Marissa Kelley is a partner in the Fort Lauderdale office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practice. Her practice focuses on commercial business disputes, representing clients on a wide range of issues in trial and appellate courts at the state and federal level, and in multiple arbitral forums. Ms. Kelley has represented clients in various industries, including hospitality, aviation, education, and real estate development. She represents business owners on a wide variety of matters, including contracts, creditor’s rights, shareholder and partnership disputes, securities issues and fraud claims. Ms. Kelley works with employers to solve problems with difficult employees and work situations and, when necessary, defends their interests before administrative agencies and in court. Ms. Kelley has significant experience litigating commercial real estate disputes, including commercial foreclosures, title claims (including for equitable subrogation and other claims based on lien priority or lien validity), landlord/tenant relations and breach of purchase and sale agreements.
Ms. Kelley is both a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Court Mediator and a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator. She is available to assist parties and their counsel in achieving a resolution of their dispute through mediation arbitration.
Ms. Kelley is rated AV Preeminent ® by Martindale Hubbell, the highest peer rating standard. She is recognized by publications including Benchmark Litigation, Best Lawyers in America and the South Florida Legal Guide.
Ms. Kelley was a Judicial Intern for The Honorable Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr., Untied States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale (1998).
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Complex Business & Commercial Litigation
- Labor & Employment
- COVID-19: Labor & Employment
- COVID-19: Commercial & Contractual Litigation Disputes
U.S. District Courts, Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class XXXVIII, 2018
- Board of Directors, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance (Vice Chair, Corporate Council)
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Nova Southeastern University
- Broward Leadership, Executive Orientation Program, 2008
- Federal Bar Association
Awards & Honors
- 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, 2015-2014
- Benchmark Litigation, Future Star 2016-2018
- Broward College Alumni Hall of Distinction Merit Award 2013
- AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell
Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center
Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, 2000
Florida Atlantic University
Bachelor of Arts in English, summa cum laude, 1995
Associate of Arts, 1993
- Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit Civil Mediator
- Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator
Pro Bono & Philanthropy
- Established The Fred H. Burris Memorial and the Marissa D. Kelley Endowed Scholarships for Broward College Students
- Women in Distress of Broward County, Starfish Circle
- ARC Broward, Volunteer
- Obtained a complete defense verdict in the Complex Litigation Division (17th Judicial Circuit of Florida) 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 plaintiffs 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.