Marissa Kelley is a Shareholder in the Litigation Department and a member of the Firm's Board of Directors. She represents clients on a wide range of issues in trial and appellate courts at the state and federal level, and in multiple arbitral forums. Additionally, Marissa helps parties resolve their disputes through mediation and is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Certified Circuit Mediator.
Marissa is an accomplished commercial litigator. Her practice includes advising business owners on a wide range of issues, litigating commercial real estate disputes, assisting creditors to collect unpaid debts, resolving disputes between landlords and tenants, and working with employers to solve problems with difficult employees and work situations.
Marissa is recognized by publications including Benchmark Litigation, Best Lawyers in America, and the South Florida Legal Guide.
Prior to joining the Firm, Marissa served as Judicial Intern to The Honorable Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale (1998).
- Obtained a complete defense verdict in the Complex Litigation Division for a tenant whose landlord made claims for misrepresentation, fraud, tortious interference, breaches of fiduciary duty, fraudulent transfers, and various statutory claims.
- Obtained dismissal and sanctions against both the parties and their counsel for filing a frivolous lawsuit attempting to attack a judgment in a prior case and successfully defended appeal of the trial court’s decision.
- Successful defense of aviation staffing service in litigation pursuant to an exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Obtained summary judgment for construction company in patent infringement action resulting in invalidation of the subject patent.
- Defense of claims by customers against broker-dealers and investment professionals in FINRA, JAMS and AAA arbitration through final hearings.
- Defense of employment discrimination claims and W-4 defamation claims in FINRA arbitration.
- Pursuit of fraudulent transfers by debtor to offshore trust and Swiss bank accounts.
- Foreclosure of mortgages on commercial property and collection of amounts owed by borrowers and guarantors.
- Successful appeals of trial court orders related to compelling arbitration.
- Successful defense of major telecom provider in a $500 million claim for breach of an alleged obligation to provide funding for a submarine fiber optic cable network.
- Provides labor and employment consulting and litigation of matters involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, whistleblower acts, employee defamation claims, noncompetition agreements and trade secrets.
- Defense of employers in discrimination, defamation and wrongful termination claims.
- Representation of landlords and tenants in commercial lease disputes.
- Defense of banking and investment professionals in litigation, arbitration and regulatory disputes.
Professional & Community Involvement
- Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVII, 2018
- Vice Chair, Corporate Council, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Shepard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University
- Broward County Bar Association, Member
- Federal Bar Association, Member
- United Way of Broward County’s Public Policy Advisory Committee, Past Member
- United Way of Broward County’s Women’s Leadership Council Steering Committee, Past Member
- Broward Leadership, Senior Executive Orientation Program, 2008
- Established The Fred H. Burris Memorial and The Marissa D. Kelley Endowed Scholarships for Broward College students
- ARC Broward, Volunteer
- Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, 2016-2018
- The Best Lawyers in America®, 2015-2019
- Florida Trend's Florida Legal Elite, 2017
- South Florida Legal Guide, Top Lawyers in South Florida - Corporate & Business Litigation; Labor & Employment, 2015-2018; Top Up and Coming, 2005-2014
- Broward College Alumni Hall of Distinction Merit Award, 2013
- United Way of Broward County Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) Quarterly E-Newsletter, WLC Member Spotlight, 2013
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Publications & Presentations
Stearns Weaver Miller Receives Top Ranking in Benchmark Litigation 2018
In the Media:
South Florida Seen: 2017 Broward College Speaker Series hosted award-winning journalist Ted Koppel
South Florida Business Journal|March 2017
Stearns Weaver Miller Receives Top Ranking in Benchmark Litigation 2017
Stearns Weaver Miller Attorneys Recognized by South Florida Legal Guide 2016
Stearns Weaver Miller Attorneys Recognized in Benchmark Litigation 2016
Stearns Weaver Miller Attorneys Recognized by South Florida Legal Guide 2015
Stearns Weaver Miller Recognized by South Florida Legal Guide 2014