Denise M. Harle is a Partner in the Tallahassee office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Appellate Practice Group and Constitutional Law Practice Area.
Denise focuses her practice on administrative, commercial, constitutional, and appellate litigation. She has experience determining appeal strategy, briefing, and oral argument in high-profile cases in state and federal appellate courts involving constitutional questions and critical questions of statutory interpretation.
Prior to joining Shutts, Denise served as senior counsel at a national legal nonprofit organization, where she led litigation and advocacy efforts in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. She served as Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of the Florida Attorney General from 2015 to 2017, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the State of Florida in a wide variety of constitutional cases. In 2017, Denise was selected for the prestigious U.S. Supreme Court Fellowship through the National Association of Attorneys General. Denise clerked for the Honorable Justice Ricky L. Polston on the Florida Supreme Court before working as an appellate litigator for several years in California. In 2019, Denise was chosen as a gubernatorial appointment to Florida’s Faith and Community Advisory Council, where she continues to serve. In 2022, the Judicial Nominating Commission selected Denise as a finalist for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court.
Denise has also been involved with several nonprofit and community groups. She is a member of American Enterprise Institute’s Leadership Network and The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy’s Speakers Bureau. She has also served on the board of Tallahassee Women Lawyers and has participated as a member of the First District Appellate American Inn of Courts, a committee member for The Florida Bar’s Client Security Fund, and a volunteer for Christian Suicide Prevention Hotline. She is a member of City Church Tallahassee.
Before law school, Denise completed her doctoral coursework in Political Science at Stanford University as a Stanford Graduate Fellow, teaching undergraduates in courses on public policy, American politics, and law, and working as a research assistant at the Hoover Institution. She currently serves as a dissertation faculty advisor for Concordia University–St. Paul, advising doctoral students on best writing techniques, research methodology, and issues of law and policy.
Denise is a frequent speaker on topics of constitutional law and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. She has appeared on numerous major media networks including C-SPAN and Fox News, and has testified on legal issues before the U.S. Senate.
- Duke University School of Law, J.D., 2009
- Executive Editor, Law & Contemporary Problems
- Teaching Assistant, Legal Research Analysis & Writing
- Stanford University, M.A., Political Science, 2005
- Florida State University, B.S., Interdisciplinary Social Science, summa cum laude, 2002
- Florida State University, B.A., Psychology, summa cum laude, 2002
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
Professional and Civic
- Florida Faith and Community Advisory Council (2021 – present)
- Board Member, A Women’s Pregnancy Center, Tallahassee, FL (2015 – present)
- Board Member, Heartbeat International (2023 – present)
- American Enterprise Institute Leadership Network – AEI (2019)
- Supreme Court Fellow – National Association of Attorneys General (2017)
- James Madison Institute Leaders Fellow – James Madison Institute (2017)
- Member and Speaker, The Federalist Society (2015 – present)
- Tallahassee Women Lawyers (2015 – 2017)
- First District Appellate Inn of Court (2015 – 2017)
- The Florida Bar Clients’ Security Fund Committee (2016 – 2017)
- Christian Suicide Prevention Hotline counselor (2012 – 2014)
- Junior League of Tallahassee (2009 – 2011)