Shareholder & Co-founder at Heise Suarez Melville, P.A.
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Products Liability Litigation
- Real Estate Litigation
- Catastrophic Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation
In the legal profession, and most notably within any BigLaw firm like Boies Schiller Flexner, Patricia stands out like a star for her self-made success at a young age litigating highly contentious, complex matters on both sides of the fence. In any matter she is involved in, she is part of the case core.
Patricia’s story is virtually unheard of in the field of law: She put herself through night school at the University of Miami School of Law while working full-time as a receptionist and later as a legal secretary, paralegal and then law clerk. She began at Boies Schiller Flexner as an associate right out of law school, working side-by-side with highly pedigreed Ivy Leaguers, and was quickly named partner at the BigLaw firm based on her legal wins, her grit and her unwavering determination to advance her clients’ interests.
Quite simply, it’s almost impossible to find another woman lawyer anywhere in the country with a similar career trajectory. Patricia’s self-made success and life experiences have paid off handsomely, enabling her to bring to every client matter a broader perspective, an uncanny ability to size up opposing counsel and jury members, and a keen gut for charting the correct path to success.
Patricia has had tremendous courtroom litigation experience from a young age. Together with Mark, she tried a six-week legal malpractice claim against an international law firm. More recently, she cross examined key witnesses in a bench trial involving a hotly contested loan modification agreement between one of the nation’s largest banks and a major Palm Beach retail center.
A standout case for which she is particularly proud took place in her first year as a lawyer. Specifically, it was an age-discrimination matter where she represented a university employee who, despite her good work, had been fired because she was in her 60s. What did Patricia appreciate most about this case? The way she connected with her client at a personal level. Believing that her client was a kind person who had been wrongfully discriminated against, Patricia did not stop until she righted that wrong. It stands out as a particularly challenging case that also was one her most personally rewarding.
Beyond her trial experience, Patricia is noted for her achievements as an integral team member on a wide variety of complex, high-profile cases for major clients nationwide. These range from a massive antitrust class action case involving a national health insurance giant to working with her law partner Mark on the high-profile, multi-district litigation class action against Takata and several auto manufacturers. This case was meaningful to Patricia because she saw firsthand how victims of all ages suffered due to the deadly airbags as well as the inability to use their cars and afford any alternate means of transportation until the defects had been fixed.
Patricia also was shaped by her work on pivotal opioid matters, having worked with her partners to file suit in one of the nation’s first opioid cases on behalf of the Cherokee Nation. Through her legal work, she obtained a unique perspective on the damage of opioids on families and newborns, which further fueled her conviction to make an impact in this area. This matter is still pending in court.
Just as important, Patricia also is known for her commitment to advancing women within the legal profession. For almost a decade, she has rolled up her sleeves and donated time to such organizations as the National Association of Women Lawyers, in addition to actively mentoring female and minority law associates.
- University of Miami School of Law, J.D., cum laude
- Dean’s Certificate of Achievement Award (Contracts)
- Corpus Juris Secundum Award (Civil Procedure I)
- Staff Editor, Inter-American Law Review
- Levenson Scholarship; Dean’s Scholarship
- Florida International University, B.A.S., Political Science
• The Florida Bar
- U.S. Court of Appeals: First Circuit
- U.S. District Court: Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court: Northern District of Florida
AWARDS AND ASSOCIATIONS
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- Florida Association of Women Lawyers
- Dade County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- “40 Under 40 Award,” Cystic Fibrosis Foundation