Tara E. Faenza is a Senior Associate in MKCI’s Miami, Florida and Florham Park, NJ offices. She is presently serving as “second chair” trial counsel on asbestos & talc matters assisting on the medical defense.
Tara also practices commercial litigation, specifically first-party claims and litigation, employment and professional liability defense, and breach of contract matters. Tara’s experience relates to all areas of breach of contract, including business agreements, intellectual property, and employment agreements. Her work in first-party claims and litigation includes residential, commercial, machine breakdown, and other complex litigation matters. Tara’s employment practice primarily involves defending claims involving the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and other discrimination and wage-related claims. Tara’s practice includes new client counseling, inception, filing of pleadings, discovery, motion practice, mediation, arbitration, and trial. Tara also provides pre-litigation and preventative counseling for matters such as EEOC / FCHR Charges, employment contracts, employee handbooks, terminations, restructuring, and training.
Prior to joining MKCI in 2021, Tara worked at the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office where she tried 20 jury trials and close to 50 bench trials. Tara has focused on all matters of pre-litigation and litigation disputes. Tara also worked as a legal manager and administrator working in intellectual property, contracts, licensing, and in-house matters for several years prior to becoming an attorney.
In addition to her litigation experience, Tara actively participates in pro bono work and voluntary bar associations, including: Florida Bar Labor & Employment Section (2021-present), National Employment Law Council (NELC) (2020 – present), Florida Bar Criminal Law Section (2020 – present), Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. Bar Association (2019-present), Florida Association of Women Lawyers (2016 – present), The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida (APABA) (2016 – present), Miami-Dade County Bar Association (2016 – present), Class V of Dade Legal Aid’s Leadership Academy (2019- 2020), Dade Legal Aid / Put Something Back Pro Bono Guardian ad Litem (2016-present), Business Networking International (2019-present), and Biscayne Connections Member.
Tara has presented and published on a variety of topics, including: Florida Association of Women Lawyers Corporate Summit, May 2021, Has Covid Changed the Labor & Employment Landscape for Good?; Insurance Law Basics, Southeastern Paralegal Association, May 2021; ADP Client Event, 2020 Employment Law Seminar, January 2020; Women of Distinction, Introduction to Hon. Bronwyn Miller, April 2019; “In the Crosshairs: Gun Rights v. Employer Liability”, Jan 10, 2020, The Checkoff, A Publication of the Florida Bar Labor & Employment Law Section; “The Silent Dignity of Confidential Settlements in a #Metoo Era” Aug 23, 2019, The Checkoff, A Publication of the Florida Bar Labor & Employment Law Section; Third DCA: Juries, Not Insurers, Have Final Say in Damage Estimates Disputes, Jul 16, 2018, Daily Business Review; WPLG This Week in South Florida, Panelist Commentator, 2017; Promises Made in Severance Agreements: What do they Mean, Why are They There & Are They Legal?, 2016 EEOC Miami Technical Assistance Seminar; Social Media policies and Title VII and the NLRA, South East eDiscovery & IG Retreat, 2016; Employment Law, Dade County Chiropractic Society Attorney Roundtable, 2016; and Commencement Speaker, University of Miami, 2013.
Tara is also proud to have achieved the following awards and honors: FL Super Lawyers Rising Star (2016-2021); Florida Trend Legal Elite 2018; AVVO – Top Contributor Award (2015-2017); Dade Legal Aid / Put Something Back Pro Bono Project – Pro Bono Award 2017; Dean’s Certificate of Achievement Award, Alternative Dispute Resolution, 2013; Honors – Litigation Skills Pretrial and Trial Courses, 2012; and Constangy, Brooks & Smith Diversity Scholars Award, Southern Region, 2012.
On a personal level, Tara enjoys the great outdoors, spin cycle, her rescue dogs, and spending time with her family cooking and enjoying the Florida weather. Further, Tara is conversational in Spanish.
Tara obtained her Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, as well as an Employment, Labor, & Immigration Certificate. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix.