- UCLA School of Law (J.D.); Editor of the UCLA Law Review
- Stanford University (B.A., Political Science), with Honors and Distinction
Melissa McCormick is a litigation partner in Irell & Manella’s Newport Beach office, a former member of the firm's Executive Committee, and co-chair of the Newport Beach Hiring Committee. Her practice encompasses a wide range of complex business disputes, intellectual property litigation, class action defense, and insurance coverage litigation in state and federal courts. In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. McCormick also provides extensive pre-litigation counseling and advice to an array of business clients.
Ms. McCormick has been named one of "The 2010 Most Powerful and Influential Women in California" by California Diversity Magazine. In addition, she has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and in each of the past nine years, Ms. McCormick has been selected a Southern California "Super Lawyer" by Los Angeles Magazine; only five percent of the lawyers in the country earn this honor. In 2004, she was named to the Southern California "Rising Stars” list by Los Angeles Magazine.
Litigation matters of note include:
Notable Trial Representations
- Ms. McCormick represented CBS Outdoor, Inc. in a six-week jury and bench trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. The jury returned a multi-million-dollar compensatory and punitive damages verdict in CBS Outdoor’s favor and the jury and court rejected the cross-complainants’ $80 million contract, fraud and fiduciary duty claims.
- Ms. McCormick obtained a nonsuit and judgment at trial, affirmed on appeal, in favor of Citicorp Real Estate, Inc. on a plaintiff’s claim that CREI misappropriated a development concept for property after declining to sell a building to the plaintiff.
- Ms. McCormick was a member of the four-attorney Irell & Manella trial team that represented Western Digital Corporation against a computer manufacturer’s $200 million contract, warranty, and fraud claims in Amstrad, plc v. Western Digital Corporation, et al. The jury returned a verdict, affirmed on appeal, that The National Law Journal named one of the nation’s top fifteen defense verdicts of 1999.
- Ms. McCormick has also represented business clients in numerous confidential arbitrations, including intellectual property, real estate development, and partnership disputes.
Class Action Defense
- Ms. McCormick represented Citibank, N.A. and The Chase Manhattan Bank in a proposed class action lawsuit arising out of the fall of Saigon, Vietnam. Ms. McCormick obtained a dismissal with prejudice at the pleadings stage on behalf of both banks, which was affirmed in a published opinion, Huynh, et al. v. Chase Manhattan Bank, et al., 465 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2006).
- Ms. McCormick represented MTV Networks and Viacom Inc. in a class action lawsuit alleging copyright infringement related to MTV Networks original television programming.
Additional Notable Representations
- Ms. McCormick represents several technology companies in patent infringement lawsuits and related litigation, including companies in the semiconductor and wireless industries.
- Ms. McCormick counsels clients with respect to insurance coverage and represents clients in litigation seeking to enforce insurance coverage agreements, including in matters involving underlying claims of copyright infringement, legal malpractice, defective construction, and various securities and business claims.
- Ms. McCormick represents major law firms in actions alleging legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and conflicts of interest.
- Ms. McCormick represented NBC Universal, Inc. and KNBC-TV in a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and breach of contract filed by a former KNBC-TV on-air personality. Ms. McCormick won summary judgment on behalf of both companies and successfully defended the judgment on appeal.
Ms. McCormick is the Immediate Past President of the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Orange County and a former President of the Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Orange County, which honored her in 2011 as a Volunteer of the Year. Ms. McCormick serves as a Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Lawyer Representative and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, Orange County. Ms. McCormick previously served as an elected member of the Orange County Bar Association Board of Directors.
Ms. McCormick speaks and writes on a range of professional topics. Ms. McCormick spoke at the 2006 Association of Business Trial Lawyers Annual Seminar on the topic "When Things Go Wrong With Evidence at Trial." In 2005, Ms. McCormick spoke on electronic discovery as part of the Orange County Bar Association’s “Last Dash” program. In 2002, Ms. McCormick spoke to the Association of Business Trial Lawyers on the topic “Discovery of Electronic Data: What Exists And Did You Get It All?” Ms. McCormick also served as a panel member at the American Bar Association’s 2000 annual meeting, addressing the topic “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby – And Where Do You Go From Here?” Ms. McCormick co-authored “Chamberlan v. Ford Motor Company: The Ninth Circuit Identifies Criteria for Evaluating Requests for Permission to Appeal Class Certification Orders,” which appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of the ABTL-Orange County Report.
Hon. Emilio M. Garza, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Hon. Judith N. Keep, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of California