Melissa focuses her practice on environmental and land use matters, including environmental litigation, permitting and regulatory compliance. She counsels clients on legal strategies relating to state and federal statutes such as the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and has significant experience representing members of potentially responsible party (PRP) groups at Superfund sites. Melissa negotiates and prepares all types of environmental agreements, including purchase/sale, indemnification, and access agreements for the purpose of environmental investigations. She also assists clients with applications for tideland grants and leases, waterfront development and CAFRA permits, and other NJDEP land use regulation matters.
- Environmental - Land Use
- Environmental - Site Remediation
- Environmental & Land Use Litigation
- Planned Real Estate Development
- Real Estate
- Environmental Regulation
- Site Remediation
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association (young lawyers and environmental sections)
- Associate Member, The Justice Stewart G. Pollock Environmental American Inn of Court
- Member, Monmouth County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
- Member, New Jersey Women's Lawyers Association
Other Professional and Personal InformationPrior to joining Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla, P.C., Melissa served as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas W. Cavanagh, Jr., P.J.Ch. (Ret.).
Melissa is a graduate of The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (J.D. 2011) and Washington and Lee University (B.A. 2006, summa cum laude). During law school, she served as the Executive Articles Editor of the Maryland Journal of International Law. Prior to law school, Melissa was an investigative analyst in the Major Economic Crimes Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
Melissa is a Volunteer Ambassador of the New Jersey Sharing Network, a non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization, and assists NJSN by communicating the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation.
- New Jersey
- United States District Court, District of New Jersey
- The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (2011)
- Washington and Lee University (2006)
- Voted a 2018 Monmouth County Top Lawyer, Monmouth Health & Life, November 2018
- "Shore Building Regulations for Beaches, Dunes & Tidelands: Smooth Sailing or Rough Waters Ahead? Dimensions, Fall 2018
- Legal/Legislative Update, Bulletin Board, Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey, Volume 2 / 2018
- "Recent Developments in Site Remediation: Revised Soil Remediation Standards," Dimensions, Winter 2018
- "NJ Appellate Division Upholds $225 Million NJDEP Settlement with Exxon Mobil for Natural Resource Damages, Grants Environmental Groups Right to Appeal," NJ Environmental Law Blog, March 9, 2018
- "Recent Developments in Site Remediation: Revised Soil Remediation Standards," NJ Environmental Law Blog, February 28, 2018
- "DEP Establishes Stringent Drinking Water Standards for Emerging Contaminants," NJ Environmental Law Blog, February 28, 2018
- "New Jersey Supreme Court: State Not Liable under Spill Act for Pre-1977 Discharges," NJ Environmental Law Blog, March 29, 2017
- "Applying Equitable Principles, New Jersey Appellate Division Expands Spill Act Liability," NJ Environmental Law Blog, March 22, 2017
- "New Jersey Supreme Court: Insurers May be Liable for Cleanups Even After Policy Assignment," NJ Environmental Law Blog, February 6, 2017
- Super-Priority and Community Association Liens under UCIOA and other Common Interest Acts, Community Trends, December 2015
- Co-author/editor, NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL LAW HANDBOOK, 8th ed., Bernan Press (Feb. 2014)
- Co-Author, Closely Held Family Businesses: What Happens When the Family is No Longer Close, Business Law Section Newsletter Vol. 37, No. 2, September 2013
- Co-Author, Computer Related Offenses Act Protects Against Theft of ESI, 214 N.J.L.J. 990 (Dec. 2013)