Melody Kiella is an experienced civil litigator specializing in all aspects of complex civil litigation, including trucking/transportation law, catastrophic personal injury defense, premises liability, and negligent security. She has extensive experience in managing high-volume and high-profile cases from the pre-litigation stages through trial.

Melody is a zealous and loyal advocate for her clients, which include motor carriers, logistics and supply chain companies, commercial motor vehicle drivers, a national rideshare company, a Southeast real estate investment trust involved in multifamily and residential development and management, national and local retailers, and insurers. Melody prides herself on her ability to establish a trust relationship with her clients, which includes ensuring that she knows how their businesses operate and any short-term and long-term strategic goals her clients have that may impact litigation and/or trial strategy.  

Melody is the Chair of the Drew Eckl & Farnham Association of Women Lawyers and also serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee, Transportation Industry Committee, and Marketing Committee. Additionally, she is active in the Defense Research Institute (“DRI”), the American Bar Association (“ABA”), and is a member of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (an invite-only organization composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction). Specifically, Melody serves as the Online Programming Chair and the 2021 Trucking Law Primer Vice Chair for DRI’s Trucking Law Committee; the Publications Chair for DRI For Life; and was selected to participate in the 2021-2022 ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Leadership Academy.

Melody 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.

Education


Michigan State University, College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude

California State Polytechnic University, B.A.

Court Admissions


All State and Superior Courts of Georgia 

United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia 

Memberships


DRI

DRI’s Trucking Law Committee

ABA, Tort Trial & Insurance Section

FDCC

Georgia Defense Lawyers Association

State Bar of Georgia

Results


Motion for Default Judgment Denied in Northern District of GA

Motion to Dismiss Granted by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for Not-for-Profit Client

In January 2021, Melody successfully drafted and argued in support of a motion or summary judgment, which resulted in the Court agreeing that her client’s employee was not acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the subject accident because he was operating the employer’s vehicle while intoxicated.

In January 2021, Melody assisted her client in obtaining an Order from the State Court of Fulton County compelling Plaintiffs’ claims to binding arbitration in accordance with the Lease signed by one of the named Plaintiffs. While the other named Plaintiff did not sign the Lease containing the arbitration agreement, the Court found that this Plaintiff’s act of applying to reside inside the leased premises and his acknowledgement that he was a “tenant” of the apartment complex resulted in his claims being subject to the arbitration agreement.

In November 2019, Melody obtained an Order granting a motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of a large grocery store chain in a trip-and-fall case where the Plaintiff alleged that she fell on a crack in the parking lot but was unable to identify what portion of the crack allegedly caused her to fall.