Kelly Ruane Melchiondo is a Shareholder in the Litigation Department and practices in the Construction Litigation and Latin America Practice Groups. She also chairs the Firm’s Information Security Committee and serves on the Hiring Committee. Kelly’s practice focuses on complex construction litigation and products liability matters at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts. Her cybersecurity practice focuses on data breach prevention and response, including reporting to and interacting with state regulatory and law enforcement agencies tasked with enforcing state data privacy laws, and client counseling to strengthen internal data security controls.
A Miami native, Kelly is fluent in Spanish.
During law school, Kelly served as a legal intern for the Honorable Judge Mario P. Goderich of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal and served on the Esdaile Moot Court Board. As an undergraduate at the University of Miami, Kelly was the Editor-in-Chief of The Miami Hurricane newspaper and a reporter for the Miami Herald’s Miami Beach Neighbors section.
- Represents South Florida Stadium, LLC, (“SFS”), an affiliate of the owner of the National Football League Miami Dolphins professional football team, in a lawsuit that arises out of the structural steel fabrication for the rooftop shade canopy over the Hard Rock Stadium
- Represented Virgin Trains USA (f/k/a All Aboard Florida) in disputes arising from the delayed construction of the new highspeed train project, including a $25 million claim brought by the structural steel fabricator and erector for the downtown Miami station. The litigation settled favorably for Virgin Trains USA after ten days of trial.
- Obtained favorable results in defense of product manufacturer in multiple products liability lawsuits involving residential building hybrid fire sprinkler systems.
- Obtained favorable results for Miami hotel owner in multiple construction defect lawsuits.
- Successfully represented the Miami Heat in prosecuting professional negligence claims against the arena architect and its insurer in proceedings in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and Florida state court.
- Served as Florida counsel for Chipotle Mexican Grill in class action in both the District Court and the Eleventh Circuit in which the plaintiff complained on behalf of herself and other Floridians, that Chipotle falsely advertised that it had eliminated genetically modified ingredients (known as “GMOs”) from its menu. The Eleventh Circuit issued a per curiam opinion affirming the District Court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of Chipotle. The Eleventh Circuit denied rehearing.
- Represented a luxury health and wellness residential program in litigation adverse to condominium association with which it shared facilities.
- Regularly advises corporate clients on safeguarding data security and responding to data and information security breaches.
- Obtained favorable results for a law firm in a legal malpractice action involving the estate planning advice its former partner gave to a family trust.
- Successfully defended a court-appointed receiver and obtained sanctions against condominium association in the receiver’s favor in a Florida state court proceeding in which the association alleged the receiver’s malfeasance.
- Defense counsel for multinational law firm facing professional malpractice allegations arising out of a Ponzi scheme.
LATAM Representative Experience
- Successfully represented a Spanish investor, the minority member of a Florida limited liability company, in a derivative action arising out of the removal of the Spanish member’s representative from the LLC’s management committee.
- As co-counsel with a New York law firm, obtained a favorable settlement in Florida federal court for a Japanese electronics manufacturer that alleged conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and state law claims against its former employees in its Miami-based Latin American sales group and several of its customers in Latin America.
- Obtained favorable results for an international accounting firm’s Dominican Republic office in a malpractice proceeding in Florida state court.
- Represented a Puerto Rico affiliate of a national health insurer in three multidistrict class actions pending in Florida federal court against doctors who had alleged that insurers conspired to systematically deny, delay and diminish payments to doctors who provided services to insurer’s subscribers.
Professional & Community Involvement
- The Sedona Conference Working Group 11 - Brainstorming Committee for the Enforcement and Jurisdictional application of the GDPR to United States-based companies, 2018 and Legal Issues in Cloud Computing, 2017
- City Theatre
- Chair of the Board of Directors, 2015
- Secretary and Member of the Board of Directors, 2009-2015
- Miami Children’s Museum, Board of Directors and Executive Committee
- Miami Children’s Museum
- Not So Scary Family Halloween Bash Planning Committee, Co-Chair, 2015 and 2017
- Committee Member, 2014
- Gala Planning Committee, 2014-2017
- Cuban American Bar Association
- Dade County Bar Association
- Graduate of Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Miami Program, 2009
- South Florida Women’s Chamber of Commerce
- Femfessionals Miami
- Ellevate Network, Miami Chapter
- South Florida Legal Guide, Top Lawyers in South Florida - Litigation, 2017-2020; Top Up and Comers - Litigation, 2015-2016
- Daily Business Review, "Rising Stars: Top 40 Under 40," 2014
- Florida Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2010-2011
Publications & Presentations
Tech Tips for Law Firm Data Security and Client Privacy
DCBA & YLS' Annual Bench & Bar & Judicial Reception 2019|April 2019
Understanding Cyber Threats: Prepare Your Business
Publications, Recent News Updates:
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): It's a Small World After All!
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update|June 2018
Hackers, Trolls and the Polls - Campaign Cybersecurity
Publications, Recent News Updates:
The Spectre of a Meltdown? How to Avoid the Latest Cybersecurity Threats
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update|January 2018
Dealing with Bad (Equi)Fax - What Can Your Company Do Differently?
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update |September 2017
Hot Topics in Cybersecurity
Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County |August 2017
Ransom is the New(ish) Hack
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update |May 2017
Kelly Ruane Melchiondo Selected to Sedona Conference’s Working Group 11 U.S. Judicial Enforcement of GDPR Brainstorming Group
In the Media:
11th Circ. Won't Rethink Toss of Chipotle Patron's GMO Suit
Stearns Weaver Miller Attorneys Recognized by South Florida Legal Guide 2016
In the Media:
MCM’s Halloween bash nets $96,000 for educational program
Miami Herald|October 2015
In the Media:
Miami Children's Museum 'Not So Scary' Halloween Bash
NBC6 In the Mix Interview|October 2015
Kelly Ruane Melchiondo Elected Chair of City Theatre Board of Directors
Stearns Weaver Miller Attorneys Recognized by South Florida Legal Guide 2015
Kelly Ruane Melchiondo Elected To Miami Children’s Museum Board Of Directors