Donna D. Melby

Donna Melby is a nationally recognized business jury trial lawyer who is a member of the Litigation practice and co-chair of the Paul Hastings Employment Law practice in Los Angeles. She serves as co-chair of the firm’s Global Diversity and Women’s Initiatives. Paul Hastings’ Employment Law practice has been named Labor & Employment Litigation Firm of the Year by The American Lawyer. Donna Melby serves on the California Judicial Council and on the Executive and Planning Committee of the California Judicial Council as well as its Litigation Management Committee.

Ms. Melby has successfully tried multiple jury cases to conclusion in the state and federal courts and has tried international and domestic arbitrations across the United States and abroad. She has been invited to fellowship in America’s top trial lawyer organizations, including the American College of Trial Lawyers, which limits membership to the top one percent of trial lawyers in the country, the American Board of Trial Advocates, where she had the honor of service as National President, and the International Society of Barristers, which limits its invitation only membership to 500 jury trial lawyers in the United States.

Donna Melby is a trusted advisor to boards of directors and the senior executive leadership of the country’s leading businesses, regularly consulting on matters of the utmost importance and highest sensitivity. Her solution oriented focus is on the prevention, litigation, trial and arbitration of complex employment and complex commercial cases, particularly class actions, trade secret, whistleblower, retaliation, and discrimination claims. Recently, her clients scored major wins in defeating class certification in complex commercial, class action and employment cases in the state and federal courts and courts of appeal. In the Central District of California, simultaneously litigated in international arbitration, she won a permanent injunction for her manufacturing client following another win in the Ninth Circuit which established the precedent that injunctive relief is available in the district court pending and in aid of arbitration. Complete summary judgment was awarded to her pharmaceutical company client whose senior executive sued for wrongful termination and fraud. A leading trade secrets litigator, Ms. Melby won summary judgment again on an affirmative cross complaint against a claimed whistleblower executive who took privileged and confidential information from his former employer and then sued it on multiple employment related causes of action. She also defeated conditional class certification in a hybrid FLSA class action in the Central District. She is currently trial counsel for a food industry client in dual antitrust and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing class actions and is advisor to another food and beverage industry client on nationwide labeling litigation.

Donna Melby is trial counsel in a 23-plaintiff race discrimination case in the Northern District of California where she has already successfully eliminated all disparate treatment claims, secured the complete dismissal with prejudice of one of her clients, and has eliminated many other claims of each of the 23 plaintiffs. With a track record of success in litigation, trial and in averting high stakes confidential threatened litigation in the most important matters for her clients, she is regularly called upon by Fortune 50 companies and their boards when threatened with whistleblower claims by their CEO’s, their general counsels, officers, and top executive leadership. Class actions, trade secrets, executive mobility, discrimination, corporate organization, retaliation, whistleblower, harassment, partnership contract disputes and complex litigation are key practice areas in which Ms. Melby has an established record of client successes.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Employment Law, 2) Technology, 3) Employee Mobility and Trade Secrets, 4) Employment Litigation, 5) Class Actions, 6) Litigation, 7) Complex Litigation and Arbitration and 8) International Arbitration
Law School Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, J.D., 1978
Education University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A., 1972
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association
Most recent firm Paul Hastings LLP
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