Melissa Katz is a principal of McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen & Katz, P.C. She primarily defends individuals, companies, and self-insureds that are sued for tort claims, often with complex injuries. In addition to her legal practice, Ms. Katz enjoys participating in professional organizations, serving either as a member or in a leadership role. She is a Past President of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. Ms. Katz presently serves on the Virginia Model Jury Instructions Committee and is a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation.
- Undergraduate: University of Virginia, B.A. 1987
- Graduate: University of Richmond, The T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D. 1990
- Cambridge University Summer Study Abroad Law Program Cambridge, England 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Court of Appeals (Fourth Circuit)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
- Virginia Supreme Court
- District of Columbia
- United States District Court For the District of Columbia
- Martindale-Hubbell AV rated Preeminent
- Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
- Virginia Model Jury Instructions Committee, 2020 to present
- Washington D.C. Super Lawyers 2020, 2021, 2022
- Virginia Super Lawyers 2020, 2021, 2022
- 2020 Virginia’s Top Rated Lawyers
- Virginia Lawyers Weekly Inaugural Class of Influential Women of Law 2019
- Law Review
- Moot Court Board
- Order of the Barrister
- Editor-in-Chief, Juris Publici
- Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys Furness Award - 2020 Awarded for exceptional leadership.
- DRI Exceptional Performance Award – 2020
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Virginia State Bar
- Fairfax Bar Association
- Member, Circuit Court Committee, 2005-2006, 2016 to present
- Member, CLE Committee, Moderator of Appellate Practice CLE, December 2003
- Past Member, General District Court Committee
- Defense Research Institute
- Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA)
- Chair, Wellness Committee of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, 2021-22
- Past President, 2020-2021
- President, 2019-2020
- President-Elect, 2018-2019
- Chair, Amicus Committee, 2018-2019
- Chair, Awards & Judicial Endorsements Committtee, 2018-2019
- Treasurer, Executive Committee, 2017-2018
- Chair of Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys Annual Meeting, October 11-13, 2017
- Secretary, Executive Committee, 2016 to 2017
- Board of Editors, The Journal of Civil Litigation, 2013 to 2016
- Board of Directors, Director Emeritus, 2015 to 2016
- Board of Directors, Potomac Region, 2013 to 2015
- Board of Directors, Member at Large, 2012-2013
- Chair, Auto & Transportation Section, 2010-2011
- Vice-Chair, Auto & Transportation Section, 2009-2010
- Fall Convention Committee, 2008-2009
- Judicial Awards and Endorsement Committee, 2005-2007 Member, CLE Committee, 2009-2010; 2008-2009
- DC Defense Lawyers Association
- Virginia Women Attorneys Association
- Board of Directors, 2004 to 2006 and 2008 to 2010
- Virginia Women Attorneys Association, The Northern Chapter
- President, 2005-2006
Representative Publications & Presentations
- Third-Party Observers Should Not Be Present at Rule 4:10 Medical Examinations Unless Plaintiff Can Prove Good Cause, The Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXVI, No. 1, Spring 2014 (Quarterly Publication by the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys).
- In Closing: The Improper Injection of Opinion During Closing Arguments and the Critical Importance of Contemporaneous Objection, the Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXIV, No. 2, Summer 2012 (Quarterly Publication by the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys).
- Editor-in-Chief, Firm Quarterly Newsletter, 2003 to 2009
- Tingler v. Graystone Homes, Inc., No. 180791, 2019 Va. LEXIS 138 (2019).
- Cain v. Lee, 290 Va. 129 (2015).
- Sunrise Continuing Care, LLC v. Wright, 277 Va. 148 (2009) (on brief).
- Div. Access Control, Inc. v. Landrum, No. 3:06cv414, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31133 (April 27, 2007).
- Gibson v. BSA, No. 05-1363, 163 Fed. Appx. 206, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 761 (January 12, 2006) (On brief).
- O'Neill v. Windshire-Copeland Assocs., L.P., No. 02-1271, 372 F.3d 281, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 11781 (June 16, 2004) (On brief).
- Clean Sweep Prof'l Parking Lot Maint., Inc. v. Talley, 267 Va. 210, 591 S.E.2d 79 (2004) (On brief).
- O'Neill v. Windshire-Copeland Assoc., L.P., 372 F.3d 281 (4th Cir. 2004) (On brief).
- Clean Sweep Professional Parking Lot Maintenance, Inc. v. Talley, 267 Va. 210, 591 S.E.2d 79 (2004) (On brief).
- Honsinger v. Eagan, 266 Va. 269, 585 S.E.2d 597 (2003) (On brief).
- Williams v. Condit, 265 Va. 49, 574 S.E.2d 241 (2003).
- Lombard v Rohrbaugh, 262 Va 484, 551 S.E. 2d 349 (2001) (on brief).
- Pappas v. Potomac Party Cruises, Inc., No. 98-2212, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 12443 (4th Cir. March 2, 2000).
- Konkel v. Bob Evans Farms, 165 F.3d 275 (4th Cir. 1999) (on brief).
- Roe v. Spotsylvania Mall Co., No. 96-2403, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 7806 (4th Cir. January 27, 1998) (on brief).
- Reardon Commercial Interiors v. Adden Furniture, No. 97-1363, 1998 U.S. app. LEXIS 2966 (4th Cir. December 3, 1997).
- Copenhaver v. Rent-A-Crane, No. 92-2439, 1994 U.S. App. 19476 (4th Cir. June 28, 1994 (on brief).
- Recalde v. ITT Hartford, 254 Va. 501, 492 S.E.2d 435 (1997) (on brief).
- Payne v. Carroll, 250 Va. 336, 461 S.E.2d 837 (1995) (on brief).
- Robertson v. Metropolitan Wash. Airport Auth., 249 Va. 72, 452 S.E.2d 845 (1995) (on brief).
- Leggett v. Caudill, 247 Va. 130, 439 S.E.2d 350 (1994) (on brief).
Lectures and Seminars
- Speaker, 2022 Va. CLE “Second Hands-on” Deposition Skills Workshop, Objections and Outlines, May 12, 2022.
- Speaker, 2021 VADA Young Lawyers Bootcamp, "How to Navigate in the General District and Circuit Court" December 3, 2021
- Program Director, The Virginia Law Foundation, Virginia CLE’s First Inaugural “Hands-On” Deposition Skills Workshop, May 20-21, 2021
- Speaker, Liberty Law University, Series on Professionalism, Civil Defense Practice, September 28, 2020
- Speaker, 2020 DRI Leadership Conference, Chicago, "How to Effectively Communicate and Inspire
Performance", January 9, 2020
- Speaker, 2019 VADA Young Lawyers Bootcamp, "How to Navigate in the Circuit Court" and Moderator of Judges Panel, December 13, 2019
- Speaker, VADA Young Lawyers Bootcamp, "What the Insurance Adjuster Needs From You: Teamwork in Insurance Claims", December 7, 2018
- Moderator, Fairfax Bar Association CLE, "Laying a Foundation: Rules Governing Authentication CLE", March 15, 2018
- Speaker, VADA Young Lawyers Bootcamp, "Ethical Issues in a Civil Defense Practice", December 2017
- Moderator and Coordinator, First VADA Mediation Seminar and Workshop, March 10-11, 2017
- Speaker, VADA Paralegal Seminar, June 10, 2016
- Speaker, National Business Institute, Medical Experts and Records CLE, "Examining Opposing Doctor Expert Witnesses: Deposition and Trial Strategies", March 20, 2014
- Coach, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys ("VADA") at 2014 Trial Tactics Workshop, University of Richmond Law School, March 7-8, 2014 involving medical malpractice claim
- Speaker, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Spring Series Seminar, "After Wakole v. Barber" and Effective Techniques in Handling Breakdown of Non-Economic Damages During Closing Argument, May 2013.
- Speaker, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Spring Series Seminar, Getting the Most Out of Your
Medical Expert -- Preparing a Medical Expert to be Effective & Efficient at Trial, May 2012
- Speaker, Fairfax Bar Association CLE, Personal Injury, Presentation re: Opposing Motions for Rule 4:10 Medical Examinations, September 2010
- Speaker, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA), Spring Series, May 13, 2010, Traumatic Brain Injury: Opposing Motions to Exclude Neuropsychological Testimony on findings of Malingering
- Coach, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA), Annual Trial Tactics Workshop 2010 in case
involving alleged arson and denial of coverage.
- Speaker, Fairfax Bar Association CLE, Personal Injury, Presentation re: Motions in Limine, November 17, 2009.
- Moderator, Fairfax Bar Association CLE, Evidentiary Objections during Expert Witness Testimony, October 2008.
- Moderator, Fairfax Bar Association CLE, Appellate Practice, December 2007
- Guest Speaker, Trial Advocacy Class, The George Mason School of Law, Voir Dire conducted from the defense perspective, October 2007.
- Guest Speaker, Trial Advocacy Class, The George Mason School of Law, Voir Dire conducted from the defense perspective, March 2007.
- Speaker, American University Law School, January 2006, Business Etiquette on the Job; Certificate of Achievement Awarded to the Womens’ Attorneys Association of the Northern Chapter for this Program, 2006.
- Speaker, George Mason School of Law, February 2006, Corporate Etiquette - the Do’s and Don’ts after getting the job. Certificate of Achievement Awarded to the Womens’ Attorneys Association of the Northern Chapter for this Program, 2006.
- Moderator, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (“VADA”), Judicial Panel for Right Start Program,
- Speaker, VADA Annual Convention, Remembering the Golden Rule & 10 Other Common Grounds for Mistrial,
- Judge, National Trial Competition for Law Students February 2004
- Guest Speaker, Trial Advocacy Classes, The George Mason School of Law, Cross Examination of Expert Witnesses & Voir Dire, 2002-2003
- Moderator, Fairfax Bar Association CLE, Appellate Practice Seminar, April 2003
- Speaker, VADA, Spring Series, 2002, Auto & Premises Liability, Discovery Regarding Expert Witness and Disclosure of Financial Information
- Member, Fall Conference Convention Committee, VADA, October 28-30, 2009, Westfield's Marriott.
- Chair of the 2009 Virginia Womens Attorneys' Association Second Webweavers Event, September 25-27, 2009, "Tweet, Linked In, Show Your Face: Attracting New Clients and Expanding Your Business Through Social Networking and On-Line Media," Lansdowne Resort, Lansdowne, Virginia.
- Speaker, “Fine-tuning the Social Aspects of Networking”, Virginia Womens Attorneys’ Association Webweavers Event, September 28, 2007, Lansdowne Resort, Lansdowne, Virginia.
Areas of Practice
Civil litigation and trial practice in Federal and State Courts throughout Virginia and the District of Columbia, and Maryland state court including:
- Personal injury
- Premises liability
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Construction Accidents