Skip to Content

Renowned Litigator Lee Stapleton Joins Carlton Fields in Miami

Miami, Fla. – Carlton Fields is pleased to announce that Lee Stapleton, a prominent trial lawyer with deep roots in Miami, has joined the firm as a shareholder in the Business Litigation section of the National Trial practice group. Stapleton will also practice in the firm’s White Collar Crime and Government Investigations practice group.
“It’s wonderful to be joining Carlton Fields, a firm that has great lawyers in every practice area — litigation, corporate, real estate, and tax — and a wide variety of subspecialties in those areas,” said Stapleton. “I’m also very happy to be joining a group of friends — people who I’ve known for years and admire for their legal skills, dedication to the community, and graciousness.”
Stapleton added, “Carlton Fields is an old-fashioned law firm when it comes to the skills of its lawyers, client service, and collegiality. But even with its great traditions, the firm is progressive in the areas of technology and innovation.” 
Stapleton has been recognized nationally for her achievements in complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense. She is an experienced trial lawyer and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida where she tried dozens of cases.
“Lee’s wealth of varied litigation experience makes her a strong addition to our already formidable teams of commercial litigators and white-collar defense attorneys,” said Merrick “Rick” Gross, who chairs the firm’s Business Litigation practice. The group welcomed 11 new attorneys in 2018. Stapleton is the sixth attorney to join the firm’s Miami office this year.
Described in South Florida Legal Guide as a “dynamo in the courtroom,” Stapleton has a long record of handling complex matters for clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe. She is regularly retained as litigation counsel for clients in a variety of industries. Her domestic and international practice includes business disputes as well as a wide variety of white-collar matters.
“Lee’s unique relationship-driven approach and her talent as a legal strategist are a boon to our growing Miami office,” said Amy E. Furness, Miami co-office managing shareholder. “Her addition is part of the office’s strategic hiring in our litigation and white-collar practice areas.”
Stapleton joins a large group of former federal prosecutors practicing at Carlton Fields. As Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, she helped manage the busiest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country. For two years, Stapleton worked in Washington running a major program at the U.S. Department of Justice. She then returned to Miami to serve as senior litigation counsel in the Economic Crimes section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In the community, Stapleton served as the 2015 President and Chair of the Orange Bowl Committee, which hosts one of two College Football Playoff Semifinals, featuring two of the top four teams in the country. Stapleton joined the committee in 2002. As the organization’s 77th president, she oversaw the national College Football Playoff Semifinal game in the first year of the current post-season system. Stapleton also spearheaded a girls’ golf program through the committee. 
Stapleton has also served for many years as a Board of Trustees and Directors member for Baptist Health Enterprises, Baptist Health South Florida Medical Arts Surgical Center, and Baptist Outpatient Services. She is an adjunct professor in the University of Miami School of Law’s Litigation Skills program. She is active in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. In addition to her work as editor of the Litigation Journal, she served as Co-Director of Divisions for the Section of Litigation as well as chair of numerous other committees.
“Carlton Fields’ Miami office is committed to giving back to the local community through involvement in a variety of causes,” said Steven J. Brodie, Miami co-office managing shareholder. “As her exemplary record of dedicated service and leadership in South Florida shows, Lee is devoted to furthering Miami’s status as a vibrant, thriving city.”
Stapleton was included in the Top 50: 2018 Women Florida Super Lawyers and Top 100: 2018 Miami Super Lawyers Lists. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and law degrees from the University of Florida. Prior to law school, she worked as a journalist, a skill she puts to use today as an editor of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation Litigation magazine. Her articles have been featured in publications including the Daily Business Review, and she writes a weekly blog about college football. Stapleton also appeared for many years as an on-air weekly legal analyst for WPLG Channel 10 News, Miami’s ABC affiliate.


The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.