...the first duty of society is justice.
- Alexander Hamilton
Rosalyn “Sia” Baker-Barnes is a Shareholder at Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. A Florida native, she began her law career even before earning her law degree, serving former Governor Lawton Chiles as an intern in the Executive Office of Communication. In her legal practice, she focuses on pursuing justice for victims in personal injury, medical negligence and product liability cases. In her career, she has achieved many multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, including her most recent $20 million verdict against tobacco giant RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. She is included in US News & World Report’s “Best Lawyers In America,” is recognized as one of the top lawyers in the state by Florida Super Lawyers magazine, is included in Florida Trend magazine’s Legal Elite, and was selected by the Daily Business Review as one of South Florida’s “Top 20 Women in Law.”
Dedicated to making a difference in her practice and in the community, Baker-Barnes is the Immediate Past President of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, an organization which is comprised of nearly 3,000 lawyers. As the 95th President, she was the first African-American female to serve in this role, and her theme for the 2017-18 year was “You’ve Been Served, Lawyers Answering the Summons to Community Service.” The program was designed to emphasize the importance of community service, and to recognize the positive impact lawyers make in our communities and beyond. She is also an active member of the F. Malcolm Cunningham, Sr. Bar Association and the Palm Beach County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
On a statewide level, she serves on The Florida Bar Board of Governors, representing the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. The Board is responsible for formulating and adopting matters of policy that govern the 106,000 members of the Florida Bar. She previously served a four-year term on the Florida Bar’s Leadership Academy Committee, helping to mentor and develop young leaders in the legal community. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Justice Association, where she worked her way up through the Young Lawyer’s Section, serving as its Chair in 2008, and previously served as on the Board of Directors of the Florida State University College of Law Alumni Association, where she continues to serve as a mentor and resource to current and prospective law students.
Nationally, she is an active member of the National Bar Association (NBA), and is a past recipient of the organization’s “Presidential Award.” The NBA also honored her as one of the “Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40,” recognizing talented individuals in the legal community who have achieved prominence and distinction, and demonstrated a strong commitment to empowering, uplifting, and advocating within the legal community.
In addition to her legal involvement, she is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Inlet Grove Community High School, Inc.; a Past President of the West Palm Beach Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; and a past Chairperson of the Southern Area Links Ethics & Standards Committee. She is a fellow of the organization’s prestigious Scott-Hawkins Leadership Institute, designed to enhance leadership skills at every level. She is also a member of the West Palm Beach Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. In recognition of her legal and community service, was recognized by Business Leader Media as a “2011 South Florida Woman Extraordinaire.”
Mrs. Baker-Barnes earned her law degree from the Florida State University College of Law, where she was awarded the prestigious Virgil Hawkins Fellowship for academic achievement. At the College of Law, she was a member of the Final Four Moot Court Team, and argued before the Justices of the Florida Supreme Court sitting en banc. In recognition of her excellence in advocacy, she was inducted into the Order of the Barristers. She also earned her undergraduate degree in Communication from Florida State University. She resides in West Palm Beach with her husband and three children.
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