Overview

Melissa is of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the firm’s finance, energy, and real estate group.  Melissa’s practice focuses on bankruptcy and creditors rights, as well as commercial contracting and transactions.  Melissa regularly represents secured creditors, unsecured creditors, chapter 7 trustees, and other parties in interest in chapter 11 and chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, adversary proceedings, receiverships, and related out-of-court matters.  Melissa has served as a Chapter 7 Panel Bankruptcy Trustee for the Southern District of Ohio since 2020. 

Melissa has further experience advising and assisting manufacturing and retail clients with the structure, negotiation, and documentation of various commercial agreements and transactions.

Career highlights include:

  • Co-counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in In re Murray Energy Holdings Co., et al. in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
  • Litigation counsel to financial institution defendant in the defense of fraudulent transfer and related claims brought by trustee to avoid and recover hundreds of millions of dollars in connection with the PEAKS Loan Program in the In re ITT Educational Services, Inc. proceeding in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
  • Represented Fortune Global 500 company in the defense of an avoidance action involving Ponzi-scheme allegations and Section 546 safe-harbor defenses in the In re Northstar Offshore Group, LLC case in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
  • Represented senior secured creditor in the chapter 11 bankruptcy case of In re Woodbury Outfitters in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
  • Served as post-confirmation litigation counsel to plan trustee of the liquidating trust in In re USA Discounters, Ltd in the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
  • Represented senior secured creditor in In re Eastern Livestock, involving allegations of debtor’s engagement in a multi-million dollar check and inventory kite, in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
  • Represented chapter 7 trustee in In re Nicole Gas Production, Ltd., involving briefing before the Bankruptcy Court, Supreme Court of Ohio, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Sixth Circuit, Sixth Circuit, and United States Supreme Court on issues pertaining to Ohio’s RICO statute, property of the bankruptcy estate under 11 U.S.C. § 541, violations of the automatic stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362, and contempt sanctions.
  • Represented $400 million revenue, multi-hospital healthcare system as debtors and debtors-in-possession in successful reorganization in chapter 11.

Representative experience includes:

  • Regular representation of multiple chapter 7 trustees in a variety of contested and litigation matters.
  • Representation of companies in defense of avoidance and recovery actions on a national basis.
  • Representation of manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers in the negotiation and documentation of a variety of commercial transactions.
  • Representation of retail clients in the negotiation, documentation, and enforcement of a variety of commercial matters and agreements.

Melissa received her J.D. cum laude from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and her B.A. magna cum laude from Miami University.

News & Insights

Education

Case Western Reserve University, J.D., cum laude, 2007

Miami University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2003

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
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