Kimberly A. Mello

Kimberly A. Mello


Kimberly A. Mello focuses on appellate litigation, briefing and arguing dozens of appeals in state and federal court, including the Florida Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and Florida's District Courts of Appeal. In addition to appellate matters, Ms. Mello represents clients on complex legal issues, with a particular emphasis in toxic torts; mass torts; class actions; environmental litigation; and business litigation, and provides other litigation support at the trial court level, during the pre-trial, trial, and post-trial phases of litigation. She regularly advises trial lawyers on strategies for developing the best possible record of all evidence, motions filed, and actions taken by all parties involved during the trial in the event of appellate review.


  • Final and non-final appeals
  • Dispositive motions
  • Post-trial motions
  • Extraordinary writs
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  • Lankhorst v. Independent Savings Plan Co., d/b/a ISPC: Representing Independent Savings Plan in an appeal of a final summary judgment entered in its favor in a class action in which plaintiffs alleged that Independent Savings Plan failed to provide certain disclosures purportedly required by the Truth in Lending Act.
  • USAmeriBank v. Sovereign Bank: Represented Sovereign Bank in an appeal of an eight-figure summary judgment entered in its favor. The case involves an action brought by a syndicated bank lending group against a blind participant to recover a multimillion-dollar setoff exercised against the bank group’s borrower. Case resolved on terms favorable to the client prior to oral argument.
  • Sierra Club, Inc., et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al.: Briefed summary judgment motion on behalf of intervenor, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC (Mosaic), in an action filed by numerous environmental advocacy groups, including Sierra Club, challenging a permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps") under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act ("CWA"). The CWA permit authorized phosphate mining operations on land in Manatee County. The district court granted Mosaic's and the Corps' summary judgment motions deferring to the decision making power of the Corps and concluding that the environmental groups had not demonstrated that the Corps had not followed the mandates of the CWA or National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC v. Van Fleet International Airport Development Group, LLC: Obtained affirmance of summary judgment entered in favor of Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, in which Defendant sought damages in excess of $20 million based on claims arising out of an option to purchase real estate.
  • Ferguson v. North Broward Hospital District: Obtained affirmance of summary judgment entered in favor of North Broward Hospital District in which former employee asserted that his right to intermittent leave under the Family Medical Leave Act had been improperly denied.
  • Curd v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC: Represented Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC in a putative class action for damages allegedly resulting from a release of approximately 65 million gallons of process water into Hillsborough Bay during Hurricane Frances. Obtained affirmance of dismissal of class action in the Second District Court of Appeal, which certified numerous issues to the Florida Supreme Court as questions of great public importance. The Florida Supreme Court held that only commercial fishermen could proceed with their claims, thereby limiting the putative class of persons who may have lost income as a result of the spill. See Curd v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, 39 So. 3d 1216 (Fla. 2010)
  • Brancheau, et. al. v. Secretary of Labor, et. al.: Represented intervenor, Sea World Parks & Entertainment, LLC, in an appeal of an order dismissing Sea World’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. Sea World sought to enjoin Plaintiffs from publicly disseminating a graphic video depicting the death of an orca trainer.
  • Town of Ponce Inlet v. Pacetta, LLC: Represented Town of Ponce Inlet involving a claim by Plaintiffs for deprivation of property rights under Florida’s Bert J. Harris Act. Following a lengthy trial, the circuit court entered an order which subjected the Town to a multimillion damages award based on the court’s finding that vested development rights had been created by equitable estoppel. The appellate court reversed and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.
  • WrestleReunion, LLC v. Live Nation Television Holdings, Inc.: Represented Live Nation Television Holdings, Inc. in a case involving $22 million in damages arising from a grant of exclusive rights to market and distribute Plaintiff’s television programming. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the final judgment entered in favor of Live Nation Television Holdings, Inc.
  • Webster v. Body Dynamics, Inc.: Obtained affirmance of final judgment entered after a defense verdict. The case involved serious permanent injuries suffered by Plaintiff following a stroke he contended was caused by ingesting dietary supplements containing ephedrine.
  • Career Education Corporation Class Action Proceedings: Briefed numerous motions to compel arbitration and stay proceedings in multiple putative class actions filed against Career Education Corporation and its subsidiaries. The Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants made misrepresentations to prospective students regarding the quality of education that they would receive and their post-graduate employment prospects, causing them to incur significant damages. The district court compelled arbitration pursuant to the arbitration provisions in the Enrollment Agreements in which Plaintiffs expressly agreed to arbitrate any claims arising out of or relating to their relationship with the school.
  • Mims Properties Investments, LLC v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC: Briefed summary judgment motion, which resulted in an order reducing damages by approximately $20 million. The district court found that under the economic waste doctrine, Plaintiffs were not entitled to restoration damages for alleged improper reclamation of formerly mined lands, but instead were limited to diminution in value.
  • Sierra Club, Inc. v. United States Army Corps of Engineers: Obtained vacation of preliminary injunction entered against intervenor, Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC, which ceased its phosphate mining operations that were previously authorized pursuant to a Clean Water Act permit issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, 2013-2019
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Environmental Law, 2016
  • Team Member, a Law360 "Appellate Practice Group of the Year," 2010
  • Member, American Bar Association
    • Member, Appellate Advocacy Committee
      • Vice-Chair, 2013-2015
      • Chair Elect Designee, 2015
    • Member, Appellate Practice Committee
  • Member, Hillsborough County Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Appellate Section, 2007-2009
  • Member, The Florida Bar, Executive Council - Appellate Practice Section, 2000-2006
    • Continuing Legal Education Committee, 2002-2004
    • Chair, Programs Committee, 2001
    • Publications Committee, 1996-2000
    • Civil Appellate Practice Committee, 1995-1997
    • Amicus Curiae Committee, 1995-1997
    • Editor, The Record, Journal for the Appellate Practice Section, 1998-2000
  • Member, Second District Court of Appeal, 50th Anniversary Committee, 2007
  • Board Member, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, Board of Trustees, 2008-Present
  • Board Member, Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Board of Directors, 2012-Present
    • Vice-President, 2016-2019


  • J.D., cum laude, Stetson University College of Law, 1993
    • Member, Stetson Law Review
    • Intern, United States District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich
  • B.A., cum laude, University of Tampa, 1990
  • Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida