Melissa A. Merk (formerly Melissa A. Graff) represents pharmaceutical and medical device companies in complex civil litigation with an emphasis on products liability defense. Melissa has served as local and national counsel in mass tort litigation concerning antipsychotic medicine, anticonvulsant medication and over-the-counter products, as well as medical devices for the treatment of stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Her practice also focuses on defending clients against claims of unfair trade practices and off-label promotion of prescription medicines. Melissa is vice chair of the Products Liability and Mass Tort Group.
Prior to joining Drinker Biddle, Melissa was an associate at an international law firm, where she focused on mass tort litigation involving diet medications, hormone therapy and other prescription drugs. Melissa served as judicial clerk to the Hon. Joseph H. Rodriguez, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey during the 2002-2003 court term.
Melissa has extensive experience in all aspects of pharmaceutical and device defense. She has conducted depositions of numerous fact and expert witnesses, defended depositions of key company witnesses, and prepared and argued multiple dispositive and pretrial motions. In addition, she has significant trial experience, including conducting examinations at trial, preparing company and expert witnesses for trial testimony and participating in more than a dozen jury trials involving pharmaceutical products in state courts across the country.
Her recent engagements include:
- Serving as counsel in mass tort litigation regarding antipsychotic medicine, anticonvulsant medicine and pelvic mesh products in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
- Co-tried a product liability jury trial alleging personal injury resulting from antipsychotic medicine in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
- Acting as discovery counsel in a number of individual matters involving pelvic mesh products in the multidistrict litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
- Participated in trials involving claims of unfair trade practices, fraud and off-label promotion in state courts in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- Rutgers University School of Law - Camden, J.D., 2002
- Rider University, B.S., 1998
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Defense Research Institute
- American Conference Institute