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Sara Silva

Education

Boston University School of Law, MA, J.D., cum laude, 1999

Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, B.A. with Shakespeare focus, 1996

 

Admissions to Practice

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

United States District Court, District of Massachusetts

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

United States Supreme Court

 

Professional Affiliations

Practioners Advisory Group (PAG), Member (2012)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Boston Bar Association       

            

Awards and Recognitions 

Voted “Best Trial Skills Lawyer” in Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Trial Advocacy Workshop

Best Team and Best Brief Award in Homer Albers Moot Court Competition at Boston University School of Law

Dean’s Award in Constitutional Law       

 

Continuing Education and Commitment to Excellence

Speaker, National Seminar for Federal Defenders, organized by the Federal Judicial Center (2009, 2010)

Speaker, "Winning Strategies," organized by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Office of Defender Services Training Branch (2007, 2010)

Speaker, "Strategies for Defending Complex Cases," Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar organized by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Office of Defender Services Training Branch (2009)

Speaker on sentencing issues and advocacy at numerous Federal Public and Community Defender seminars in the Districts of Arizona, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, Vermont; the Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California; the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida; the Northern District of Illinois; the Northern District of Indiana; the Eastern District of Louisiana; the Eastern District of Missouri; the Northern and Southern Districts of New York; the Southern District of Ohio, the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania; the Eastern District of Tennessee; the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia; the Western District of Washington; and the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

 

Publications and Press

Author, Oh, the Places You've Been! Preserving Privacy in a Cellular Age, Boston Bar Journal (2012)

Co-author, Defending a Federal Criminal Case, published by the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. (2010)

Co-author, “Deconstructing the Career Offender Guideline,” 2 Charlotte L. Rev. 39 (2010)

Co-author, “Is that Prior a Violent Felony or a Crime of Violence?: An Analytical Framework for Approaching ACCA (and Career Offender) Predicates,” published by the Federal Public and Community Defenders’ Sentencing Resource Counsel Project (rev. June 21, 2010)

Co-author, “Potential Uses of Begay, Chambers, & Johnson: Annotated Caselaw Outline,” published by the Federal Public and Community Defenders’ Sentencing Resource Counsel Project (rev. June 21, 2010)

Co-author, “Sentencing Appeals 2008-2009” published by the Federal Public and Community Defenders’ Sentencing Resource Project

Co-author, “Adam Walsh III: It’s Not the Sentence, It’s the Commitment,” published by the Federal Public and Community Defenders’ Sentencing Resource Counsel Project (Sept. 10, 2007)

Co-author, “The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Part II: Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act,” published by the Federal Public and Community Defenders’ Sentencing Resource Counsel Project (Nov. 2006)

Co-author, “The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Part I,” published by the Federal Public and Community Defenders’ Sentencing Resource Counsel Project (Oct. 2006)

 

Pro Bono / Community Service

Supporter, Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union

Former Chair, Needham Extended Day Program

Sara Silva

617 371 1461

View Recent Blogs by Sara

 

Clients and Industries

During her career in private practice, Sara has represented many different companies, executives, and licensed professionals. She serves clients in a variety of industries, including health care, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, financial services, and real estate development

Practice Areas and Experience

Sara has handled both white collar criminal defense matters and complex civil litigation. She represents clients in state and federal courts, in administrative hearings, and in government investigations and enforcement actions.

She has dealt with government allegations of kickbacks, overbilling, securities fraud, bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, false statements, and other matters.

Her civil litigation experience includes ordinary commercial disputes, fraud actions, and employment controversies.

Sara also represents lawyers involved in investigations, disciplinary actions, and reinstatement proceedings before the Board of Bar Overseers.

Professional Experience Outside of Collora LLP

After graduating law school, Sara served as a law clerk to the Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She joined Collora LLP (fka Dwyer & Collora) in 2001, where she represented clients in state and federal court for five years. In 2006, Sara joined the Federal Public & Community Defenders’ National Sentencing Resource Project as a legal research-writing specialist. While there, she advocated for fairer and more appropriate sentencing policies and practices on behalf of the Defender community.  She has drafted comments and testimony to the U.S. Sentencing Commission on proposed changes to the Sentencing Guidelines, assisted with sentencing cases before the U. S. Supreme Court, including co-authoring amici curiae briefs on behalf of the Federal Public and Community Defenders and the National Association of Federal Defenders in Gall v. United States, 2007 WL 2197511 (U.S. Sup. Ct. July 26, 2009) & Claiborne v. United States, 2006 WL 3760844 (U.S. Sup. Ct. Dec. 18, 2006), and traveled nationwide training attorneys on sentencing advocacy and practice.  She returned to Collora LLP in August, 2010.

Sample of Results in Practice *

  • Part of team that secured an acquittal for a pharmaceutical executive charged with 11 other defendants in federal court with conspiracy to defraud the government and violate anti-kickback and pharmaceutical marketing laws. The jury acquitted the client despite a prior settlement between the client’s company and the government, and despite negative publicity that included national television interviews with a company whistleblower.
  • Won a new trial for a client convicted of a serious felony by proving that his trial counsel was ineffective.  The client was released from prison and returned home to his family.  The state later chose not to retry the case and dismissed all charges against him.
  • Over Bar Counsel’s opposition, won reinstatement for a client who had been indefinitely suspended from the practice of law over nine years before, allowing him to regain his law license and his profession.

* This sampling of cases represents a selected, small portion of this lawyer’s total experience, and past performance is not intended to be a representation of likely future results, which must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

About Sara

Sara set her sights on becoming a lawyer after reading “To Kill a Mockingbird” at 8 years of age. She is inspired by the notions of justice and fairness, and protecting the individual from governmental overreaching.  She is pleased by anything that makes her think, laugh or both.