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Melissa J. Tea

Practice Area Leader - Litigation
+1.412.355.8385
Fax +1.412.355.6501
Melissa Tea is a practice area leader for the firm’s global litigation and dispute resolution practice. She maintains an active litigation and counseling practice representing public and private companies primarily in the manufacturing/technology and health care industries in a wide variety of complex commercial disputes. Ms. Tea serves as a strategic adviser to her clients, developing creative solutions to complex legal issues that align with business priorities and efficiently resolving disputes through negotiated settlements, mediations, arbitrations, or trials. Ms. Tea also has extensive experience serving as coordinating counsel for clients with regional and nationwide recurring litigation, with particular expertise in mass tort and product liability.

Ms. Tea’s experience in enterprise risk management extends to the industries of commercial and consumer products, metals manufacturing and fabrications, specialty chemicals, energy, and industrial and commercial coatings. She advises her clients on all facets of their external risk management and litigation needs, including commercial contract disputes, business torts, insurance coverage, product liability, personal injury, construction, intellectual property, and other matters. In her role as coordinating counsel, Ms. Tea has developed and implemented innovative, company-tailored defense strategies and cost-effective processes and approaches to manage the resolution of recurring claims.

Ms. Tea is certified in Legal Project Management and Legal Lean Sigma. She also is a member of the K&L Gates Trial Academy.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Board of Directors (2017 - present), Executive Committee member (2019), Governance Committee Chair (2019)
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Government Relations & Advocacy Committee (2016 - present)
  • United Way of Allegheny County, Emerging Leaders Tocqueville Committee (2018 - present) and Women’s Leadership Counsel (2012 - present)
  • The Executive Women of Pittsburgh, Founding Member
  • Pittsburgh CLO, Board of Directors (2014 - 2017)
  • 2018 Most Powerful and Influential Women Award, National Diversity Council
  • Firm Service
    • Practice Area Leader, Litigation (2019 - present)
    • Advisory Counsel (2019 - present)
    • Chair, Associate Development Committee (2017 - present)
    • Women in the Profession Committee (2013 - present)
    • Chair, K&L Gates Public Interest Fellowship Program (2011 - 2016)

Speaking Engagements

  • “Managing Risks from the Boardroom,” Women on Boards 2020, October 2018
  • “Sexual Harrassment in the Workplace,” Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania, September 2018
  • “Navigating a Return to Work: Surviving and Thriving Following Maternity (and Other) Leave,” Allegheny County Bar Association’s Women in the Law Division, October 2017
  • “Emerging Issues in Health Care Litigation,” Medicare Sequestration Webcast, 18November 2015
  • "Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Exploring Traits of Successful Junior Lawyers," Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, April 2015
Manufacturing/Technology
  • National coordinating counsel for a global paint, coatings, and specialty materials manufacturer’s toxic tort liabilities
  • National coordinating counsel for a global metals engineering and manufacturing company’s commercial door and window product liabilities
  • Member of the national asbestos trial team for a global manufacturer of commercial and consumer products
  • Obtained nine figure trial judgment for global manufacturer of commercial and consumer products in insurance coverage litigation relating to its asbestos bodily injury claims arising from friction materials
  • Representation of international rail and transportation services company in the defense of a federal court MDL putative antitrust class action involving the consolidation of 24 class actions alleging unlawful restraint of competition in the railroad services labor market
  • Representation of international rail and transportation services company in litigation against former employee arising out of a restrictive covenant in a stock incentive plan
  • Representation of major aluminum manufacturer in misappropriation of trade secrets cases and disputes arising out of employee non-compete agreements
  • Representation of major aluminum manufacturer in workplace personal injury actions at the trial court and appellate levels
  • Representation of a global chemical company in obtaining insurance coverage for environmental, product, and toxic tort liabilities
  • Representation of large electric power holding company in obtaining insurance coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury liabilities
Health Care
  • Representation of medical center in real property dispute
  • Obtained judgment on behalf of a consortium of hospitals in litigation involving application of federal sequestration laws
  • Representation of health care providers in disputes with insurers regarding reimbursement rates and other contractual issues