Melissa I. Softness
Melissa Softness focuses her practice on casualty litigation. She represents clients in negligence claims involving personal injury, motor vehicle accident claims, wrongful death and property damage.
While working at the Office of the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County, Melissa gained extensive trial experience, trying 18 jury trials and more than 50 bench trials. In addition, she conducted several highly contested evidentiary and Daubert hearings and successfully defended a First Amendment Appeal.
Before joining RumbergerKirk, she worked in civil practice gaining further trial experience in both state and federal courts.
Drawing on her trial experience, Melissa teaches trial skills to law students by serving as a faculty member at the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory Law. This week-long, required course for students includes a series of workshops that culminates with a simulated jury trial. The program integrates second-year students’ knowledge of substantive evidence law with practical skills in a “learning-by-doing” format, all under the watchful eye of renowned trial lawyers, judges, and trial skills teachers who travel in from all over the country to teach Emory’s students.
- Boating and Marine
- Motor Vehicles
Emory University School of Law — J.D., 2012
- Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Scholar
- Order of the Barristers
- Dean’s Award for Excellence in Criminal Litigation
- Dean’s List (Fall 2010)
- Emory Mock Trial Society
- Emory Moot Court Society
- Vanderbilt University National First Amendment Moot Court Competition 2011 (Best Brief and Quarterfinalist)
- American Association for Justice Student Trial Advocacy Competition 2011 (Regional finalist)
- Merit Scholar
University of Florida — B.A., Political Science, cum laude, 2009
- Policy Debate Team (Recipient – speaker awards at Vanderbilt and UF competitions)
- Florida — 2012
- Georgia — 2013
- U.S. District Courts of Florida (Southern)
- Third District Court of Appeal
- Author, "When are COVID-19 Policies a “Business Necessity”? The EEOC’s New Guidance on Navigating the Post-Pandemic Workplace," September 2022
- Co-Author, "Social Unrest, COVID-19 and School-Required Masks: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" published in Business Alabama, September 2020
- Co-Author, "Social Unrest, the COVID-19 Pandemic and School-Required Masks: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" August 2020