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Kelly Ruane Melchiondo

Hablo Español
Area of Focus: Construction
Kelly Ruane Melchiondo

Kelly Ruane Melchiondo is a Partner in Bilzin Sumberg's Construction Group. Kelly’s practice focuses on complex litigation, in both jury and non-jury trials, of claims involving construction and design defects, construction contract claims, and products liability at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts.  

Kelly is also a member of the firm's Data Security & Privacy Team. Her cybersecurity practice focuses on counseling clients on safeguarding their data and private information by drafting and implementing policies for data security and strengthening internal controls, and on assisting clients with data breach prevention and response. In 2018 and 2021, Kelly served on The Sedona Conference Working Team 11, Brainstorming Committee, which aims to help organizations prepare for and respond to data breaches and to assist attorneys in resolving issues of legal liability and damages. The Sedona Conference is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advanced study of law and policy in the areas of complex litigation, intellectual property rights, and data privacy. 

Q & A
What do you enjoy most about practicing construction law?
I have a background in journalism, and what I loved about that is also what I love about my practice.  In order to be able to meet my clients’ needs effectively, I have to learn all I can about the client’s business or the client’s projects and then explain it in layman's terms to either a judge or a jury that does not have a construction background. I am constantly intellectually stimulated by it because no project is ever the same. I take that same level of curiosity for each project, and I want to know everything that I can about the project and come up with practical solutions for the client. 
How does your construction practice intersect with your data privacy practice?
Data security is an emerging topic for every industry, but in the last few years, the construction industry has turned its attention more to software and Cloud-based platforms, rather than keeping project files onsite in trailers.  It's crucial for all of the internal documents to be protected. There's a need for owners and developers who are engaging contractors and other professionals on these complex construction projects to ensure that all parties have a data security protocol to prevent data breaches and theft. Threats like ransomware are a big problem, posing risks to payment applications, stealing bank account information, even tying up confidential plans for particular projects and communications with the design team. It behooves everyone in the industry, including the lawyers representing all of the parties, to be up-to-date with data protection and all the requirements to safeguard such confidential and sensitive information.
Representation of the South Florida Stadium, LLC, an affiliate of the owner of the Miami Dolphins professional football team, in a lawsuit arising out of a $110 million change order submitted for the fabrication and erection of the rooftop shade canopy over the Hard Rock Stadium.
Representation of Brightline 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 day...
Favorable defense of product manufacturer in multiple products liability lawsuits involving high-rise residential building hybrid fire sprinkler systems.
Successful representation of 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.
Favorable defense of Miami hotel owner in multiple construction defect lawsuits.
Representation of 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.
Representation of major national restaurant chainin class action in both the District Court and the Eleventh Circuit in which the plaintiff complained on behalf of herself and other Floridians, that the restaurant chainfalsely advertised that it had eliminated genetically modified ingredients (known...
Representation as co-counsel in Florida federal court of 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 resulting in a favo...
Favorable defense of law firm in a legal malpractice action involving the estate planning advice its former partner gave to a family trust.
  • Boston University, J.D., 2002
    University of Miami, B.S., 1998
  • Dade County Bar Association
    Law & Technology Committee, Co-Chair, 2020
    City Theatre
    Chair of the Board of Directors, 2015-Present
    Secretary and Member of the Board of Directors, 2009-2015
    Miami Children's Museum
    Secretary of the Executive Committee, 2018-Present
    Member of the Board of Directors, 2014-Present
    Sedona Conference Working Team 11

    Drafting Team for the Second Edition of Working Group 11’s Commentary on the Application of the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work-Product Protection to Documents and Communications Generated in the Cybersecurity Context, 2021
    Brainstorming Team on the Advisability of Adopting a Strict Liability Regime for Data Breaches Involving Personal Information, 2021
    Brainstorming Committee for the Enforcement and Jurisdictional application of the GDPR to United States-based companies, 2018 
    Legal Issues in Cloud Computing, 2017

  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law, 2022

    South Florida Legal Guide, Top Lawyers in South Florida - Litigation, 2017 - 2020

  • Spanish