Large Firm Quality, Small Firm Atmosphere

Diane J. Zelmer, Esq.

Senior Litigation/Transactional Counsel

312 SE 17th Street
2nd Floor
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: 954.767.6333
Fax: 954.767.8111

dzelmer@saavlaw.com
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Ms. Zelmer received her B.S. in Accounting, summa cum laude, in 2003 from Florida Atlantic University, where she received the Accounting Student of the Year Award.  Ms. Zelmer received her J.D. in 2006, Order of the Coif, from the University of Florida, Frederic G. Levin College of Law.  During law school, Ms. Zelmer interned for the Honorable Judge James I. Cohn, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and served on the Publication committee of the Florida Law Review. 

Ms. Zelmer received the distinction as a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Construction Law in 2012, and was recertified in 2017.  The Florida Bar certification demonstrates that Ms. Zelmer has received distinguished status in construction law, and met the stringent requirements in expertise and knowledge required by the Florida Bar.  Only 387 lawyers in Florida have this distinction, and Ms. Zelmer is one of 61 women attorneys who are Board Certified in Construction Law in Florida.  Ms. Zelmer is a member of the Commercial Real Estate Women and the Construction Lawyers Society of America.

Ms. Zelmer has a substantial amount of litigation experience in a variety of commercial matters, at both the trial and appellate levels as well as in bankruptcy adversary proceedings.  Ms. Zelmer served as in house counsel to a major telecommunications company, representing as lead litigation counsel in Federal and State courts involving various business and contractual disputes.  During her career, Ms. Zelmer has represented in cases involving a large variety of insurance disputes (OCIP, CCIP, CGL, P&C, builders risk), breach of express and implied warranties, negligence, fraud, deceptive and unfair trade practices, equitable liens, constructive trust, intentional interference with business relationships, defamation, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, equitable accounting, contractual and common law indemnity, conversion, and civil theft.  Ms. Zelmer has represented her clients in over 30 appeals in the Florida District Courts of Appeal and the Eleventh Circuit.  Ms. Zelmer is admitted to the Southern, Middle and Northern District of Florida, the Southern District Bankruptcy Court, as well as the United States Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit.

In addition, Ms. Zelmer specializes in all aspects of construction law, including litigation involving condominium defects, architectural, structural, MEP and FS design defects, construction defects, insurance disputes, liens, payment and performance bonds, Miller Act claims, delay claims, changed site conditions, contractual and common law indemnification suits, bid protests, road and bridge construction, and drafting of construction contracts.  During her career, Ms. Zelmer has represented condominium associations, developers, contractors, subcontractors, sureties, in a variety of commercial construction disputes throughout the State of Florida.   Ms. Zelmer has served as lead litigation counsel in several condominium defect cases before the complex business litigation division, resulting in multi-million dollar settlements. 

Ms. Zelmer has both large firm and in house corporate experience and is committed to providing high quality sophisticated services to her clients.  Ms. Zelmer’s diverse background allows her to provide a practical business perspective to her commercial clients, who are necessarily impacted by inter-related practice areas.  Prior to graduating from law school, Ms. Zelmer obtained accounting and/or legal experience in taxation, trusts and estate planning, probate, asset protection and foreign trust planning, securities law, corporate law, and real estate law.  Ms. Zelmer has recently expanded her practice to provide transactional support in a variety of commercial real estate and corporate transactions.