Frances Guasch De La Guardia is an attorney in the Litigation Practice Group in the Holland & Knight Miami office. Ms. De La Guardia practices in the areas of commercial and insurance litigation, including appellate and trial support in both state and federal courts.
As a litigator and appellate counsel, Ms. De La Guardia has handled hundreds of appeals in Florida's district courts of appeal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the Miami-Dade and Broward Circuit Court of Appeals Division. Ms. De La Guardia was appellate counsel on the landmark case, Fabre v. Marin, on the apportionment of fault of non-party tortfeasors before Florida's Third District Court of Appeal and assisted in briefing at the Florida Supreme Court. As a litigator, she has evaluated, mediated and litigated in state and federal courts.
In the legal community, Ms. De La Guardia holds numerous leadership positions, including her recent election as 2022 president of Region VIII (Florida) for the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the largest Hispanic Bar Association in the U.S. and its territories with more than 67,000 members. In 2020, she was president of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA) and served as a board and executive officer for more than seven years. Ms. De La Guardia also serves as a board member on the St. Thomas University School of Law Advisory Board as well as served as president of her law school alumni association for many years.
In the public charitable services capacity, Ms. De La Guardia has worked with numerous nonprofits, including serving as president of the CABA Pro Bono Project, a nonprofit legal organization providing legal services to unaccompanied minors and veterans as well as domestic violence and human trafficking victims. She has also assisted with the pro bono legal representation of asylum applicants on behalf of Catholic Charities. She also works with Legal Services of Greater Miami's Hurricane Legal Relief Clinics Charity and, in 2017, traveled to Puerto Rico to assist the victims of Hurricane Maria by providing pro bono legal work.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Ms. De La Guardia was the lead appellate in-house counsel for the State Farm Insurance Company's Miami office, where she handled insurance coverage disputes, extra-contractual and third-party litigation from 1998 to 2006. Prior to that, she was a litigator from 1990 to 1994 for a boutique insurance defense law firm representing major insurance carriers.
In addition, Ms. De La Guardia served as senior law clerk to the Honorable Melvia Green at Florida's Third District Court of Appeal from January 1997 to June 1999. She was also a law clerk at the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Broward County from 1988 to 1990, where she clerked for Circuit Court Judges Robert Tyson, James Reasbeck, Robert Carney and Richard Eade.
- St. Thomas University School of Law, J.D.
- University of Miami, B.A.
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), 2017-Present
- HNBA, Region VIII (Florida) President, 2022
- The Florida Chief Justice's Advisory Committee for the Pro Bono Service Awards, 2021
- Mentoring Coordinator, Holland & Knight, 2016-2018
- Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), President, 2020; Vice President, 2017-2018; Secretary, 2016; Editor in Chief, 2015-2018
- CABA Pro Bono Project, President, 2019
- Cuban American Foundation, Vice-President, 2020; Secretary, 2019
- St. Thomas University School of Law Advisory Board, Board of Directors, 2016-Present
- St. Thomas University School of Law Alumni Association, President, 2016-2020
- Spellman Hoeveler Inns of Court, 2014-present
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator, Civil and Appellate, 2014-Present
- Circle of Excellence Award, Miami-Dade Bar, 2023
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Appellate Practice, Litigation - Land Use and Zoning, 2021-2024
- Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2016-2023
- Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
- Amicus Service Award, International Municipal Lawyers Association, Legal Advocacy, 2018
- Holland & Knight Living the Commitment Award Recipient, 2018
- Most Effective Lawyer Finalist, Appellate, Daily Business Review, 2015
- Most Effective Lawyer Finalist, Daily Business Review, 2010
- Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, Appellate Law, 2007-2009