McGuireWoods litigators Melissa Nelson and Jonathan Blank have been inducted as fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. The invitation-only organization selects nominees who have demonstrated the highest standards of trial advocacy, ethical conduct, integrity, professionalism and collegiality.
Nelson, senior counsel in the firm’s Jacksonville, Florida, office, was selected to speak on behalf of the 96 new fellows at the induction ceremony held during the College’s recent annual meeting in Philadelphia. In her remarks before approximately 800 attendees, she discussed crucial points in her career as a prosecutor and trial lawyer and emphasized the importance of the College’s mission to maintain and improve the administration of justice and the ethics of the legal profession.
With nearly 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer, Nelson focuses her practice on commercial litigation, defense of Title VII and Title IX claims, and white-collar criminal defense. She represents management and college and university clients in matters related to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual discrimination allegations. Nelson also assists clients with internal investigations and audits, and represents individuals and corporations in threatened or pending white-collar criminal investigations. She is the immediate past chair of the Jacksonville Bar Association’s Litigation Section.
Blank, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Charlottesville, Virginia, office, is an accomplished litigator and former chair of the firm’s oil and gas team. He focuses on complex civil litigation with an emphasis on energy, construction, real estate and fiduciary duty litigation as well as the coordination and management of large document reviews and production. Blank serves as president of the Legal Aid Justice Center and treasurer of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society.
Founded in 1950, the American College of Trial Lawyers has approximately 5,800 members in the United States and Canada. Lawyers must have at least 15 years of trial experience to be considered for induction, and membership cannot exceed 1 percent of the total lawyer population in any state or province.