Ilene L. Pabian is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Appellate and Litigation practice groups and is based in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale offices. Her practice focuses primarily on state and federal appeals and trial support. Ms. Pabian has significant experience in multiple substantive areas, including contractual disputes, commercial litigation, professional negligence, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, consumer protection, trusts and estates, taxation, intellectual property, employment law, family law, administrative law, and sovereign immunity. She also provides strategic advice on matters involving legal ethics.

Ms. Pabian has litigated appeals in all of Florida's District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Ninth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits. She also assists trial lawyers with appeals and matters before Florida Circuit Courts, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida and multiple other state and federal appellate courts, including intellectual property litigation in the Federal Circuit.

Ms. Pabian regularly works closely with trial lawyers from the outset of a case, utilizing her appellate knowledge to identify and analyze important legal issues arising during the litigation and ensure that the trial record is developed in a manner that maximizes our clients' chances of prevailing in the event of an appeal. She is also often brought into complex cases at the trial level to draft dispositive motions and memoranda of law and assist in the development of litigation strategy.

Additionally, Ms. Pabian maintains an active pro bono practice. She has represented clients in a range of matters, including immigration and asylum cases, cases pursuant to the Hague Convention, and appellate matters in federal and state courts.

Ms. Pabian also serves as the Public and Charitable Service partner for Holland & Knight's Miami office, where she oversees and coordinates the office's intake of pro bono legal matters and community service projects.

Ms. Pabian is also an adjunct professor at the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, where she teaches appellate advocacy.

Before joining Holland & Knight, Ms. Pabian served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Martha C. Warner at the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida. At the University of Miami School of Law, where Ms. Pabian earned her J.D., she was a member of the University of Miami Law Review and was nominated to the Order of the Coif. While earning her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, Ms. Pabian was the recipient of the Fall 1991 Outstanding Four-Year Scholar Award.

Ms. Pabian's appellate and litigation support representations include:

  • reversal and vacating of a preliminary injunction entered against an online car-sharing platform and individual car owner hosts at Los Angeles International Airport in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • vacating a $50 million default judgment against the Dominican Republic and its water agency in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • reversal of an $8 million jury verdict and $2 million attorneys' fee award against a medical company accused of fraud in advertising and medical malpractice
  • affirmance of a summary judgment and dismissal of claims for a design patent and copyright infringement on behalf of a toy designer in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
  • reversal of a summary judgment ruling relating to a commercial lease rent escalation provision on behalf of a major financial institution in the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • reversal of a dismissal with prejudice of a declaratory judgment suit challenging the legality of municipal ordinances
  • reversal of a property appraiser's ad valorem tax assessments for 10 of a national retail pharmacy's leased properties
  • affirmance of a summary judgment for a national toy corporation in a trademark appeal in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
  • affirmance of a dismissal of a complaint to Venezuela based on forum non conveniens
  • obtaining a defense verdict and multimillion-dollar prevailing-party attorneys' fee and costs award in favor of the Dominican Republic in a $35 million breach of contract litigation in federal court
  • securing a nearly $3 million verdict for a ferry company owner for breach of fiduciary duty in federal court

Representative Experience


  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
  • University of Florida, B.S.B.A., Finance, with high honors
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
  • All State Courts in Florida
  • The Florida Bar, Appellate Practice Section
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Broward County Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, 2023, 2024
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • Most Effective Lawyer, International Litigation, Daily Business Review, 2018