Melanie V. Woodward
Melanie V. Woodward is an associate in Nutter’s Litigation Department and a member of the firm’s Product Liability and Business Litigation practice groups. Clients frequently engage Melanie for legal advice in product liability defense matters, government investigations, and complex commercial litigation. Employers rely on Melanie to counsel them on a variety of labor law matters.
Clients appreciate Melanie’s experience in all stages of litigation, including initial fact investigation, discovery, depositions, dispositive motions, expert witness preparation, and trial.
Notable Experience and Client Impact
- Successfully defended an employer in a week-long jury trial involving employment discrimination claims, resulting in a complete defense verdict
- Member of product liability defense team representing manufacturer of prosthetic hip and knee implants
- Successfully defended a business client in arbitration involving breach of contract and consumer protection claims, resulting in a total victory for the client
- Key member of the team representing a national auditing firm in litigation before the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court
- Represents individuals and companies in Department of Justice and other federal government investigations
- Key member of the team representing a real estate developer in zoning dispute before the Massachusetts Land Court
- Advised a client on its employee incentive compensation plans and corresponding impacts on overtime requirements, ERISA, and Section 409A of the tax code pertaining to deferred compensation
- Engaged in ongoing patent litigation on behalf of a leading developer of wireless mesh technology
Melanie is committed to the firm’s proud legacy of pro bono representation. She successfully represented a former prisoner pursuing a civil rights action before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She was a key member of the team representing a special needs student in a mediation that resulted in extra educational services for the student. Melanie also secured lawful permanent residency for a minor who had been neglected and abandoned in her home country after a hearing before the Immigration Court.
In addition to her summer associate work at Nutter, her professional experience includes serving as a legal extern for the Honorable LeRoy F. Millette of the Supreme Court of Virginia, a legal intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Child Protection Unit in Boston, and an intern at the Office of Senator John Kerry in Boston and Washington, D.C.
During law school, Melanie served as senior articles editor for the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal and as a member of the National Trial Team.
- Summary Judgment Victory: Adam Ercolini v. The Commerce Insurance Company
After Adam Ercolini collided with a Commerce insured vehicle and suffered collision damage to his car, Commerce paid to repair Ercolini’s car and restore it to its prior condition. Ercolini nevertheless sued Commerce on his own behalf (as a third-party claimant) and on behalf of a putative class. According to Ercolini, Commerce had to pay for “inherent diminished value” damages (or IDV damages), the alleged difference in market value of a car that has been fully repaired after an accident compared to the market value of the same car before the collision. The underlying theory: there is an alleged stigma attached to vehicles that have been in an accident, regardless of repair. Ercolini asserted claims for breach of contract, declaratory judgment, and alleged violations of G.L. c. 93A.
Commerce moved for summary judgement. Judge Salinger granted the motion. Judge Salinger grounded his decision, in part, on his synthesis of Massachusetts tort law: “[W]here damaged property has been fully repaired, and the responsible party has paid the full repair costs, . . . the property owner is not entitled to collect and the responsible party is not obligated to pay any additional amount for residual diminution of value.” He concluded: “[U]nless and until the appellate courts change this rule, the policy language at issue here does not give [Ercolini] any right to recover for alleged IDV damages in addition to recovering the full cost to repair [his] vehicle.”
Nelson Apjohn and Eric Magnuson led the Nutter team. Melanie Woodward and Joe Toomey assisted in early investigation of the facts and legal issues and in serving and responding to discovery. Nehal Khorraminejad and Maya Ginga assisted in preparing the motion for summary judgment. The entire team was assisted by Kate Johns, Paige Smith, Jennifer Catarius, Chris Feldman, Kelly Cannizzaro, and Lila Abraham.
- Nutter achieves trial win for Big Four accounting firm
In November 2019, a Nutter trial team received a jury verdict in their favor for Nutter’s client, a Big Four accounting firm. Nutter’s client was alleged to have committed accounting malpractice for not detecting a fraud during the course of its annual audits. The plaintiff was seeking approximately $30 million in alleged actual and punitive damages. After a three-week trial in the Business Litigation Session of the Massachusetts Superior Court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Nutter’s client and the judge dismissed all remaining claims. Nutter’s trial team included Ian Roffman, Nelson Apjohn, and Melanie Woodward, and they tried the case with co-counsel George Salter of Hogan Lovells (NY).
News & Insights
- 06.28.2017 | Media Coverage
- Writing for MD+DI, David Ferrera and Melanie Woodward Analyze Liability Issues in Computer-Assisted Surgery07.08.2020 | Article
- 06.29.2020 | Legal Update
- 06.17.2020 | Legal Update
- 05.28.2020 | Legal Update
- 04.29.2020 | Legal Update
- 04.10.2020 | Legal Update
- 04.06.2020 | Legal Update
- 03.31.2020 | Legal Update
- 03.27.2020 | Legal Update
- Special Edition Nutter Bank Report: Federal Reserve Announces Extraordinary Second Wave of New Initiatives in Response to the Global Pandemic03.24.2020 | Legal Update
- 01.29.2020 | Legal Update
- 01.29.2019 | Legal Update
- Writing for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, David Ferrera and Melanie Woodward Examine Key 2017 Product Liability Decisions02.21.2018 | Article
- 01.31.2018 | Legal Update
- Writing for Medical Design & Outsourcing, David Ferrera and Melanie Woodward Analyze Product Liability Considerations in Autonomous Robotic Surgery01.26.2018 | Article
- Nelson Apjohn Authors Chapter on Dispositive Motions in MCLE’s Massachusetts Superior Court Civil Practice Manual08.07.2015 | Article
- BLS Blog, 03.11.2019
- BLS Blog, 09.06.2017
- BLS Blog, 02.07.2017
Education & Admissions
William & Mary Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
Elon University, B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
- U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
In the Community
Melanie is committed to the firm’s proud legacy of pro bono representation. She recently secured lawful permanent residency for a minor who had been neglected and abandoned in her home country after a hearing before the Immigration Court.
Melanie’s professional experience includes serving as a legal extern for the Honorable LeRoy F. Millette of the Supreme Court of Virginia and a legal intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Child Protection Unit in Boston.