Melinda brings her leadership skill and experience to a new arena as
Global Business Unit Leader of Orrick’s 330- lawyer Litigation Business
Unit. She leads a team that litigates for a third of the Fortune 100 in some of the highest stakes
cases before the courts.
Melinda is an experienced trial lawyer with 28 years of prosecutorial and private sector experience. She has personally handled securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, antitrust, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, environmental, civil rights, defense contractor fraud, health care fraud, money laundering, narcotics trafficking, and child exploitation cases. Melinda has served as lead or co-lead counsel in more than 19 jury and bench trials, including a number of complex white collar and civil rights cases. Among her most notable trial accomplishments, Melinda served as co-lead trial counsel representing the CFO of a publicly-traded pharmaceutical company who was charged with violating the federal criminal securities laws. The client was acquitted and completely vindicated following a lengthy trial. She also successfully defended at trial the former GC of a publicly-traded software company, who had been charged with federal criminal securities law violations. While serving as an AUSA, Melinda led the federal government’s successful investigation and trial against a group of prison guards at Pelican Bay State Prison charged with violating the civil rights of inmates in their custody.
After earning her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1987, Melinda began her career as a litigation associate and then served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. She thereafter worked as a partner in a San Francisco boutique law firm before being tapped by then U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller (who later served as the FBI Director for 12 years) to serve as a supervisor in the San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office. Melinda stepped down as the Chief of the White Collar Section in 2003, joining Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a litigation partner in San Francisco.
After being nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, Melinda served as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California from August 2010 through September 2015, overseeing the U.S. Department of Justice’s work in a district that is an epicenter for complex, cutting-edge investigations and prosecutions. She led a team of more than 130 criminal and civil Assistant U.S. Attorneys in handling a high volume of matters that involved export enforcement, computer intrusions and intellectual property theft, international corruption, digital currency issues, securities fraud, and economic crimes, national security, public integrity and civil rights violations, and organized crime, among other things. Melinda served as Co-Chair of the White Collar Crime Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee, and was a member of the Cybersecurity and Health Care Fraud Subcommittees, where she collaborated with U.S. Attorneys nationwide on the development and implementation of national policies and practices regarding the government’s approach to economic crimes and cybersecurity.