The Suarez Law Firm, P.A. » Rachel May Zysk



Rachel May Zysk is an accomplished lawyer and nationally published author with a wealth of experience in complex criminal and civil litigation. Ms. Zysk has represented defendants in several high-profile criminal trials and civil matters. She has defended her clients against qui tam “whistleblower” suits and alleged False Claims Act violations; criminal fraud charges and other white-collar crimes; and a gamut of traditional crimes including murder, sex, drug, terrorism, firearms, and computer offenses. She has tried federal cases to verdict, argued before the Eleventh Circuit, and successfully obtained both jury acquittals and bench-issued judgments of acquittal.
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Ms. Zysk began her career at the Office of the Federal Defender for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa, where she interned during her final semester in law school. Ms. Zysk was immediately assigned to a trial team that successfully defended a client in a highly publicized six-month terrorism trial. Ms. Zysk defended indigent individuals charged with federal crimes, both at the trial level and on appeal, until entering private practice with a national law firm. There, she began specializing in complex civil and criminal litigation, with a focus on highly regulated industries such as health care, banking, government contracting, environmental protections, employee identification theft, international business transactions, and anti-money laundering compliance. She represents individuals and businesses facing government investigations or charged with crimes; defends qui tam relator suits and False Claims Act violations; advises on compliance with federal and state regulations; conducts corporate internal investigations; and presents matters to prosecuting authorities on behalf of individual and corporate clients for the purpose of possible criminal prosecution. Ms. Zysk also defends the interests of corporations and individuals, including innocent third parties such as spouses, against government restitution and forfeiture actions.

Born and raised in the Thousand Islands region of New York, Ms. Zysk attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y., graduating cum laude in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. She attended Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, FL where she was a member of the Stetson Law Review. In 2004, she graduated from Stetson Law a semester early and third in her class, receiving her Juris Doctorate cum laude with a Certificate of Concentration in International Law.

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Email : rzysk@suarezlawfirm.com

Professional and Civic Activities

The Florida Bar

Federal Bar Association, Tampa Bay Chapter, Board of Directors

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Advisory Board, The Champion Magazine

Hillsborough County Bar Association
Crossroads for Florida Kids, Volunteer Attorney
The Pearl Society Philanthropic Giving Circle
The Florida Bar Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “A”
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law (Nonpartisan), Election Protection Attorney

13th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, Coordinator, Pro Bono Awards (2011-2019)

Honorable Robert J. Simms High School Mock Trial Committee, Chairperson (2006-2014)

Herbert G. Goldburg Criminal Law American Inn of Court (2006-2012)

American Bar Association, Editorial Board, ABA Criminal Litigation Newsletter (2007-2009)

Bar Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee

Honors and Awards


Best Lawyers in America, Qui Tam Law (U.S. News & World Report, 2020)
Woman of Promise (Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, 2019)


AV (Preeminent) Rating, White Collar Crime and Litigation (Martindale-Hubbell)

Marcelino “Bubba” Huerta III Award for Professionalism and Pro Bono Service (Hillsborough County Bar Association Criminal Law Section, 2018).

Best Lawyers in America, White Collar Criminal Defense (U.S. News & World Report, 2018-2020)

Rising Star, White Collar Criminal Defense (Super Lawyers, 2009-2012, 2014-2019)
Statewide Outstanding Young Lawyer Pro Bono Award (Florida Bar YLD Board of Governors, 2010)
Outstanding Young Lawyer Award (Hillsborough County Bar Association, 2008)
Keynote Speaker, Commencement Ceremony (General Brown High School, 2008)



Co-Author, “Proving Money Laundering Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Problem of Commingled Property Under 18 U.S.C. § 1957,”
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 34 (May 2017).


Co-Author, “Immunity from Criminal Prosecution under Florida’s Stand Your Ground,”
HCACDL Newsletter (Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 4 (Fall 2016).


Co-Author, “Let the Seller Beware: Sentencing Entrapment and Manipulation in Federal Court,”
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 42 (August 2010).


Featured, Aimee Groth, “Ahead of the Curve: How Rachel May Zysk landed a major terrorism case before even landing her J.D.,”
Florida Super Lawyers Magazine (Thomson Reuters) (June 2010).


Commented, Sherry L. Talton, “Eleventh Circuit Excludes Attorney Fees from Money Laundering Statute,”
Litigation News (American Bar Association)(January 2010).


Author, “Thanksgiving, After All, Is a Word of Action,”
The Lawyer (Hillsborough County Bar Association) at 20 (November 2009).


Author, “Recent Florida Supreme Court Jurisprudence, Crawford v. Washington,”
The Lawyer (Hillsborough County Bar Association) at 24 (October 2008).


Co-Author, “United States v. Santos: Deciphering the Majority and Taking Lessons from the Plurality,”
Corporate Integrity: the Newsletter of the Corporate Integrity and White Collar Crime Committee
(DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar (October 2008).


Author, “Review: Raising the Bar,” The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 55 (October 2008).


Featured, Amanda A. Sansone, “YLD Board Gives Awards to Deserving Recipients,”
The Lawyer(Hillsborough County Bar Association) at 8 (September 2008).


Co-Author, “Substantial Assistance – The Key to Freedom: Representing a Cooperating Defendant in Federal Court,”
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 12 (July 2007).


Co-Author, “Traps for the Unwary: Cross References and Guideline Sentencing,”
The Champion (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) at 42 (September/October 2006).

Previous Experience


Carlton Fields, P.A. (2007-2012)

Civil and criminal defense, government investigations, business litigation, trade regulation


Federal Defender for the Middle District of Florida (2005-2007)

Federal criminal defense of indigent individuals at trial and
on appeal