For every matter Melissa handles, paying what is owed and not a penny more is her ultimate goal. She meticulously manages important dates and closely adheres to the rules, and expects opposing counsel to do the same. Courtesy has its place, but when opposing counsel consistently fails to comply with discovery requests or roadblocks her efforts to investigate a plaintiff’s claim, the gloves come off.
In one case, for example, Melissa second-chaired a trial in which the court denied a request to amend affirmative defenses to assert newly-discovered fraud, but successfully convinced a Wayne County jury that the accident did not occur as alleged. This resulted in our client avoiding almost $700,000 in exposure in claims brought by four plaintiffs and two separate medical providers. In another matter, opposing counsel repeatedly failed to file a response to requests for admission. Again, Melissa offered her opposition the chance to remedy his error but he ignored her. She then used his unwillingness to abide by the court rules to successfully move for dismissal of the plaintiff’s case with prejudice, a decision that Michigan judges rarely make.
An accomplished student athlete, Melissa was initially intent on a career in sports medicine and pursued a degree in Exercise Science from Marquette University. But after she took a course in the philosophy of law during her senior year, she changed direction and set her sights on being an attorney.
At Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Melissa served as Associate Editor of the law review and Vice President of the Black Law Students Association. She supplemented her classroom experience as a volunteer with the State Appellate Defender Office, through externships with a busy Detroit litigation firm and the law department of a large automotive supplier, and as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Marla E. Parker of the 47th District Court. Melissa received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, in 2013.