The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
- Albert Einstein
LAURIE J. BRIGGS was raised in Afton, New York and received her B.S. degree from the State University of New York at Albany in 1982, where she majored in education and was a member of the intercollegiate soccer, basketball and softball teams. From 1982 until 1990, she was a high school business teacher and coach in Beekmantown, NY. Following that, she taught special education for one year in Unadilla, NY. She earned her M.S. degree in Education from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1987. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center in May 1993 and was admitted to the Florida Bar in October 1993.
Ms. Briggs began working for Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA in 1994, and works primarily with James W. Gustafson and T. Hardee Bass on tobacco litigation, overseeing and litigating the firm’s more than 500 cases. Previously, she has worked on products liability, catastrophic automobile accident, personal injury and commercial litigation cases.
Ms. Briggs serves on the executive committee for the board of directors of the Florida Justice Association, is currently the chair of the Membership Committee and serves on the Budget, Diversity and Journal Committees. She is the past chair of the Women’s Caucus. In 2013, she received the Association’s Rising Star award and in 2014, she was the first female recipient of the W. McKinley Smiley, Jr. Award for her work with young lawyers and also won the Cornerstone Award for new member recruiting. She is a member of the American Association for Justice and was a national finalist for their Trial Lawyers Care Award in 2014, for her dedication to charity work throughout the community.
She is also a member of The Florida Bar and serves on the Student Education & Admission to the Bar Committee. In 2014, she was honored to be named to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, honoring excellence in the legal profession. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union. She also serves on the board of directors for the Florida Association of Counsel for Children, an organization dedicated to supporting legal representation for children in foster care.
Ms. Briggs is the president of the law firm’s employee charity, SDSBS Giving B.A.C.K. (Basic Acts of Community Kindness), which sponsors weekly dress down days in support of charities in West Palm Beach and Tallahassee, an annual holiday toy, food and gift drive and assists local families in crisis. And, she serves as president of the board of directors for Friends of Foster Children, Inc., a local charity dedicated to meeting the needs of the nearly 1800 children presently in foster care in Palm Beach County. Ms. Briggs has also been a member of her community HOA board for the past ten years.