Melissa S. Geller practices in Duane Morris' Trial Practice Group, where she focuses on white-collar criminal defense, internal investigations and complex commercial litigation from pre-litigation through appeals. She has extensive experience trying criminal and civil cases to juries across the country across a variety of industries, as well as internal investigations before regulatory and enforcement agencies.
Ms. Geller represents clients in all aspects of criminal and white-collar litigation, including actions related to criminal RICO, securities fraud, the FCPA, and Medicare and Medicaid fraud, along with other state and federal charges. She further advises clients on compliance and compliance policies.
In her civil practice, Ms. Geller represents clients across a range of industries and issues, and has tried several cases to a jury. Ms. Geller’s practice focuses on complex, multi-jurisdiction matters and she has particular expertise in civil RICO and securities fraud litigation.
Ms. Geller graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in December 2007 and is a cum laude graduate of Syracuse University.
Areas of Practice
- White-Collar and Criminal Defense
Criminal and Civil RICO
- Criminal Antitrust
- Internal Investigations
- Complex Commercial Litigation
Defended the Estate of a former deceased client in NY Supreme; the petitioner obtained a judgment from collapsed hedge fund Platinum Partners and sought to enforce the judgment against the client, who had been president of affiliated company and part owner.
- Defended Continental Properties Company, Inc. against claims of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and obtained a mid-trial settlement after five weeks of trial in which the plaintiffs paid Continental $100 to dismiss the case and a related matter in Wisconsin.
Obtained full acquittal of three counts of felony assault charges.
- Obtained dismissal of all counts for an attorney sued under civil RICO for alleged involvement in a human trafficking scheme and recovered $20,000 in sanctions from opposing counsel;
- Obtained reversal and new civil trial in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals following an unfavorable jury verdict out of the Eastern District of New York.
- Obtained a sentence in federal court in Manhattan on behalf of JoAnn "Jodi" Crupi, a former employee of Bernard Madoff, of only 6 years in prison, with a chance of the last of those years to be served in home confinement; much less than the federal guideline 175-year maximum, the probation department recommendation of 14 years, and the Assistant United States Attorney plea bargain offer of 10 years.
- Obtained on behalf of a pro bono client a victory under the New York Safe Harbor Act, vacating criminal convictions the client received while she was commercially and sexually exploited and trafficked in the 1970's.
- Defended major multi-national corporations in DOJ investigations into price fixing and bid rigging in various markets.
- Defended a major multi-national corporation against direct and indirect purchasers in treble damages antitrust class action.
- Defended major multi-national corporations in international investigations for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act.
- Represented a major multi-national company in internal investigation into potential securities fraud following massive, unexpected losses.
- Obtained an acquittal on seventeen counts of robbery, burglary and sexual assault for a foreign national in the New York Supreme Court.
- Prosecuted a complex habeas action involving interlocking issues arising from state convictions for sexual assault and imprisonment, terrorism investigations and immigration matters.
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2007
- Syracuse University, B.A., cum laude, 2003
Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2019-present
- Associate, 2012-2018
- Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP
- Associate, 2008-2012
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Federal Bar Council
Honors and Awards
Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021 and 2022
- Listed in "New Leaders of the Bar," New Jersey Law Journal, 2017
- Co-author, "Department of Justice Focuses Corporate Compliance Efforts on Executive Compensation," Duane Morris Alert, February 21, 2023
- Co-author, "Ripple Effects: The US Antitrust Division’s Push for Criminal Section 2 Enforcement Could Have an Impact in the EU," Competition Law Insight Volume 21 Issue 6, November, 2022
- Co-author, "DOJ Antitrust Division Leadership States No Guidance Forthcoming on Criminal Monopolization Cases," Duane Morris Alert, June 30, 2022
- Co-author, "United States Supreme Court Recognizes a Constitutional Right to Carry Firearms for Self-Defense," Duane Morris Alert, June 27, 2022
- Co-author, "Anti-Corruption 2018 Practice Guide," Chambers and Partners, September 2017
- Co-author, "The Cross-Border Dilemma: Wrongful-Birth and -Life Litigation in New Jersey," The New Jersey Law Journal, May 11, 2016
- Co-author, "U.S. Supreme Court Strengthens Protections for Criminal Defendants' Right to Counsel in the Federal Courts," Duane Morris Alert, March 31, 2016
- Co-author, "Use It or Lose It: U.S. Supreme Court Holds the SEC Must Bring Civil Enforcement Actions Within Five Years of Wrongful Conduct," Duane Morris Alert, February 28, 2013
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "Worrisome Legal Issues Arising from COVID-19: What You Need to Know," McKnight's Online Forum: COVID-19 Update V, July 22, 2020
- Moderator, "E-Discovery in the Age of Mobile Media," Duane Morris LLP, Newark, NJ, November 1, 2017