Melissa B.Hirst


(T) 1.312.269.4157

Melissa Hirst defends clients in product liability lawsuits, class actions, and commercial disputes, frequently representing health care and pharmaceutical companies in matters involving medical devices, pharmaceuticals, nutritional and food products, and laboratory test results.

Melissa defends Laboratory Corporation of America in professional negligence litigation across the country related to Pap smears and other laboratory tests. She serves as national counsel for the defense of product liability and negligence lawsuits involving nutrition and food products and advises clients on litigation risks relating to new products coming on the market. Her prior experience also includes defending a manufacturer of consumer products in overlapping criminal and civil government investigations, defending a car dealer in a consumer class action, and recovering damages on behalf of a medical device manufacturer in a commercial dispute in arbitration.

Melissa maintains a substantial pro bono practice. She advised Chicago's Ethics Reform Task Force on legal issues relating to its proposals to revamp Chicago's Governmental Ethics Ordinance and has successfully represented clients in asylum petitions, immigration appeals, and appeals of indicated findings by the Department of Children and Family Services.

Melissa is a member of the Federal, Chicago, and Illinois Bar Associations. She is active in the community, serving as a board member of the Chicago Bar Foundation, board member and vice president for the Center for Conflict Resolution, and a mentor to Chicago law students through the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's Success in Law School Mentoring program.


  • Medical device manufacturer obtains voluntary dismissal of product liability suit surrounding allegedly defective blood glucose meterA medical device manufacturer represented by Jones Day obtained voluntary dismissal of a product liability lawsuit in which plaintiffs claimed that a user of the manufacturer's blood glucose meter fell and fractured her arm while using the meter to monitor her diabetes.
  • Lab Corp wins partial summary judgment in product liability litigationJones Day client Lab Corp (Laboratory Corporation of America) won partial summary judgment in a product liability case arising from an alleged failure to detect abnormal cells indicating cancer on a Pap smear slide.
  • Medical device manufacturer obtains dismissal with prejudice of product liability suit after motion to dismiss briefingJones Day successfully defended a medical device manufacturer in a product liability suit alleging that the manufacturer's diabetes monitoring system was defective.
  • Private equity firm resolves insurance coverage dispute regarding representation and warranty policyJones Day represented a private equity firm seeking coverage under a representation and warranty insurance policy.
  • Private equity firm pursues fraud claims related to sale of portfolio companyJones Day is serving as lead counsel to a private equity firm and its portfolio company in significant litigation asserting fraud and breaches of contractual representations and warranties in connection with the acquisition of the portfolio company.
  • Vibram obtains First Circuit affirmation of class action settlement agreement related to its advertisingOn December 31, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a $3.75 million class action settlement involving Jones Day clients, Vibram USA, Inc. and Vibram FiveFingers LLC, makers of the popular FiveFingers shoes.
  • Medical device manufacturer obtains successful arbitration resultA medical device manufacturer represented by Jones Day was awarded damages by an International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution arbitrator for claims related to breaches of the exclusivity provisions of a supply and distribution agreement.
  • Abbott secures second unanimous defense verdict in products liability trial involving powdered infant formulaOn Friday, March 14, 2014, Jones Day secured a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Abbott Laboratories in a product liability case in federal court in Asheville, North Carolina.
  • Jones Day Chicago develops relationship with the Civic Consulting AllianceIn 2011, the Chicago Office began a relationship with the Civic Consulting Alliance ("CCA"), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that reshapes how Chicago works by building pro bono teams comprised of business and legal experts, government leaders, and its own staff to work on discrete projects designed to make the city, county, and other parts of the state more livable, affordable, and globally competitive.
  • Arctic Glacier resolves federal antitrust class action litigation involving packaged ice industryJones Day defended Arctic Glacier, Inc. against federal antitrust class actions by direct purchasers against several U.S. packaged ice companies, alleging conspiracy to fix prices for packaged ice.
  • Navistar successfully defends putative class actions related to diesel enginesJones Day defended Navistar International Corporation against putative class actions related to the 6.0L diesel engine supplied by Navistar to power Ford Motor Company's Super Duty pickup trucks for model years 2003-2007.
  • Arctic Glacier defeats class certification in Wisconsin state court antitrust case involving packaged ice industryOn behalf of Arctic Glacier Inc., Jones Day obtained denial of plaintiff's motion for class certification for an antitrust claim filed in Wisconsin state court arising out of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into allegations of price fixing and market allocation in the packaged ice industry.
  • Arctic Glacier obtains dismissal of Kansas state court antitrust price fixing litigationRepresenting Arctic Glacier Inc., Jones Day obtained dismissal of antitrust and tort litigation filed in Kansas state court arising out of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into allegations of price fixing and market allocation in the packaged ice industry.
  • Bear, Stearns Securities and Morgan Stanley Securities resolve securities lending disputeJones Day represented Bear Stearns and Morgan Stanley in an action that arose during the early to mid-1990s, where Plaintiff, the Northern Trust Company, a major securities lender, loaned shares of a Registered Investment Company to various broker-dealers.
  • Flagstar Bankcorp appeals judgment denying insurance coverageJones Day represented Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. in an appeal from a judgment denying insurance coverage.
  • Marcus & Millichap defends claims in connection with sale of retail shopping centerJones Day represents Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, a real estate brokerage firm, in a case involving claims of misrepresentation and negligence in connection with the sale of a retail shopping center.
  • Abbott prevails in contempt proceedings to enforce injunction prohibiting Apotex from obtaining FDA approval for generic version of Depakote®Jones Day client Abbott Laboratories obtained a Hatch-Waxman Act injunction prohibiting Apotex from obtaining FDA approval of its ANDA for a generic version of Abbott's blockbuster drug, Depakote®, which was unanimously affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
  • Abbott launches Hatch-Waxman litigation against Banner PharmacapsJones Day is representing Abbott Laboratories in patent infringement action brought pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act.
  • Lawful resident petitions review of a removal orderJones Day is representing a lawful resident of the United States who is petitioning the Ninth Circuit for review of a decision ordering him removed from the country.
  • Sri Lankan family wins U.S. political asylumMelissa Hirst of Jones Day Chicago won asylum for a Sri Lankan couple and their four children who were persecuted by a militant Sri Lankan group, the LTTE (also known as the "Tamil Tigers"), because they are Muslim.
  • Speaking Engagements

    • November 6, 2018
      Sufficiently Conspicuous? Enforcing Online Arbitration Agreements
    • June 7, 2018
      Beyond the Courtroom: Ancillary Considerations in Litigation, Jones Day MCLE
    • January 24, 2018
      Social Media and Investigations: How can I use social media to investigate my case without breaking the ethical rules?
    • June 9, 2016
      The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth: Can Lawyers Ever Ethically Employ Deception Or Subterfuge?, Jones Day MCLE University
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