Sonia Escobio O'Donnell

Top rated Appellate attorney in Miami Springs, Florida

The O'Donnell Law Firm, PA
Sonia Escobio O'Donnell
The O'Donnell Law Firm, PA

Practice Areas: Appellate, White Collar Crimes, Environmental; view more

Licensed in Florida since: 1978

Education: University of Florida Levin College of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2023

The O'Donnell Law Firm, PA

700 S Royal Poinciana Blvd
Suite 705
Miami Springs, FL 33166 Visit website


Attorney Sonia Escobio O'Donnell is the founder and owner of The O'Donnell Law Firm, PA, in Miami, Florida. Widely regarded as one of the leading trial lawyers in her region, Ms. O’Donnell has more than 43 years of total legal experience, and she provides unmatched counsel and support to clients throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties and across South Florida who have legal needs involving any of the following:

·       Litigation and appeals

·       Criminal law

·       Federal criminal law

·       International law

·       Environmental law

Early in her legal career, Ms. O’Donnell served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and over the course of the following 16 years, she handled hundreds of complex criminal cases and appeals. During that time, she rose to become an Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney and then served as special counsel to the U.S. Attorney.

In addition, she also served on the Drug Task Force in Miami, and she also worked for three years in the civil division, where she defended the federal government against a variety of claims under The False Claims Act, The Freedom of Information Act and The Federal Tort Claims Act while prosecuting cases involving health care fraud.

Since entering private practice, Ms. O’Donnell has achieved equal success representing the rights and interests of corporations and others dealing with serious accusations of white collar crimes, RICO violations, drug trafficking crimes, Medicare fraud and more. She has also handled trials and appeals in a variety of issues of Indian Law matters, and she has become a recognized leader in environmental law, deftly handling claims involving the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and other issues.

A 1974 graduate of the University of Florida, Ms. O’Donnell returned to her alma mater and obtained her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida's Levin College of Law in 1977. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th and 9th circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ms. O’Donnell has numerous publications to her credit, and she has conducted many lectures and continuing legal education seminars across her region on a variety of legal topics. She is also an active member of the American Bar Association, where she served as co-chair of the organization's Appellate Practice Litigation Committee as well as member of its Book Board, where she has helped develop and edit treatises on internal investigations and international litigation.

She has also served on various other boards in her legal community, and she helped lead pro bono projects for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Practice areas

Appellate, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Environmental

Focus areas

Appeals, Criminal Law - Federal, Environmental Law, White Collar Crime

  • 50% Appellate
  • 30% Criminal Defense: White Collar
  • 20% Environmental

First Admitted: 1978, Florida

Professional Webpage:

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Panelist, "Meet the ABA SEER," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL (September 3, 2014)
  • St. Thomas University School of Law, Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights, Seventh Tribal Sovereignty Symposium (Steering Committee)
  • Panelist, "Winning Strategies for Jury Instructions," ABA TIPS Annual Spring CLE and Leadership Forum (2001)
  • Panelist, Florida Bar First Amendment Seminars (2000, 2001, 2002)
  • Instructor, United States Attorney General's Appellate Advocacy Institute, Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (Criminal Appeals) (1987, 1998) (Civil Appeals) (1990)
  • Panelist, "For the Record, from Start to Finish: Your Case on Appeal Can Be Greatly Improved by Focusing on Potential Appellate Issues at Every Step of the Litigation Process," ABA Section Annual Conference (SAC), Scottsdale, AZ (April11, 2014)
  • Panelist, "Opening Statements and Closing Arguments 101," ABA Section of Litigation, Webinar (April 24, 2014)
  • Moderator, "Women General Counsel to Know," Women of the Section of Litigation Conference: Leading, Litigating, and Connecting (ABA), Chicago, IL (November 6, 2014)
  • As Web Editor and now Co-Chair of the ABA, Section of Litigation, Appellate Practice Committee, there is a significant amount of material generated.  See ABA Web Page for information.  In addition, I participated in ABA publication, A Practioner's Guide to Appellate Advocacy (chapter on Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules and procedures)
  • Panelist, "The "Scandalous" Pella Class Action - A Cautionary Tale for Rule 23 Settlements," 2015 IADC Midyear Meeting, Marco Island, FL (February 18, 2015)
  • “A Practitioner’s Guide to Appellate Advocacy” (Chapter, Eleventh Circuit Rules and Procedures, 2010)
  • Co-Author, “TD Bank Learns the Hard Way: Anti-Money Laundering Law is about More Than Terrorists” (ExpectFocus, Vol. IV, 2013)
  • “Law Firm Appellate Practice and How a Former Prosecutor Got There” (ABA Litigation, Woman Advocate, 2014)
  • Co-Author, “Criminal Appeals for the Mostly Civil Lawyer” (ABA Litigation, Appellate Practice, 2014)
  • Co-Author, “New Department of Justice Memo to Increase Prosecutions of White Collar Executives and Other Employees” (2015)
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Member of Florida Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Subcommittee Co-chair (Web-Page Editor-Membership), Appellate Practice Committee, Litigation, American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers - Executive Committee duties  Supervise Jorden Burt's Miami Office Pro Bono Program
  • Member of Cuban American Bar
  • Negrete v. Allianz
  • United States v. Cortez
  • United States v. Noriega
  • SFWMD v. Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
  • ABA Section of Litigation, Co-Chair, Appellate Practice Committee 2012, 2013
  • AV Rated Peer Review, Martindale-Hubbell, since, 1997
  • Pro Bono Award, Cuban American Bar Association, 2012
  • Best Web Page, ABA Section of Litigation, Appellate Practice Committee, 2012
  • AV Rated Preeminent Women Attorney (Publication), Martindale-Hubbell
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Supervise Jorden Burt's Miami Office Pro Bono Program
Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Appointment, Ad Hoc Committee on Rules and Procedures for the U.S. Dist. Court, So. Dist. FL
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Peter T. Fay, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (1978-1979)
  • ABA Appellate Publication (chapter on Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules and procedures)
  • Appointment, Federal Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the U.S. District Court, So. Dist. of FL, 2009
  • Assistant United States Attorney (1979-1995) (Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, Special Counsel, Appeals, Deputy Chief and Chief)
  • Florida Bar First Amendment Seminars 2000, 2001 and 2002 (panelist)
  • Appointment, Bench and Bar Conference for the U.S. District Court, So. Dist. FL
  • Appointment, Federal Judicial Bar and Community Liaison Committee, So. Dist. FL
  • Instructor, Attorney General's Appellate Advocacy Institute Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. (Criminal Appeals) (1987, 1998) (Civil Appeals) (1990)
Educational Background:
  • B.S., University of Florida (in Journalism), 1974

Office location for Sonia Escobio O'Donnell

700 S Royal Poinciana Blvd
Suite 705
Miami Springs, FL 33166

Phone: 305-985-5662


12 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2023

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