A Partner at Phillips & Paolicelli since 2016, Melissa L. Stewart focuses on toxic exposure, consumer fraud, mass torts, and complex litigation.
After graduating from law school, Melissa clerked for the Honorable Edward C. Prado of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. In private practice Melissa has represented families of teenagers who committed suicide due to their use of SSRI antidepressant drugs for which the drug manufacturers failed to warn of the potential for increased suicidal thoughts, as well people who were injured as a result of using drugs such as Vioxx, Bextra and Celebrex. Melissa has also litigated several complex consumer fraud, securities, and ERISA class actions, including one of the largest securities class actions ever litigated, In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (S.D.N.Y.). Most recently, Melissa has focused her practice on birth defect injuries due to exposure to toxic substances, and injuries related to the improper marketing and use of medical devices.
Melissa earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish (1992) and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning (1999) from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Stewart earned her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (2002) where she was named the Outstanding Law Graduate by the National Association of Women Lawyers. In law school, Melissa was a member and Executive Editor for the Cardozo Journal of International & Comparative Law, a member of the Cardozo Trial Team, a Senator in the Student Bar Association, President of the International Law Students Association, and the founding President of the Cardozo Chapter of the American Constitution Society.
Melissa is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Melissa is on the Board of Directors of the stageFARM off-broadway theater group and La Isla Foundation. Melissa is fluent in Spanish.