Beyond the Bio

Designing Success: Meredith Lees Employs Creative Strategies in Her Professional and Personal Life

Designing Success: Meredith Lees Employs Creative Strategies in Her Professional and Personal Life

Meredith Lees, a partner in the Birmingham office, has built a diverse commercial litigation practice with extensive experience in securities cases, broker-dealer matters and arbitration. She also focuses on premises liability for small and large business owners and maintains a diverse insurance practice including claims related to life, health and disability, bad faith/fraud and other complex claims against the insurance and financial services industry.

When tackling these complex cases, Meredith enjoys finding inventive and creative strategies for clients. It’s that knack for creativity that has led her to also find enjoyment in restoring her home, as well as assist in designing the Birmingham offices a few years ago. Meredith talks about her practice and the innovative ways she approaches cases using social media and electronic discovery (e-discovery) and how she spends her time when she is away from work.

“One of the things I truly enjoy about my work is being exposed to many different types of businesses,” says Meredith. “I like getting to know a wide variety of people, learning about the clients’ businesses and finding ways that I can help them. The case law is the same and having a strong knowledge of the case law allows me to apply it to many industries and many unique situations,” she continued.

In her work, Meredith has represented a wide variety businesses from institutional and individual investors (including state pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, financial institutions, and private retirement funds) as well as public and private corporations, governmental entities, apartment complexes and stores.

“Having a creative mind can help you see what something can become,” noted Meredith. “That can be helpful in litigation. You have to see through the case and find ways to affect the outcome of litigation,” she explained. One way Meredith has been able to do this is through use of social media and e-discovery.

“I find the use of social media and its effects on the outcome of litigation very interesting,” said Meredith. “In one particular case, we were able to use social media to show that the plaintiff’s claim did not occur, resulting in a favorable outcome for the client,” she continued.

Meredith often lectures on emerging issues such as best practices for e-discovery and use of social media in litigation. “In my lectures, I focus on identifying what everyone’s burden and responsibilities are under civil procedure,” explained Meredith. Her talks often focus on utilizing best practices in searching, finding and reviewing information.

“On one hand, e-discovery has made things easier, but on the other, it’s exponentially harder because there’s so much more to look through. A case that once would have had 10,000 documents to review will now have 100,000 documents. This makes it more difficult to locate relevant documents and much more expensive for all the parties involved,” she said.

In her lectures, Meredith uses her extensive experience to discuss the essential need for parties to communicate early and often since so much of e-discovery is specialized and discusses many of the pitfalls to avoid. She also discusses strategies for getting access to social media.

Meredith’s focus on detail serves her extremely well as a litigator, but it also has led her to discover her passion for renovation and design.

When Rumberger’s Birmingham office moved into Downtown Birmingham, Meredith was pleased to be in charge of the design process and build out. She worked with the architect and designers along with her colleague Rebecca Beers, a partner in the Birmingham office, to create a warm, modern environment for their new offices.

“I truly enjoyed the process of watching it go from blueprint to finished product and had fun working with Rebecca to pick out the wall color, coverings, flooring, etc.,” said Meredith. As you can guess, Meredith is a big fan of HGTV and says her all-time favorite designer is Candice Olson.

Meredith also uses her creative gene to come up with food that her extremely picky eight-year-old son will eat. “He likes to help in the kitchen and since he’s such a picky eater, I try to get him more excited about different foods by having him help to prepare them,” she said. “And, while I really do enjoy cooking, I don’t have a lot of time for it. I spend many Sundays prepping food and planning for the week, which has been helpful in reaching my New Year’s resolution to eat at home at least three times a week,” she shared.

“While my husband and I both work a lot, we are still able to spend a lot of time with our son,” said Meredith. He’s involved in a wide variety of sports throughout the year including baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, swimming and wrestling. “Our weekends definitely involve a lot of time spent at one field or sporting event or another,” she laughed. In addition, the family squeezes in travel whenever possible. “We like traveling and experiencing different places,” noted Meredith. “We’ve taken him to Disney World, which he enjoys of course, but he especially likes visiting historical places like Washington D.C., Boston and New York. We’ve also taken him as far as Hawaii, Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic. We’re all really looking forward to our trip to British Columbia this summer. 

Meredith noted that Rumberger’s collaborative environment definitely helps her maintain a good balance between work and family. “The attorneys and staff at RK are so supportive and helpful to each other. I am thankful to be part of an environment that fosters teamwork and friendship.”