Melissa’s practice focuses on environmental litigation and complex commercial litigation matters.

Melissa’s practice focuses on complex litigation with an emphasis on environmental, employment, business torts, commercial contract and product liability disputes. Melissa also has significant experience with internal investigations. Melissa routinely advises national clients on e-discovery and other electronic data storage issues in the context of litigation. She has successfully represented clients at all stages of litigation in state and federal courts through trials, dispositive motions and appeals.

Melissa has significant experience representing utility companies in the defense of enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act. Melissa also handles complex employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, Fair Credit Reporting Act, OSHA, and wage-and-hour disputes, including class actions.

Melissa is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; the United States District Courts for the Western, Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina; and all state courts in North Carolina.

Relevant Experience

  • Represented utility companies in Clean Water Act enforcement actions in state and federal court.
  • Represented utility companies in the defense of enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act.
  • Defended class action alleging statutory violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act based on the conduct of criminal background checks.
  • Represented employer in case filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for religious discrimination.
  • Represented employer before the NLRB in defense of unfair labor practice charges.
  • Represented financial services institutions in the defense of consumer finance litigation nationwide.
  • Represented major financial services institutions in actions arising out of claims for unfair and deceptive trade practice, usury, predatory lending practices, violations of Truth and Lending Act, RESPA, and other federal and state laws.
  • Advised employers regarding employment agreements.
  • Represented financial institutions in various matters concerning credit default swaps, asset backed securities and shareholder actions.
  • Represented registered broker-dealer in FINRA arbitration alleging unsuitability of investment related to collateralized debt obligations.
  • Represented financial services institution in defense against lawsuit to enjoin $12 billion merger with Charlotte-based commercial and investment bank.
  • Participated in review of web content and open source intelligence pertaining to critical information for major client.
  • Represented major corporation as plaintiff in class action lawsuit involving issues related to class certification, Daubert, the business judgment rule, and various provisions of antitrust law.
  • Represented major financial institution in the transfer of its corporate trust business to another major financial institution.

Memberships

  • Member, Board of Directors of Safe Alliance, 2017-present
  • Member, National Association of Professional Women, 2015 - Present
  • Member, Mecklenburg County Bar Association, 2008 - Present

Awards & Recognition

  • Selected as a “Rising Star” in North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2015-2021. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont & Legal Aid of NC-Charlotte, 2015 Pro Bono Honor Roll
  • Recipient, Hunton & Williams E. Randolph Williams Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service, 2008-2009, 2012-2013

Insights

  • Events

    • Speaker, Wake Forest Summer Immersion Program - Law Institute, 2016, 2017, and 2018

    Publications