Melanie R. Leitman is a Shareholder in the Labor & Employment, Litigation & Appeals, and Administrative Law & Regulatory Compliance groups. Her practice focuses on employment defense litigation and Human Resources consultation. Melanie has experience representing management-side clients in various employment-related claims, including Chapter 760, Title VII, ADA, FMLA, FLSA, whistleblower retaliation claims, drafting and enforcement/defense of covenants prohibiting competition, and constitutional claims arising out of employment disputes. She has represented clients in pre-claim consultation, EEOC/FCHR position statements and investigations, state/federal court litigation, and appellate disposition thereof.
Melanie also represents clients in civil and administrative litigation, including state constitutional issues, tort defense, general business and contract disputes, rule challenges, licensure and discipline matters, other litigation under Chapter 120, Florida Statutes as well as state and federal appellate advocacy arising out of these areas.
- Secured summary judgment and Eleventh Circuit affirmance, with written opinion, for school board in a Title VII race claim .
- Represented a large federally-funded health center employer in litigation brought under the Church Amendment by out-of-state special-interest law firm on behalf of a job applicant.
- Represented large private employer in on-site EEOC investigation and administrative subpoena.
- Represented a Clerk of Court in a constitutional challenge of statutes which affect its funding.
- Represented a state agency in a whistleblower jury trial which the appellate court later found should have been disposed of in defendant’s favor on a motion for directed verdict. Managed all post-verdict procedures, damages evaluation, and taxation of fees and costs before the appeal as well as the remand and entry of judgment for the state agency.
Professional & Community Involvement
- The Bridge to Law School Program, Co-Founder and Director, 2023-Present
- America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Board Member, 2019-Present
- Secretary, 2021-Present
- Meritas Women’s Leadership Congress, Present
- Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL), Present
- William H. Stafford American Inn of Court, 2017-Present
- Treasurer, 2023-Present
- Secretary, 2019-2023
- Tallahassee Women Lawyers (TWL), 2011-Present
- Student Education and Admission to the Bar Committee, 2013-2020
- The Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law Section – Law School Liaison Committee
- Gulf Winds Track Club
- Gulf Winds Triathletes
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2024-Present
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2015-Present
- Tallahassee Democrat, 25 Women You Need to Know, 2020
Publications & Presentations
Women in the Workplace: Spearheading Supportive Environments
Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce's Professional Women's Forum|October 2023
Join Stearns Weaver Miller In Bridging The Gap To Law School For Minority And First Generation Students!
Tallahassee Bar Association - Public Annoucements|July 2023
Is Civility in the Workplace Dead?
BeLabor the Point Blog|June 2023
TikTok Time Bombs/Social Media, It Was Just A Typo! – Mistakes In Documents, Mandatory Training And Florida's Stop W.O.K.E Act and Our Predictions From Last Year’s Update
Stearns Weaver Miller's 2022 Annual Tallahassee Labor & Employment Law Seminar|November 2022
Our Predictions From Last Year’s Update
Stearns Weaver Miller's 2022 Annual Miami Labor & Employment Law Seminar|October 2022
Employment Trends for Public Officers & Employees
FACO Virtual Summer Conference|July 2022
Appellate Case Notes
Administrative Law Section of The Florida Bar Newsletter|June 2022
Appellate Case Notes
Administrative Law Section of The Florida Bar Newsletter|March 2022
Chelsea Koff and Bridge to Law School Program honored with Daily Business Review’s 2024 Florida Legal Awards
In the Media:
Tallahassee Marathon Returns After Last Year's Cancellation
Tallahassee Democrat|February 2022
Events, Firm Announcements, In the Media, Labor & Employment News Update, Publications:
Breaking Through the Noise: Labor & Employment Issues Post-Pandemic
Stearns Weaver Miller News Program Special|June 2021
Stearns Weaver Miller Lawyers Recognized in 2021 Florida Super Lawyers
In the Media:
Hear from Marlins, Fisher Island and EEOC leaders about post-COVID labor issues
Miami Herald|June 2021
Stearns Weaver Miller Names Four New Shareholders
Stearns Weaver Miller honored with 2020 Tallahassee Women Lawyers Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award