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Lea Dearing brings business sense to business disputes. A Shareholder at Berman Fink Van Horn, Lea counsels companies regarding the myriad of disputes that arise in every day operations. Lea has experience assisting businesses with a wide range of issues, including internal investigations, employment matters, business divorces and shareholder claims and real estate disputes and construction related claims.
While she prides herself on finding ways to keep her clients out of the courtroom, when needed, she also offers her clients a sound strategy to prevail at trial. Lea thrives in a courtroom, and has a track record of success that does not go unnoticed by clients and opposing counsel. Importantly, she understands that clients are looking for a business solution. Lea knows the tools to help her clients achieve meaningful results, not just paper victories.
Lea has emerged as a leader in data forensics and using electronic data to win cases in trade secret and restrictive covenant cases, as well as business defamation and other matters where electronic evidence is key to a claim.
Lea is a summa cum laude graduate of Texas Wesleyan University School of Law and received her Bachelor of Arts in International Business from University of Georgia. Selected to Georgia Super Lawyers, Lea has also held several leadership positions within the Dallas Bar Association and Attorneys Serving the Community.
In her spare time, family and horses are Lea’s passion. She is a member of the Arabian Horse Association and the United States Equestrian Federation. Lea and her husband have two children.
- Georgia (2014)
- Texas, (2006)
- Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
- United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia
- United States District Court, Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of Texas
- B.A., University of Georgia (2003)
- J.D., Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, summa cum laude, (2006)
- Georgia Super Lawyers (2022)
- Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star (2016-2021)
- Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star (2013-2015)
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- In August 2022, Lea co-presented “Forensic Analysis: I Suspect Theft of Proprietary Information, What Do I Do Now?” at the State Bar of Georgia/Institute of Continuing Legal Education program on Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets.
- In June 2022, Lea moderated a BFV Breakfast Briefing, “Culture is Real: Why Shape your Company Culture?”
- In April 2021, Lea was a featured speaker on a BFV “Office Hours” webinar, “What’s Next? Top Considerations to Grow your Business after the Digital Pivot.”
- In December 2020, Lea moderated a BFV Virtual Roundtable to address employment, real estate, noncompete/unfair competition and mergers and acquisitions topics.
- In September 2020, Lea participated in a panel, “Forensics and Artificial Intelligence in Trade Secret Protection and Litigation/Ethics in Trade Secret Investigations and Litigation” at the AIPLA 2020 Trade Secret Law Summit.
- In August 2020, Lea participated on a SullivanStrickler webinar of forensic industry experts titled “Modern Complexities of Mobile Device Preservation.”
- In February 2020, Lea moderated a BFV Breakfast Briefing, “Unlock the Business Benefits of Recruiting & Retaining Diverse Employees.”
- In January 2020, Lea co-presented, “Forensic Analysis: I Suspect Theft of Proprietary Information, What Do I Do Now?” at the ICLE: State Bar of Georgia Series seminar “Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Georgia.”
- In November 2019, Lea presented “How to Get Your Social Media, Email and Text Evidence Admitted” at the National Business Institute seminar.
- In August 2019, Lea presented “Handling Email, Social Media and other ESI” and “Ethical Considerations” at a National Business Institute continuing legal education seminar, “The Rules of Evidence: A Practical Toolkit.”
- In July 2018, Lea presented “I Suspect Trade Secret Theft. What Do I Do Now?” to members of State Bar of Georgia.
- In April 2018, Lea presented “Protecting your Business in the Wake of #MeToo” to HR Council members of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates.
- In October 2017, Lea presented “Family Law & Forensics: Time for a Modern Day Tune Up?” to family law attorneys. Click here to see highlights.
- In April 2017, Lea participated in a National Business Institute (NBI) seminar, “The Rules of Evidence: A Practical Toolkit (A real-world application of evidence to courtroom events).” Lea addressed witness testimony and reports and how to handle email, social media and other ESI.
- In June 2017, Lea presented “Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Hiring and Firing Employees” to business owners, operators and managers
- Developed and deployed case-specific strategies in litigation matters and internal investigations to deal with the increasing complexity and expense of preserving, collecting and producing electronic media and ever changing cloud-based content.
- Secured seven figure jury verdict in fraudulent transfer case for minority member of LLC, securing a judgment for 100% of the ask on the claim.
- Defeated overbroad and unreasonable restrictive covenants of publicly traded company in Delaware Chancery Court when applied former employer attempted to prohibit employee from transitioning to non-competitive financial services role in violation of Georgia law.
- Obtained dismissal of executive on personal jurisdiction grounds in unfair competition claim.
- Resolved trade secrets claims on favorable terms after showing Plaintiff misinterpreted forensics and spoliated evidence.
- Obtained complete defense verdict for lumber company in employment discrimination suit brought by terminated employee.
- Successfully appealed erroneous verdict in constitutional takings claim, having all claims reinstated and the case remanded for new findings by the trial court (2013).
- Obtained favorable arbitration verdict for medical provider on construction defect claims in the renovation of a medical facility (2012).
- Successfully defended a cutting edge start-up in the healthcare sector from claims by major healthcare network that it hired a former employee in violation of a non-compete and trade secrets agreement (2011).
- Obtained complete defense verdict in transportation lawsuit brought against a broker after shipper’s goods were stolen in transit. Affirmed on appeal (2010).
- Successfully resolved mass action brought by trade school’s former students based on false advertising allegations (2009).
- Successfully appealed trial court’s denial of a contractor’s Motion to Compel Arbitration of extra-contractual claims in a construction dispute (2009).
- Successfully appealed trial court’s denial of a developer’s Motion to Compel Arbitration in a construction dispute (2009).
- Successfully sought mandamus relief from Court of Appeals and protected corpus of spendthrift trust from invasion to pay attorneys fees in a divorce proceeding (2008).
- Resolved multiple payment, construction and employment related disputes across the pharmaceutical, hospitality, construction, transportation, telecommunication, manufacturing, wholesale, health care, education, energy and banking industries.
- “Top Five Tips for Using Forensics to Win the Case,” Daily Report, 2017
- Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (2017 – 2018)
- Attorneys Serving the Community (2008-2014)
- Invitations Committee, Co-Chair
- VIP Silent Auction Committee, Past Co-Chair
- Arabian Horse Association
- United States Equestrian Federation
- United States Eventing Association