Laura L. Whiteside
Laura L. Whiteside joined Henry W. Hicks, P.A. (now Hicks Whiteside, P.A.) in 2012 after operating a solo practice for several years while championing the rights of children with disabilities to appropriate public education. With more than 25 years of litigation experience, Laura brings a wealth of skills and practical experience to our clients.
Laura participated in the briefing of the firm’s precedent-setting appellate decision that finally decided that delinquent homeowner association dues are extinguished by tax deeds in the case of Cricket Properties v. Nassau Point. Since that time, she has regularly represented investor owners and borrowers in foreclosure matters and has led quiet title litigation matters to rapid conclusion. Laura represents investors and homeowners in residential real property litigation, homeowner association disputes, estoppel letters, title disputes, lien disputes and boundary disputes, and appeals. Laura also represents clients in guardianships, probate & trust matters. She prepares deeds, easements and mortgages and assists clients in estate planning.
Born in Oklahoma and raised in Florida, Laura received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of South Florida in Tampa and her Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of Florida College of Law in Gainesville.
After an early career as a newspaper reporter and author of the Troubleshooter, an action line column appearing in The Tampa Tribune daily newspaper, Laura attended law school where she worked at the school’s Center for Governmental Responsibility. She began her legal career at Holland & Knight, working on the media team and representing The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV, Channel 8, as well as other media interests, in state and federal litigation and appeals. She advised clients in the areas of public records access, Government in the Sunshine laws, First Amendment, prepublication review and defamation law.
Laura later practiced with the firm of Barnett, Bolt, Kirkwood & Long, where she handled a variety of commercial real estate litigation matters and represented a major grocery store chain and other business interests. As she began her work in special education, she also became affiliated with Cohn & Cohn, P.A., a boutique real estate firm primarily handling commercial transactional matters and litigation. Soon, Laura formed a sole practice in order to immerse herself in the area of special education rights, litigating administrative due process hearings and federal trial and appellate matters. Laura also worked as a senior attorney for the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, litigating the rights of persons with disabilities in individual and class action matters.
Laura is admitted to practice in all state courts of Florida and in the United States District courts for the Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Florida, as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Court Admissions and Memberships
- Florida Bar Association
- All Florida state courts
- S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- Florida Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
- Florida Bar Association Appellate Section
- Hillsborough County Bar Association
Honors and Recognitions
- AV Rated (highest rating) by Martindale Hubbell since 1997
- Author, Florida Bar Reporter’s Handbook, Defamation and the Media section, 1988-1990
- CLE Presenter, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Whitehead By and Through Whitehead v. School Board for Hillsborough County, Florida,918 F. Supp. 1515 (M.D. Fla. 1996);
Whitehead by and Through Whitehead v. School Board for Hillsborough County, et al., 932 F. Supp. 1393 (M.D. Fla. 1996);
Whitehead By and Through Whitehead v. School Board for Hillsborough County, et al.,932 F. Supp. 1396 (M.D. Fla. 1996);
R.L. and S.L. v. Miami-Dade County School Board, 2010 WL 4982718 (S.D. Fla. 2010);
In re Guardianship of J.D.S., 864 So. 2d 534 (Fla. 5th DCA 2004);
Radcliffe v. School Board of Hillsborough County, 38 F. Supp. 2d 994 (M.D. Fla. 1999);
Webb v. School Board of Escambia County,1 So. 3d 1189 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009);
State v. Webb,786 So. 2d 602 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001);
Livingston v. State,858 So. 2d 353 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003);
Smith v. Dugger, 529 So. 2d 679 (Fla. 1988);
Firestone v. News-Press Publishing Co., Inc., 538 So. 2d 457 (Fla. 1989);
Tribune Company v. In re Public Records, P.C.S.O. #79-35504 Miller/Jent, 493 So. 2d 480 (Fla. 2d DCA 1986); and
Lazzara Oil Co. v. Columbia Casualty Co., 683 F. Supp. 777 (M.D. Fla. 1988)