About Leslie Loftus
Ms. Loftus offers a concierge approach to her clients. She begins with the assumption that each case calls for special handling, since no two family law cases are alike. After the initial consultation, she works with her clients closely, to provide them with a basic understanding of Florida family law proceedings. Ms. Loftus and the client are then able to work together to ensure that there are articulated, agreed-upon, legitimate and realistic goals. After the goals are established, Ms. Loftus provides her clients with a range of options designed to meet those objectives. She reviews the advantages and disadvantages of each option and provides her recommendation. Ms. Loftus believes strongly in this approach as the best means of seeing that the client is empowered and fully-informed, and that if significant sums are to be spent on legal fees, the client understands why and knows ahead of time that significant fees will be incurred.
Because of the vicissitudes inherent in the family law court system, Ms. Loftus believes it is in her clients’ interests to resolve family law issues if possible outside of the courtroom. No lawyer can guarantee what results might be obtained after a hearing or trial before the court. Should efforts at a reasonable mediation be unsuccessful, however, Ms. Loftus works with clients to see that their legal objectives are pursued in court through motion practice and trial. At all times, Ms. Loftus presents her clients’ positions in a vigorous, thorough manner designed to achieve success without sacrificing professionalism.
Upon obtaining her juris doctorate and passing the Illinois Bar exam, Ms. Loftus began her first two years practicing law by accepting a federal court clerkship. She went on to private practice at a large, established Chicago law firm, at which she was made partner. Ms. Loftus represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation at both the trial and appellate court levels, in both state and federal courts. She was a member of the Chicago and Federal Bar Associations.
While in Chicago, Ms. Loftus handled cases presenting issues of international law, and was an active member of the International Bar Association. Ms. Loftus gained a global perspective towards legal issues, by attending IBA annual meetings in Paris, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Cannes, Vancouver, Strasbourg and elsewhere.
After ten years, Ms. Loftus took the Florida Bar and transferred her practice to a satellite office of the Chicago law firm. She continued her work on complex commercial and international litigation while there. She was active in the local Palm Beach County Bar Association, and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Palm Glades Girl Scouts Council.
In 2002, Ms. Loftus moved to Sarasota and joined the Icard, Merrill firm as a partner. Upon moving to Sarasota in 2002, Ms. Loftus became active in the local community, and was honored by the local Bar. In 2013, after working with Kirk-Pinkerton since 2008 to establish a family law department, Ms. Loftus opened her own law offices, doing business as “Loftus Law.” Ms. Loftus began her career as a commercial litigator over 30 years ago, and began devoting her time to representing clients in family law matters exclusively since moving to Sarasota.
Martindale-Hubbell “AV” Rating
Over 20 years ago, in 1996, Ms. Loftus received the coveted “AV” rating – the highest rating available – from Martindale-Hubbell. According to Martindale-Hubbell, “an AV certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment …. a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.”
The rating is based on the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell explains that “knowledge and skill derived from extensive experience are usually prerequisites for an AV rating.” The “AV” rating covers legal ability, and is the equivalent of “Very High to Preeminent.”
2003: Served on the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee.
2004-2005: Served as the Chair of the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Professionalism Committee, for two consecutive years.
2005: Received the “C.L. McCaig Award” (bestowed by the Sarasota County Bar Association each year to a Bar member) in recognition of “extraordinary service in promoting the Association’s goals, programs or functions.” Ms. Loftus received the Award for the work accomplished by the Professionalism Committee of the Bar, during the two years Ms. Loftus served as its Chair.
2006-2009: Served a three-year term on the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Board of Directors.
2006: Assigned as the SCBA’s Board of Directors’ “goal champion” for promoting diversity committee objectives.
April, 2006: Began participating as an active member of the 12th Judicial Circuit Family Law Collaborative Professionals Group.
2007-2009: Served as a member of the Sarasota County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee.
Spring, 2007: Began participating as a member of the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Family Law Advisory Group and Domestic Violence Task Force.
October, 2007: Appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to serve three one-year terms on the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Grievance Committee.
2007: Appointed to the 12th Judicial Circuit court administrative post of Chair of the Family Law Advisory Group’s Domestic Violence Committee.
December, 2007: Became a Fellow of the Florida Bar Foundation.
2009-2010: Served as the Chair of the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Grievance Committee (12A).
December, 2010: Appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to a three-year term on the 12th Judicial Circuit’s Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee; presently serving a second three-year term.
2014 – Present: Appointed to the Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court’s inaugural Local Professionalism Panel; presently serving second term as Chair.
2003-2008: Member of the Sarasota Bay Rotary Club.
Ad hoc speaker for the Women’s Resource Center and local chapter of the Hadassah women’s group.
Active member of the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club, a non-partisan group which meets monthly to remain apprised of issues affecting the local citizenry.
Member, Sarasota Women’s Alliance; 2009-2010: Served on the Board of the Sarasota Women’s Alliance.
2006-2009: Served as President of the Board for the Avondale Neighborhood Association, working with a group of approximately 70 homeowners.
2006-2007: Southside Elementary School Community Awareness and Resources for Education (C.A.R.E.) program sponsor, to enhance classroom learning by contributing to the purchase of items outside of those budgeted.
2008: Recognized by the Sarasota City Commissioners – graduate of the “Citizens Academy”, administered by the City of Sarasota’s Neighborhood Partnership Office.
2009: Featured speaker to discuss family law on the local Channel 20 program, “Law in Sarasota.”
2010: Committee member for Children First’s 50th Anniversary Gala luncheon, honoring the Junior League; committee member for Children First’s annual fundraiser, “Moonlight Regatta,” and Committee Chair for “Little Black Dress” luncheon sponsored by Children First.
2012: Served on the Van Wezel Executive Council.
2012: Served on the NAMI Board of Directors.
2011 – Present: Ringling Library Town Hall series “Platinum Sponsor.”
2009 – Present: Elected to the Board of Directors for the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club; served as Secretary 2013 – 2015.
2012 – Present: Appointed by the City of Sarasota to serve on its Board of Adjustment (conducts hearings on city zoning grievances); elected as Chair effective September 2015.
2014 – Present: Member of the International Society of Collaborative Professionals.
2015 – Present: Elected to the Board of Directors for the Ringling College Library Association “Town Hall” series.
2016 – Present: Serving as RCLA Secretary.
2016 – Present: Member of the Argus Foundation.
2015: Wrote chapter “Maintaining the High Road: Helping Florida Clients Successfully Navigate Their Family Law Disputes” which was published in “Strategies for Family Law in Florida,” a Thompson Reuters (Aspatore) publication, part of its “Inside the Minds” series.