Emily F. O'Leary

Senior Counsel

Overview

Emily Friend O'Leary is a senior counsel and litigation attorney with Foley & Lardner LLP. Her practice concentrates on varied types of business and commercial litigation, representing businesses in government bid protests and other administrative proceedings; lenders in complex commercial foreclosure, loan workouts and Chapter 11 bankruptcy; owners, developers general contractors, subcontractors, and professionals in construction litigation; public companies in securities litigation, and private and public companies in other business related litigation and employment matters. In this capacity, Ms. O’Leary serves a broad range of clients, including financial institutions, public companies, privately held businesses, professionals, developers, and contractors, among others.

Ms. O’Leary represents clients at both the trial and appellate level. She has extensive experience in motion practice, has tried numerous cases, and has experience facilitating the efficient review of large volumes of electronic data in both investigations and civil suits.

She is a member of the firm’s Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practices.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a Fortune 50 health insurer in the successful defense of multiple bid protests of an award of a more than $1 billion contract to provide Medicaid managed care services to the State of Iowa in the State’s largest ever procurement;
  • Successful representation of companies in internal and SEC investigations involving potential accounting fraud;
  • Represented a Fortune 50 health insurance company in obtaining a favorable settlement of a wrongful death claim by an employee of a subcontractor based on assertion of workers’ compensation immunity; and 
  • Extensive successful representation of banking and lending corporations in all aspects of complex commercial foreclosure actions and loan workouts

Recognition

Ms. O’Leary was recognized by the Jacksonville Business Journal on its “40 under 40” list in 2016, was selected for inclusion in the 2016-2017 Florida Super Lawyers - Rising Stars® lists, and was named in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite Up & Comers 2017 list. She was also a recipient of the Lynford Lardner Community Service Award in recognition of her volunteer work and civic involvement in 2016. 

Affiliations and Professional Memberships

Ms. O’Leary is active in her local community. She currently serves as president of the Junior League of Jacksonville (JLJ). She previously served as president-elect and legal counsel for the JLJ. As legal counsel, she led the Foley team that was recognized as Business Partner of the Year in 2014 by the League. She was also individually recognized as Volunteer of the Year in 2013. 

She also currently serves the United Way of Northeast Florida as a member of its Resource Management Team focused on income issues; William & Mary Law School as a North Florida Admissions Ambassador; and as a Delores Barr Weaver Fellow of the Women’s Giving Alliance. 

She has previously served as chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Law Day Committee; a legal counsel mentor for the ATHENA PowerLink Program with the JAX Chamber Foundation and as pro bono counsel for a number of other clients, including local non-profits, victims of crimes, and in civil rights matters. She was additionally a member of Leadership Jacksonville’s Class of 2016 and has served as a member of the board of directors of the North Florida Alumni Chapter of the College of William & Mary. 

She is also an active member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Jacksonville Bar Association, and an associate alumna of the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court.

Education

Ms. O'Leary earned her J.D. from the William & Mary School of Law. During law school, she clerked with the Honorable James E. Bradberry of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Ms. O'Leary was also an articles editor of the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal.

She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, in English (B.A., cum laude) where she was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame for excellence in academics, service and leadership, an honor bestowed on only 25 University students annually. In addition, Ms. O'Leary served as president of the Women’s Leadership Council, president of Recurso, a non-profit organization, was a J. Wayne Reitz Scholar, was tapped into the Florida Blue Key, and was inducted into the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

Admissions

Ms. O'Leary is admitted to practice in Florida and before the U.S. District Courts for the Middle, Southern, and Northern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts for the Middle, Southern, and Northern Districts of Florida.

Representative Matters

Showing of
Engineering firm provided major design services for expansion of runway at FLL airport. Joint Venture stopped payment contending it suffered damages due to a bid error. HNTB initiated arbitration after joint venture refused to mediate dispute.
Three investors who purchased an unapproved private placement offering from our client's representative filed suit in Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland. The plaintiffs alleged that the private placement offering was a form of a Ponzi scheme. Since one of the plaintiffs was a customer of our client, our client exercised its right under the customer agreement to compel arbitration before FINRA Dispute Resolution. This opened up a second front, exposed that plaintiff to immediate and mandatory discovery obligations, and provided an incentive to engage in settlement negotiations. The case was successfully settled before the arbitration hearing and court trial, and before significant discovery from the client, on terms favorable to the client.