Melissa Damian Visconti
Melissa Visconti is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has appeared in state and federal courts across Florida and around the country. Ms. Visconti is Of Counsel to the Firm and focuses her practice in the areas of state and federal court appeals, complex litigation, and receiverships. Ms. Visconti has extensive experience in state and federal appeals courts, as well as in the areas of products liability, whistleblower and False Claims Act cases, securities, multidistrict litigation, and class action litigation. She is also experienced in criminal law, advising clients who are the subjects of or material witnesses in federal and state investigations.
Ms. Visconti is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A. 1990) and the University of Miami School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1995), where she was an officer on the Moot Court Board and a recipient of the Order of the Coif. Ms. Visconti served as a law clerk for Judge Ursula Ungaro of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
During her nearly eleven years as an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Visconti investigated and prosecuted cases involving major crimes, immigration, international arms smuggling, and matters of national security. She conducted numerous jury trials in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and successfully handled cases before the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In recognition of her outstanding performance as a prosecutor, Ms. Visconti received the Attorney General’s Award for matters of national security and was named federal prosecutor of the year by the Miami Dade County Chiefs of Police.
Since leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ms. Visconti has focused on civil litigation and appeals. She has handled appeals of multi-million dollar product liability verdicts and has numerous notable complex litigation matters in State and Federal Courts. Ms. Visconti routinely represents federal equity receivers and is frequently brought in by plaintiffs and defendants to handle complex issues arising in federal and state litigation. Ms. Visconti is lead counsel on behalf of Ariel Quiros in the highly publicized SEC Enforcement Action and numerous related state and federal actions involving the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Investor partnerships at Jay Peak, Vermont.
Ms. Visconti is actively engaged in Federal and State Bar organizations and focuses her efforts on educating lawyers regarding practice in Federal courts. Ms. Visconti is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third and Eleventh Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Florida and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Profile at a Glance
- Federal Court Litigation and Appeals
- Civil Appeals
- Appellate Practice
- Complex Litigation
- Receivership and Securities Litigation
- The Florida Bar (1995)
- U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third and Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Southern and Northern District of Florida and for The Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Supreme Court of the United States
- The Florida Bar: Vice Chair of the Federal Court Practice Committee; Chair of Education Sub-Committee and Member of the Federal Judicial Roundtable and Sub-Committee
- American Bar Association (Business Law Section): Co-Chair of Women in Business Advocates Sub-Committee and Member of the Judge’s Initiative Committee
- The Federal Bar Association
- The Dade County Bar Association, Federal Courts Committee, Active Member
- Cuban American Bar Association, Member
- Spellman-Hoeveler Inns of Court, Member
- International Association of Women Judges
- Educate Tomorrow: Board Member
The Federalist Society and
The Southern District of Florida Federal Bench and Bar (Legal Writing Seminar Presenter)
- Lawyers of Distinction – 2018
- Recipient of the 2010 Attorney General Award
- University of Miami School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1995)
- Princeton University (A.B., 1990)
- Sharing the Attorney-Client Privilege—Too Much of a Good Thing, presented by the Business and Corporate Litigation Committee at the ABA Business Law Section 2018 Annual Meeting, September 14, 2018
- Admitting Digital Evidence – ABA Business Law Section 2018 Annual Meeting, September 13, 2018
- Federal Judicial Roundtable, “Navigating Discovery, Technology, and Ethics in Federal Courts”, presented by The Federal Court Practice Committee of The Florida Bar, June 14, 2018
- Dade County Bar Association – White Collar Law Luncheon, “What Every Civil Lawyer and In-House Counsel Needs to Know about White Collar Law”, May 11, 2018
- Superstars in Trial, March 2, 2018
- Federal Bench and Bar – Moderator, Legal Writing CLE Presentation, 2017
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section – Webinar Panelist “Learn from the Experts! Evidence Tips for Federal Business and Bankruptcy Litigators”, 2017
- American Bar Association, Business Law Section – Live CLE Panelist, “Using the Federal Rules of Evidence to Get Your Evidence Admitted”, 2017
- The Florida Bar Federal Court Practice Committee: Presenter – An Update on the Amendments to The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Issues in Federal Discovery, January 2017
- The Florida Bar and The Dade County Bar: Moderator – Tips For Using The Federal Rules of Evidence, November 2016
- ABA Business Law Section: Judges Initiative Committee Panelist – “So You’re Going To Trial, Now What?”, April 2016
- The Florida Bar – Federal Court Practice Committee: Presenter – An Introduction to the Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, January 2016
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers: Mock Trial Panelist, April 2015
Federal Court Receiverships & Monitorships - Counsel for the Receiver
U.S. Federal Trade Commission v. Consumer Collection Advocates, et al., Case No. 14-62491-CIV-BLOOM, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, (www.ccareceivership.com)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Worth Group, Inc., et al., (Case No. 9:13-cv-80796-KLR), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (www.worthmonitor.com) ($30 million commodities fraud investigation)
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. We the People Inc., of the United States (Case No. 2:13-cv-14050-JEM), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (www.wethepeoplereceivership.com) ($75 million securities fraud investigation)
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Hunter Wise Commodities, LLC, et al., (Case No. 9:12-cv 81311-DMM), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (www.hunterwisemanager.com) ($150 million commodities fraud investigation)
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission v. Aubrey Lee Price, et al., (Case No. 1:12-cv-2296-TCB), U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (www.pfgreceivership.com) ($55 million securities fraud)
State Court Receiverships & Monitorships
NSR Imaging, LLC, et al. v. Martin Farrell, et al., Case No. 19-7383-CA-01, Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida, Court-Appointed Receiver.
Ms. Visconti has extensive experience handling a broad range of appellate matters in state and federal appeals courts. Some of her more noteworthy appeals include:
Belanger v. RJ Reynolds Tobacco, 140 So. 3d 598 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014) (reversal of summary judgment in Engle Progeny case); Ruble v. Rinker Materials, 116 So. 3d 378 (Fla. 2013) (reversal of dismissal in Asbestos lawsuit setting new law holding that a personal representative may amend a personal injury complaint to add a claim for wrongful death after the death of the personal injury plaintiff); Randall v. Walt Disney World, 140 So. 3d 1118 (Fla. 5th DCA 2014) (reversal of order of dismissal on grounds that loss of consortium claim does survive death of personal injury plaintiff); Union Carbide v. Garrison, 126 So. 3d 1069 (Fla. 4th DCA 2013) (successful defense of $6 million verdict in asbestos products liability case); Aubin v. Union Carbide, 177 So. 3d 489 (Fla. 2015) (Fla. Supreme Court reversal of 3rd DCA decision and setting new law regarding product liability jury instructions); Wilhelm v. Molina Healthcare, 16-11312 (11th Circuit 2016), (ongoing appeal under public disclosure bar under The Federal False Claims Act).
Among her more notable litigation matters, Ms. Visconti is lead counsel on behalf of Ariel Quiros in the highly publicized SEC Enforcement Action and numerous related state and federal actions involving the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Investor partnerships at Jay Peak, Vermont.
Ms. Visconti has also pursued millions of dollars of assets on behalf of federal equity receiverships, including lawsuits against former officers and directors of receivership entities and lawsuits against former counsel for receivership entities. (E.g., Damian v. Winston & Strawn, LLP, et al, 15-cv-04335-Alonso (ND Illinois) (pending); Damian v. Manners, et al, 14-cv-23478-CMA (SD Fla.); Damian v. Olive, et al., 13-cv-23506-JEM (SD Fla.)). Ms. Visconti is also counsel on behalf of several Whistleblowers and relators under the Federal and State False Claims Acts, as well as the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower statute.