Melissa C. Pallett-Vasquez

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Area of Focus: Trial & Litigation
"A great litigator who is incredible at understanding the problems and advocating at trial." - Chambers USA source 
Melissa C. Pallett-Vasquez
Melissa Pallett-Vasquez is a Partner in Bilzin Sumberg's Trial & Litigation Group, where she handles complex business disputes in both federal and state courts, as well as arbitration. She focuses her practice on high stakes, bet-the-company cases, in which long-standing clients appreciate her ability to interpret the legal landscape and craft astute strategies that protect their business interests today, tomorrow, and in the future. She has extensive experience particularly in federal class action defense and multi-jurisdictional cases, and is additionally often called upon to handle complex, but sensitive, high profile local state court matters. She is also adept at handling the often challenging process surrounding injunctions, including emergency injunctions, on behalf of her clients.
As Bilzin Sumberg’s Hiring Partner, Melissa also leads the firm’s recruitment efforts, ensuring that the firm continues to attract and retain top legal talent while also supporting Bilzin Sumberg’s diversity and inclusivity agenda through its hiring practices.
Q & A
What distinguishes you from other litigation attorneys?
Clients rely on me not just to resolve the immediate business disputes they may face, but most importantly, they trust me to do so in the context of their overall business objectives. I take pride in understanding my clients’ businesses inside and out. With that understanding, I work not only to “fix" existing challenges, but also to identify problems before they are formally presented and offer common sense solutions.
How does your extensive litigation background benefit your class action defense clients?
I’m a trial lawyer and there is nothing I like more than taking a case to trial. But my varied litigation experience provides me with realistic perspectives to guide clients through the complicated “go or no-go” decision about pursuing litigation through trial on the one hand, or reaching an amicable resolution on the other. I’m not just defending or prosecuting the case; rather, I am looking around the corner to anticipate the case’s impact on the company’s future. Success is defined differently for every client and for each case; so is the litigation strategy. Because the reality is, as much as I personally love trial, it’s not always the best strategy for a particular client.
  • University of Florida, J.D., Levin College of Law, cum laude, 2003
    McGill University, B.A., 2000
  • American Bar Association

    International Law Section, Budget Officer, 2023 - 2024
    Section Officers Conference, Finance Officer Class Representative, 2022 – 2024
    International Law Section, Revenue Officer, 2021 - present
    International Law Section, Liaison Officer, 2020 - 2021
    International Law Section, Food, Agriculture & Cannabis Committee, Vice-Chair, 2020 - 2021
    International Law Section, Annual Conference Co-Chair, 2018
    International Law Section, Division Chair, 2018 - 2020
    International Law Section, Canada Committee, Committee Co-Chair, 2016 - 2018; Senior Advisor 2019 - present
    International Law Section, Food and Agricultural Task Force, Vice-Chair, 2019 - 2020

    University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
    School of Law, Guest Lecturer, Class Action Litigation, 2022 - 2023
    Florida Association for Women Lawyers
    Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

    Board of Directors, 2017 - present
    Gala Committee, 2014 - 2022

    Cuban American Bar Association
    Pro Bono Legal Services Board of Directors, 2024
    The Florida Bar
    Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, 2013 - 2015
    Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
    Leadership Miami, Class of 2010
    Lawyers for Children America

    Board of Directors, 2018 - 2023 
    Volunteer Attorney Ad Litem, 2005 - present

    McGill Alumni Association
    President of the South Florida Chapter, 2007 - present
    National Association of Women Judges
    Friends Committee, 2011 - 2012
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
    U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
    U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
    U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • Band 2, Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, 2017- present

    Daily Business Review, Innovators Honoree, 2021

    National Law Journal, Crisis Leadership Trailblazer, 2020

    Daily Business Review, Florida Trailblazers, 2019

    The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2019 - present

    Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2016 -2019; Future Star, 2016 - present

    Florida Trend's Legal Elite, 2007 - 2008, 2012 - present

    Super Lawyers, Florida Rising Stars, 2010 -2019; Florida Super Lawyers, 2020 - present

  • French