Melissa Pallett-Vasquez

Partner, International Group Co-Chair
305-350-2393
Je Parle Français
Hablo Español
Area of Focus: Litigation
"One of Melissa’s strengths, in particular, is her ability to effectively and efficiently communicate with the client so that they are aware of their legal exposure and in a manner they can understand."
- Chambers USA
GET TO KNOW Melissa
Melissa is a seasoned trial lawyer who handles complex business disputes in both federal and state courts, as well as arbitration. She focuses her practice in federal class action defense and multi-jurisdictional cases. Melissa leads client teams defending product labeling claims, product defect cases, misrepresentation claims, false advertising claims and antitrust claims, in addition to defending and pursuing complex construction defects cases. Melissa's long-standing clients appreciate her ability to interpret the legal landscape and craft astute defense strategies that protect their businesses today, tomorrow and in the future.
Q & A
What trends in FDA product labeling and regulations should food and beverage industry leaders be aware of?
The food and beverage industry is under immense pressure to keep up with constantly evolving labeling requirements, product definitions, and compliance regulations, all in the name of consumer protection. The FDA works to clarify vague classifications that may cause confusion for consumers and legal liability for food and beverage companies, but formal guidance is often reactive and not proactive, and as a result companies often must do their own good faith analysis of terms and marketing. Industry leaders can stay up-to-date with news and analysis, and suggestions on navigating the impending FDA regulations on foodcourtlaw.com.
What distinguishes you from other litigation attorneys?
Clients rely on me not just to resolve the immediate business dispute the 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
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My PRACTICES
EXPERIENCE
EXPERIENCE

Representation of beverage manufacturer and distributor, All Market Inc., in defense of a national class action consumer fraud, and deceptive advertising case. The case involved claims based on alleged misleading statements on the packaging and marketing materials of its beverages, Vita Coco...

EXPERIENCE
Representation of a major homebuilder in a nationwide putative class action in which plaintiffs alleged negligence, strict liability, breach of express and implied warranty, and violation of FDUPTA, and sought injunctive relief and medical monitoring, asserting that spray polyurethane foam used as a...
EXPERIENCE
Defense of major homebuilder and affiliates in Florida and Texas in the MDL class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and Florida State Court over the use of allegedly defective Chinese drywall in the construction of homes. Our team succeeded in obtaining...
EXPERIENCE
Representation of a leading national homebuilder in resolving a class action that ultimately saved the client nearly $150 million in anticipated damages and attorneys' fees. Our team, which was engaged after critical unfavorable rulings had been made against the client, was able to successfully sett...
EXPERIENCE
Representation of a major homebuilder in a putative class action in which home buyers claimed the client developed, marketed, financed and sold homes to the plaintiffs while failing to disclose that the homes were located on or adjacent to a former World War II military training site, which was alle...
EXPERIENCE
Representation of a global Spanish conglomerate in arbitration before the ICC and in related Florida state court actions regarding claims arising out of its acquisition of a United States company and the termination of the target's senior management, valued at more than $15 billion.
INSIGHTS
CREDENTIALS
  • University of Florida, J.D., Levin College of Law, cum laude, 2003
    McGill University, B.A., 2000
  • American Bar Association

    International Law Section, Canada Committee, Vice-Chair, 2013 - 2015; Co-Chair, 2015 - 2018; Division Chair, 2018 - Present; Senior Advisor 2019-2020;
    International Law Section, Cyber, Art, and Technology Division Chair, 2018-present

    Association for Women Lawyers
    Member
    Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

    Board of Directors, 2017
    Gala Committee, 2014 - Present

    Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida
    Member
    Cuban American Bar Association
    Member
    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 - Present
    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. District Court, Middle District of Florida
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
    U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • Band 4, Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, 2018- present

    Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Recognized Practitioner, 2017

    Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyers, Corporate Securities, 2014

    Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2016 - present

    Benchmark Litigation, Future Star, 2016; Local Litigation Star, 2017-present

    South Florida Business Journal, 40 Under 40 Honoree, 2013

    Daily Business Review, 40 Under 40 Rising Stars, 2013

    Florida Super Lawyers, Florida Rising Stars, 2010 - present

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

    Lawyers for Children America Pro Bono Award, 2012

  • French
    Spanish
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