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.
- 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
- Georgetown University (J.D. cum laude 2004; Note Development Editor, American Criminal Law Review); University of Notre Dame (B.A. in Political Science and French magna cum laude 2001)
- Illinois, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (General and Trial Bar), U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits
Individually recommended in The Legal 500 US rankings — product liability/mass tort defense: pharmaceuticals and medical devices
"Rising Star," Illinois Super Lawyers (2014-2019)