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Melissa J. Tea

Fax +1.412.355.6501
Melissa Tea is an experienced trial lawyer with an active litigation and counseling practice representing public and private manufacturing, industrial and health care companies and financial institutions. She has extensive experience serving as coordinating counsel for clients with regional and nationwide recurring litigation, with particular expertise in mass tort, product liability and financial services litigation. 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 also serves as a strategic adviser to her clients, working closely with them to fully understand their businesses, current and long-term objectives and risk profiles in order to identify, manage and minimize their enterprise risks and to effectively and efficiently resolve disputes through negotiated settlements, mediations, arbitrations or trials. Ms. Tea’s experience in enterprise risk management extends to the industries of metals manufacturing and fabrications, specialty chemicals, energy, industrial and commercial coatings, and commercial and consumer products. 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.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, Board of Directors (2017 - present)
  • Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Government Relations & Advocacy Committee (2016 - present)
  • Founding Member, The Executive Women of Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh CLO, Board of Directors (2014 - 2017)
  • 2018 Most Powerful and Influential Women Award, National Diversity Council
  • Leadership Pittsburgh, Leadership Development Initiative XII (2004 - 2005)
  • Firm Service
    • Chair, Associate Development Committee (2017 - present)
    • Women in the Profession Committee (2013 - present)
    • Audit Response Review Committee (2018 - present)
    • Chair, K&L Gates Public Interest Fellowship Program (2011 - 2016)
    • Hiring Committee (multiple appointments)

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
Commercial Disputes
  • Obtained judgment in favor of aluminum producer at trial on tort and equitable claims arising out of an agreement for the purchase and sale of carbon anodes
  • Representation of energy company at trial involving claims for breach of contract, misrepresentation and tortious interference with contractual relations arising from a natural gas purchase agreement
  • Representation of aluminum producer in misappropriation of trade secrets cases and disputes arising out of non-compete agreements
  • Representation of seller in breach of contract claim arising out of an agreement for the purchase and sale of an aviation aircraft company
  • Representation of aluminum producer in breach of contract dispute with contractor and subcontractors arising out of a demolition and site restoration agreement
Insurance Coverage
  • Obtained judgment in favor of friction materials manufacturer at trial relating to insurance coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury claims
  • Representation of specialty chemicals company in obtaining insurance coverage for environmental, product and toxic tort liabilities
  • Representation of energy company in obtaining insurance coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury liabilities
Mass Tort Litigation
  • Member of the national asbestos trial team for a friction materials manufacturer
  • National coordinating counsel for an industrial and commercial coatings company facing multi-district toxic tort claims
Health Care
  • In a case of first impression, obtained summary 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
  • Representation of hospitals in disputes with physicians and physician practices
Product Liability and Personal Injury
  • National defense counsel for manufacturer of commercial doors and windows in connection with multi-jurisdiction product liability claims
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of tort claims in a personal injury action against aluminum producer
  • Representation of engineered metals manufacturer in personal injury action arising out of an alleged defective aluminum wheel
  • Representation of organ procurement organization in wrongful death action
Financial Services
  • Coordinating counsel for a national banking institution in connection with its multi-jurisdiction mortgage litigation claims
  • Representation of regional and national brokerage firms in connection with FINRA arbitration matters
  • Representation of title insurance company in class action lawsuit regarding financing rates