Melissa Hirst

Jones Day 

$ $$$

West Wacker Drive 77
Chicago 60601 IL US

Melissa B. Hirst defends clients in product liability lawsuits, class actions, and commercial disputes, frequently representing health care and pharmaceutical companies in matters involving medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and laboratory test results.

Melissa defends Laboratory Corporation of America in professional negligence litigation across the country related to Pap smears and other laboratory tests. She regularly serves as national counsel for the defense of product liability and negligence lawsuits and advises clients on litigation risks relating to new products coming on the market.

Her prior experience also includes defending a manufacturer of consumer products in overlapping criminal and civil government investigations, defending a car dealer in a consumer class action, and recovering damages on behalf of a medical device manufacturer in a commercial dispute in arbitration.

Melissa maintains a substantial pro bono practice. She advised Chicago’s Ethics Reform Task Force on legal issues relating to its proposals to revamp Chicago’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance and has successfully represented clients in asylum petitions, immigration appeals, and appeals of indicated findings by the Department of Children and Family Services.

Melissa is a member of the Federal, Chicago, and Illinois Bar Associations. She is active in the community, serving as a board member of the Chicago Bar Foundation, board member and treasurer for the Center for Conflict Resolution, a mentor to Chicago law students through the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity’s Success in Law School Mentoring program, and president of the Athletic Board for Queen of Angels School in Chicago.


  • Georgetown University (J.D. cum laude 2004; Note Development Editor, American Criminal Law Review);
  • University of Notre Dame (B.A. in Political Science and French magna cum laude 2001)


  • Illinois,
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (General and Trial Bar),
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits


  • Medical device manufacturer obtains voluntary dismissal of product liability suit surrounding allegedly defective blood glucose meter
  • Lab Corp wins partial summary judgment in product liability litigation
  • Medical device manufacturer obtains dismissal with prejudice of product liability suit after motion to dismiss briefing
  • Private equity firm resolves insurance coverage dispute regarding representation and warranty policy
  • Vibram obtains First Circuit affirmation of class action settlement agreement related to its advertising
  • Abbott secures second unanimous defense verdict in products liability trial involving powdered infant formula
  • Jones Day Chicago develops relationship with the Civic Consulting Alliance.


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West Wacker Drive 77
Chicago 60601 IL US
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Lina Stillman

Broadway 42
New York 10006 NY US