Melody Kiella is an experienced litigator specializing in all aspects of complex civil litigation. She represents clients in connection with a broad spectrum of legal matters, including transportation/trucking law, personal injury, premises liability, negligent security, mold damage and exposure, catastrophic injuries, commercial litigation, breach of contract, and general liability. Ms. Kiella has extensive experience in managing files from the pre-litigation stages through trial, which experience includes pre-litigation investigations, analysis of potential liability, and providing strategic advice to avoid possible future litigation; pre-litigation settlement negotiations; positioning cases for dismissal on summary judgment through investigation, discovery, depositions, and creative legal arguments and theories; taking and defending depositions of parties, fact witnesses, and expert witnesses; participating in oral argument on motions, including dispositive, discovery, and pre-trial motions; drafting answers, complaints, motions, briefs, motions in limine, and other pleadings filed at all stages of litigation; and coordinating with and using experts.
Ms. Kiella graduated summa cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law, graduating 13/313 overall, was a Dean King Scholar during her 2nd and 3rd years, acted as a teaching assistant for Contracts I and II, Civil Procedure I and II, and Torts, and was an Editor of the MSU Law Review.
Ms. Kiella currently serves on her law firm’s Diversity Committee, Transportation Industry Committee, Social Committee, and is a Mentor in the Mentor/Mentee Program; serves as Webinar Chair of the DRI Trucking Law Committee; serves as the Publications Chair for DRI For Life; serves as the Vice Chair of the Premises Law Substantive Law Committee to the DRI Retail & Hospitality Committee; serves as the Vice Chair to the Commercial Transportation Litigation Committee of ABA/TIPS; serves as the Vice Chair to the Women Trial Lawyers General Committee of ABA/TIPS; serves as the Young Lawyer Representative to Women Trial Lawyers Task Force of ABA/TIPS; and serves as the Young Lawyer Representative to the Young Lawyer Standing Committee of ABA/TIPS.
Michigan State University, College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude
California State Polytechnic University, B.A.
All State and Superior Courts of Georgia
United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Section, 2018-19
-Vice-Chair to Commercial Transportation Litigation Committee;
-Vice-Chair to Women Trial Lawyers General Committee;
-Young Lawyer Representative to Young Lawyers Standing Committee;
-Young Lawyer Representative to Women Trial Lawyers Task Force
CLM – Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
DRI Trucking Steering Committee
State Bar of Georgia
Atlanta Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
Related News, Publications & Presentations
Distracted Driving and Trucking Litigation: Best Practices When Defending Against or Asserting Claims That a Driver’s Distraction Caused an Accident, Strafford Webinar, November 8, 2018.
Reflections from the Past: Things I Wish I Would Have Known in My First Few Years of Practice. DRI Raising the Bar, Volume 15, Issue 9. October 2018.
DEF Attorneys Appointed to Leadership for ABA TIPS Committees. Firm News. September 2018.
My Thoughts on “Having it All” As a Working Mother. DRI For the Defense, Volume 60, Number 8, August 2018.
Tips for Facilitating Collaboration Among In-House, National, and Local Counsel in Multijurisdictional Litigation, DRI For The Defense, Volume 60, Number 7, July 2018.
Law360 Spotlight: How the ELD Mandate will Feed Reptilian Tactics. Law360 Expert Analysis. May 2018.
Slaying Your Reptile Opponent Through Narrowly Tailored Pre-Trial Motions in Limine. Drew Eckl & Farnham Journal. Volume 30 No. 175 January 2018.
Slaying Your Reptile Opponent Through Narrowly Tailored Pre-Trial Motions in Limine. DRI Young Lawyers Committee: Raising the Bar. Volume 14, Issue 1.
Congratulations to DEF attorney Melody Kiella for her appointment to ABA TIPS. Firm News. November 2017.
“The ELD Mandate: Feeding the Reptile With Voluminous Electronic Data.” DRI Trucking Law Committee: In Transit. Volume 20, Issue 3.
The Electronic Logging Device Mandate and Effect on Future Trucking Litigation. Jennifer Parrott and Melody Kiella. Podcasts. October 2017.
"Understanding the Basics of the FMCSA Rules and Regulations." Melody Kiella and Mike Woolley. DRI's Trucking Law Committee. June 27, 2017.
"Failure to Take "Reasonable Steps" to Preserve Electronically Stored Information May Cost Your Client." Drew Eckl & Farnham Journal. Volume 29, No. 170, March 2017.
"Georgia Premises Liability." Melody Kiella. Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. November 2016.
"Ethics in Claims Management." Melody Kiella and Karen Karabinos. AIG. October 2016.
"Preserving Electronically Stored Information Under Amended Federal Rule 37(e)." DRI The Voice. Volume 15 Issue 38.
"Driving While Drowsy: How to Defend Against a Claim Your Driver's Sleep Apnea Caused the Accident." DRI Trucking Law Committee: In Transit. Volume 19 Issue 2. July 2016.
“10 Pitfalls in Defending a Personal Injury Action.” Melody Kiella. Seminar on Defending Against a Personal Injury Action. January 22, 2016.
"Sleep Apnea: What Is It? Why Should You Be Concerned? And How Can You Defend Against A Claim That Your Driver's Sleep Apnea Caused The Accident?" Drew Eckl & Farnham Journal.Volume 28, No. 163, January 2016.