Bar Admissions: Washington; US District Court, Western District of Washington
Practice Groups: Cannabis; Toxic Tort
Education: Thomas M. Cooley Law School, JD, cum laude, 2000 - Law Review Symposium Editor, Winner of the American Bar Association, Law Student Division, National Appellate Advocacy Competition; South Dakota State University, BS, Political Science, 1993
Memberships: Defense Research Institute (DRI) - Board of Directors (current), Chair, Marijuana Law Seminar, 2018, Vice Chair, Marijuana Law Seminar, 2017, State Representative for Washington State, 2016-2017; Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) - President, 2014-2015, Board of Trustees 2008-Present, Chair, Toxic Tort Section, 2008 to 2014; Federation of Defense and Corporation Counsel; The Claims Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
Melissa K. Roeder, Of Counsel in Foley & Mansfield’s Seattle office, is well recognized in the Pacific Northwest defense community. She delivers effective and practical solutions in the fields of cannabis/marijuana law, asbestos, benzene and toxic tort. Melissa’s play fair attitude and solid reputation has been the key to her successes inside and out of the courtroom.
Melissa is as “out of the box” at work as she is outside of the office. She rides a Harley Davidson, has climbed Mr. Rainier, runs marathons and is a former Alaska commercial fisherman. Growing up and working on the family farm in a town of 500 people in southwest Minnesota shaped Melissa’s character, work ethic and grit from childhood forward.
Melissa is a nationwide leader in developing educational programs to prepare cannabis businesses for the various legal issues and litigation facing this nascent industry, including product and premises liability for both recreational and medical marijuana growers, suppliers and vendors.
Career achievements include being selected as one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in Washington State, a "Super Lawyer" from 2012-present, a "Rising Star" from 2008-2011 and the Washington Defense Trial Lawyers (WDTL) Outstanding Litigation Associate in 2008.
"Don't do it if you don't enjoy it!"
- Second chair in asbestos jury trial defense verdict. After hearing evidence during a three and a half week trial, the jury deliberated for approximately a day and a half before returning a defense verdict on both the wife’s mesothelioma claim and the husband’s asbestosis claim.
- Noll v. American Biltrite, Inc. et al. – Trial court granted defendant's Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction over a Wisconsin component-part manufacturer. Applying the U.S. Supreme Court's reasoning in J. McIntyre Mach., Ltd. v. Nicastro, 131 S. Ct. 2780 (2011), the Washington trial court found insufficient evidence of the Wisconsin company's minimum contacts with the state of Washington to satisfy the purposeful availment requirement of Washington's Long Arm Statute.
- Representation of a valve manufacturer in 2009 and successfully obtained summary judgment by arguing that the "no duty to warn" holdings in Simonetta and Braaten encompassed design defect claims under both negligence and strict liability theories.
- Representation of a electrical component manufacturer in 2007 and successfully argued at summary judgment that there was no scientifically or medically accepted studies showing a link between esophageal cancer and asbestos exposure.
- Representation of a turbine manufacturer in 2006 and successfully argued that plaintiff's claim lacked causation as the evidence showed that plaintiff was not physically present within a potential range of exposure to asbestos.
IN THE NEWS
February 14, 2019
HOLY @#$% I’VE BEEN SUED! 10 tips to survive a lawsuit
Risk management expert Brenda Wells and cannabis attorney Melissa Roeder provide counsel to cannabis businesses on how to avoid - and survive - a lawsuit in the latest issue of Marijuana Venture Magazine.
December 6, 2018
Melissa Roeder - Pedal to the Metal
What do Harleys, heels and litigation have in common? Meet Seattle litigator Melissa Roeder as profiled in the Bar Bulletin of the King County Bar Association.
August 14, 2018
Seattle Jury Rejects $3.6M Claim in Product Liability Trial
Foley & Mansfield defended a cement company against products liability and negligence claims brought by the family of a retired employee of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard diagnosed with mesothelioma.