Melissa Byroade represents domestic and international clients in litigation and international arbitration, with a focus on environmental litigation.
A substantial portion of Melissa’s practice includes representing state governments in expansive actions across the country to protect their residents’ health, safety, and well-being from exposure to harmful products and pollution. Melissa currently serves as special counsel to multiple state Attorneys General—including Ohio, North Carolina, and New Hampshire—seeking natural resource damages and related relief as a result of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) environmental contamination.
In addition, Melissa’s broad experience includes matters involving difficult contract disputes, bilateral investment treaty protections, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and the enforcement of arbitration awards and foreign judgments in the United States.
Melissa is appreciated by clients and colleagues alike for her consistently good judgment, tenacity, strong writing abilities and efficiency. She frequently works on cross-border disputes in a variety of venues, and helps foreign clients to navigate the pitfalls of U.S. litigation. Melissa is dedicated to providing creative, cost-effective solutions to her client’s legal and business issues.
Environmental Litigation/Natural Resource Damages
Representing the state of Ohio and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost in litigation against DuPont and its spin-off Chemours Co. over the company’s decades-long discharge of a perfluorinated chemical (PFOA) from its Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia into Ohio and seeking to recover all past and future costs to investigate, remediate, and restore lands and waters of Ohio contaminated by PFOA, as well as damages and equitable relief.
Representing the State of North Carolina in bringing claims against DuPont and Chemours for GenX contamination from their Fayetteville, North Carolina plant across a broad swath of the Cape Fear River and Coastal North Carolina.
Serving as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of New Hampshire in representing the state in statewide litigation arising from PFAS contamination from AFFF and industrial facilities.
Represented a Class I railroad in a CERCLA and Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act cost recovery lawsuit, and participated in a bench trial resulting in seven-figure damages award for the client.
Represented a major oil company in a putative federal court class action and 18 state court cases, brought by residents of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, alleging in excess of $1 billion in property damages due to a large oil spill.
Representing HOCHTIEF AG, a major international construction company, in an arbitration brought against the Republic of Argentina, before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. HOCHTIEF’s claims in the arbitration are made pursuant to the bilateral investment treaty between Germany and Argentina.
Representing Continental Transfert Technique Limited in an action against Nigeria involving the enforcement of an arbitration award and a foreign judgment confirming the award. The court ruled that both the award and the judgment are enforceable, and issued a judgment for approximately $430 million in favor of the client. In continuing proceedings, obtained an unprecedented award of sanctions against Nigeria for failing to comply with post-judgment discovery regarding its assets in the United States.
Represented an international entertainment technology company in a multimillion-dollar ICDR arbitration of a dispute with a Panamanian company concerning the purchase and development of movie theaters in Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Handled all aspects in connection with testimony of legal experts, including preparing witness statements and hearing testimony.
Represented a European client in connection with an investment treaty claim against a Middle Eastern country.
Prepared an investor-state claim on behalf of a technology company to recover the value of an expropriated telecommunications concession in South America.
Defended a putative class action against a major manufacturer of football helmets alleging state consumer protection and false advertising claims relating to the performance of the client’s helmets. Obtained favorable settlement following extensive briefing on class certification.
Represented BP Oil Supply Company in various lawsuits initiated, following the bankruptcy of SemGroup, L.P. The dispute involves defending BP against claims brought by crude oil and gas producers that sold production to the debtors prior to the bankruptcy, and that sought payment from BP and other companies engaged in financially and physically settled crude oil transactions with the debtors. BP’s motion for summary judgment was granted in full.
Represented the largest privately held spirits company in the world as a defendant in a complex commercial/IP dispute involving a multiyear, multimillion-dollar exclusive marketing agreement with a major sports franchise. After extensive discovery and prevailing on numerous discovery motions, successfully negotiated a settlement.
Represented Raymond James Financial and certain of its officers and directors in class action securities fraud claims seeking over $2 billion. Obtained complete dismissal of action before class certification and prior to discovery.
Melissa has worked on several pro bono immigration matters, and has helped several clients obtain asylum or other forms of immigration relief. Melissa also led litigation challenging a Virginia statute that denied equal protection to LGBT couples, precipitating an amendment to the statute. She received the Commitment to Justice Award from inMotion in 2010.