court Competitions on the state –wide level winning the Best Brief Award on behalf of the University of Miami at the (1983) Robert Orseck Memorial (State) Moot Court Competition. Upon graduation she was awarded and inducted into the Order of Barristers awarded to the top ten graduating law students based on leadership in trial and appellate advocacy.

Since being admitted to The Florida Bar in 1985, she has devoted her practice to the representation of persons injured as a result of the negligence of others. From 1985 until 1991 she practiced with one of the country’s top personal injury law firms in the areas of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death, both on the trial and appellate levels. In 1991 Diana formed her own practice specializing in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury and Wrongful Death. She is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates as well as the immediate past President of its Fort Lauderdale Chapter (www.abotafll.org)’ she is a Sustaining Member of the American Justice Association, a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association and is AV rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.

Throughout her law career and in addition to her practice, Diana has served the legal profession with distinction. She served a 4 year term as Commissioner on the State of Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission and she served as an adjunct Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University Law Center. She is an active member of The Florida Bar and its Trial Bar, having lectured and written on numerous legal topics within her field, to include Seven Steps to Effective Mediation published in the June, 1997 TRIAL magazine as well as Guideline for Handling Sexual Abuse of a Minor by a Public School Teacher, published as part of a National Conference by the National Crime Victim Bar Association in Washington, D.C.

From 1996 – 2006 she served on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers ( n/k/a the Florida Justice Association) as well as on the Board of Directors for the Broward County Bar & Broward County Trial Lawyers Assn. ( n/k/a Broward Justice Assn.) . She was appointed by the Florida Bar and serves on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and was recently elected by her peers to the Florida Bar Board of Governors. Diana has been listed in Who’s Who in American Law, The International Who’s Who of Professionals and Outstanding Young Women of America. She has also been named to Florida’s Super Lawyers and is listed among the Best Lawyers in America. Aside from being a lawyer, Diana is a parent and has a particular interest in and sensitivity to protecting and preserving the rights of children and enhancing all aspects of public safety.


  • J.D., University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida, 1984
    Honors: Cum Laude
    Honors: Order of Barristers
  • B.A., University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, 1981
    Honors: Cum Laude
    Honors: Gold Key Honor Society

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1985
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, 2008

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

The Florida Bar

Member Since: 1985
Citizen’s Forum (2000 – 2004)
Grievance Committee, 17th Judicial Circuit (2001 – 2004 )

Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (2004- present)

Florida Supreme Court JNC (Judicial Nominating Committee) (2004-2008)
2004 Gubernatorial Appointment

Florida Bar Board of Governors ( June 2013- present)

Broward County Trial Lawyers Association
Member Since: 2004
Board of Directors (2004- 2008)

Broward County Bar Association
Member Since: 2005
Board of Directors (2005- 2010)

Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers (n/k/a: Florida Justice Association)
Member Since: 1985
Board of Directors (1996 – 2006)
Chair, Continuing Legal Education (1999 – 2001)
Chair, Allies Committee (2001-2003)
Endowment for Academy Giving to Law and Education (Patron)
Florida Lawyer’s Action Group (Trustee) 2002-2005

Florida Lawyer’s Action Group
Trustee (2002 – 2005)

American Board of Trial Advocates
President (2012) (Ft. Lauderdale Chapter)

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (n/k/a: American Justice Association)
Sustaining Member

Trial Lawyers for Public Justice

National Association of Trial Lawyers

Coalition for Family Safety
Charter Member, Officer and Director

Published Works

  • Co-Author, “Seven Steps to Effective Mediation”, Trial , June, 1997
  • “Mediation Strategy and Techniques” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1996
  • “Handling Causation Issues in the Low Impact Case” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1998
  • “Demand Packages that Get Results and Winning at Mediation” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1999
  • “Frye and Daubert Hearings and Issues” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, February, 2001
  • “Trial of the Soft Tissue Case” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, June, 2001
  • “Cross Examination of a Lay Witness at Trial” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, August, 2001
  • “Proof and Argument of Liability In the Slippery Surface Slip & Fall Case” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, April, 2002
  • “Settlement and Negotiation in Mediation” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, June, 2002
  • “Direct Examination of the Plaintiff – A Demonstration by the Masters” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, October, 2002
  • “Ten Most Commonly Misunderstood Litigation Deadlines” , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, February, 2003
  • “Depositions”, Practicing with Professionalism Seminar, Florida Bar , Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, December, 2003
  • “Managing Your Own Law Practice” , Florida Association of Women Lawyers, January, 2003
  • “Proof and Argument of Past and Future Medical and Related Expenses at Trial” , February, 2006
  • Co-Author and Lecturer: “Handling Sex Abuse Cases Involving Minors in Public Schools” , May, 2006
  • Negotiating, Mediating, Settling and Trying Personal Injury Cases Jan. 2009
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Mediation Oct. 2011

Honors and Awards

  • Golden Key Honor Society
  • Order of Barristers (University of Miami Law School Honor Society)
  • State Moot Court Team (for the University of Miami School of Law 1984)
  • “Best Brief Award”, Robert Orseck Memorial State Moot Court Competition, 1984
  • Listed, Who’s Who in American Law, 9th Edition
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Florida Super Lawyers 2005 – 2012
  • Martindale Hubbel AV rated
  • Martindale Hubbel Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Listed among the Best Lawyers in America 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012