Lea focuses her practice on bankruptcy, commercial litigation and products liability litigation, with an emphasis on creditors' rights, workouts and reorganizations in state, federal and bankruptcy courts and on the defense of complex product liability litigation involving pharmaceutical, chemical and pesticide products. Within her commercial practice, she has represented both national and local companies in business tort, contract and labor disputes, commercial lease disputes, UCC financing transactions and the sale or acquisition of financially distressed companies.
Lea currently serves on the SHB Executive Committee, Diversity & Inclusion Committee and Women’s Management Council. She is dedicated to ensuring that her clients are served by the best diverse legal talent, using an array of cost-effective fee arrangements and relying on the development of strong network relationships and open communications. Her efforts and expertise have been recognized with the 2010 Themis Award by the DuPont Women Lawyers’ Network; a 2010 Key Partner Award and a 2009 Influential Business Woman Award by the South Florida Business Journal; and inclusion in the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. Named a 2011 Woman Extraordinaire by South Florida Business Leader and a 2010 Business Leader of the Year for South Florida, Lea was also honored by SHB in 2007 with its “Sylvan Siegler Award for Excellence in Mentoring,” which noted that she spends hours training and advising younger women attorneys to ensure that they are progressing at the firm. Lea has also been included in the 2013 South Florida Legal Guide’s listings of “Top Lawyers.”
She has been active in various Miami organizations, including the Safe Space Shelter for Domestic Violence Victims, Catholic Charities, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of South Florida, Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Governor's Mentoring Initiative/Front Porch Florida (Education Fund), and St. Ann’s Youth Ministry, as well as pro bono activities through Lawyers for Children America and Legal Services of Greater Miami.
Presentations and Media
"A Culture of Diversity: Action, Accountability and Achievement," Interview with The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, March 2012. View
"Getting the Most Bucks from your Valuation Expert" (Panelist), ABA Section of Litigation Annual Conference (Miami Beach, Florida), April 2011.
"The False Claims Act - Growing Faster than a Speeding Bullet," 2011 MCCA CLE Expo (Chicago, Illinois), March 2011.
“The Superjugglers: Writing a Book, Practicing Law and Juggling Personal Responsibilities,” Fourth Annual Leadership Conference for The Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law and Business (Atlanta, Georgia), March 2009.
“Women in Power Positions: Getting and Keeping Your Seat at the Table and Why It’s Important,” Miami-Dade Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, February 2009.
Lea is a member of The Florida and California Bars, American Bar Association's Business Law and Litigation Sections, Dade County Bar Association, Dade County Defense Bar Association, DRI, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Pacific Asian American Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute, International Women's Restructuring and Insolvency Federation, and the Southern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association.
Lea is admitted to practice before the state courts of Florida and California and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.
1987 J.D., University of Miami School of Law
1983 A.B., Grinnell College (Biology and Chemistry)