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Melissa A. Geist

Partner

Education

  • Seton Hall University School of Law, 1998, J.D., cum laude, Served as the Managing Editor for the Seton Hall Law Review; Participated in Seton Hall's Litigation Clinic representing indigent clients before the New Jersey District Court
  • Drew University, 1991, B.A., Political Science and Philosophy

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

Melissa is a partner and Co-Chair of Reed Smith’s Life Sciences Health Industry Group. She focuses her litigation and trial practice on pharmaceutical product liability, medical device product liability, commercial litigation, and e-discovery related issues.

Melissa currently serves as co-lead counsel in defense of mass tort litigation involving a prescription hormonal contraceptive product, with coordinated proceedings in both Missouri and New Jersey; as strategic counsel for a manufacturer in an MDL proceeding involving a pelvic mesh product; and liaison counsel for that same manufacturer in a New Jersey coordinated mass tort proceeding.

Melissa has tried commercial cases in federal court and a number of product liability cases in Philadelphia state court, and is co-lead trial counsel for Merck in the NuvaRing® litigation, where early trials were ultimately avoided as a result of summary judgment wins. Melissa played a lead role in the post-summary judgment mediations.

Melissa also has considerable experience conducting early case risk assessments on behalf of pharmaceutical clients.

As a member of the firm's Records & E-Discovery (RED) Team and former Director of Complex Litigation Electronic Discovery, she has extensive experience counseling clients on best practices concerning e-discovery and cross-border data transfer issues.

Employment History

  • 1998 - Reed Smith

Professional Affiliations

  • New Jersey State Bar Association Mercer County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ)
  • The Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production

Interests

She resides in Yardley, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.