Education and Experience
Lara Tibbals has represented clients as both plaintiffs and defendants in litigation matters in state and federal court. She now dedicates her practice to helping parties resolve their cases through alternative dispute resolution, serving as both a mediator and arbitrator.
Lara is a graduate of Florida State University (B.A. in Communications, 1994) and University of Florida College of Law (J.D. with honors, 1997). Lara joined the Florida Bar in 1997 and has been certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a circuit civil mediator since 2012. Lara also serves as a Court Appointed Arbitrator.
Prior to opening Tibbals Mediation, LLC, Lara was Of Counsel at Hill Ward Henderson. Lara's legal experience includes a broad range of litigation matters including intellectual property, products liability, personal injury, class actions and complex mass torts, antitrust, noncompete agreements, professional malpractice, landlord/tenant disputes, partnership and business disputes, franchise disputes, first and third party insurance disputes, contract disputes, neighbor disputes, and real property litigation.
From 2000 to 2001, Lara served as the first federal law clerk to the Honorable James S. Moody, Jr., upon his appointment to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Lara is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Florida, and Southern District of Florida, and all Florida state courts. She is also approved as a court-appointed mediator and arbitrator in Florida's Fifth, Sixth, Tenth, Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fifteenth, and Twentieth Judicial Circuits, as well as the Middle District of Florida.
Lara serves on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Second District Court of Appeal, having been nominated by The Florida Bar and appointed by the Governor (2019-present). She previously served as a Gubernatorial Appointee to the Second District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission from 2011-2015, acting as Chair from 2014-2015. She is also a former two-term member of The Florida Bar’s Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee.
Lara is a former recipient of the James M. “Red” McEwen Award from the Hillsborough County Bar Association. This award is presented to the individual who provided the most outstanding service to the bar and community during the prior year. Lara is also a past recipient of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
Lara is a Senior Fellow in Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society. Membership is by invitation and represents less than one-half of 1% of American lawyers.
Lara is the current co-chair of the Hillsborough County Bar Association's Mediation and Arbitration Section. She is also a past member of the HCBA's Board of Directors, and past president of the Young Lawyers Division. She served as a Trustee for the Hillsborough County Bar Foundation for more than a decade and coordinated the Foundation’s successful bid to serve as program manager for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit’s residential mortgage foreclosure mediation program. She is also a past member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Bar Association’s Tampa Chapter, a past Trustee of the Florida Bar Foundation, and a past Chair of Florida Bar Grievance Committee 13E.
Lara is active in the Tampa Bay community. She was a Trustee for the Henry Mitchell Elementary Foundation, Inc., and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Inc. for many years, and is an active volunteer with the Plant High School football program. She is a member of the Federalist Society and the Athena Society. Lara has been married to her husband, Wesley, for twenty-four years. They have three children, ages 18, 16, and 13.
AV Rated by
Lara has been AV-rated by Martindale every year for over 20 years
The Best Lawyers in America
Recognized in commercial litigation from 2015-2017 and 2019-2022
Litigation Counsel of America
Recognized as Senior Fellow for over 15 years