Melissa A. Dearing is a Partner in the Litigation Practice and a member of the Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group.
Ms. Dearing practices in the areas of employment and immigration law in the Jacksonville office. She practices in all aspects of labor and employment and immigration law, including the handling of discrimination and harassment litigation, wage and hour compliance and litigation, union avoidance, non-compete, non-solicitation and trade secret litigation, and general employee relations advice.
Ms. Dearing likewise assists employers in seeking non-immigrant and immigrant status. She has extensive experience with H-1Bs and the PERM-based green card process, particularly with respect to information technology professionals, engineers and pharmacists, among other professionals. Ms. Dearing also represents foreign nationals in regards to family immigration matters, and assists employers with I-9 and other immigration compliance issues.
Ms. Dearing is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, past member of the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, and a member of the Federal Bar Association and the Florida Bar Association. She is also Co-Chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section. Ms. Dearing has been selected for inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2009-2013.
Ms. Dearing received her B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of Florida in 1995. She earned her J.D. degree, with honors, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 1998.
She is admitted to practice in Florida; the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida; U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida; and U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
American Immigration Lawyers Association
The Chester Bedell American Inn of Court
Federal Bar Association
The Florida Bar
Jacksonville Bar Association – Labor & Employment Law Section, Co-Chair
Jacksonville Industry Liaison Group, Panelist on E-Verify, October 2009.
“Employee Investigations In The Public Sector,” Speaker, Florida Tax Collectors’ Fall 2009 Conference.
“Update On ADA Amendments,” Speaker, Florida Public Personnel Association, 2009.
“Surviving The Enforcement Era: Hot Topics In Immigration,” Society for Human Resources Management, April 2009.
“Hot Topics In Immigration,” October 30, 2007.
“Heightened Enforcement Activity Underscores Need for I-9 Compliance,” Author, Jacksonville Business Journal, July 2009.
“Forget Me Not: Immigration Compliance Issues in Mergers and Acquisitions,” Author, Association of Corporate Counsel Newsletter, 2nd Quarter, 2012.
“Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: Retaining Foreign National Employees,” Co-Authored with Eugenia H. Donahoo, Jacksonville Lawyer magazine, 2006.