Mel J. Garofalo
Mel is a partner in the Hedrick Gardner’s Charlotte office and served as the firm’s Managing Partner from 1993 through 2015. Since beginning practice in 1978, he has tried in excess of one hundred jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, and has also handled over forty appeals before the North Carolina Supreme Court, The North Carolina Court of Appeals and the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Through his years of practice, Mel has handled a wide variety of complex civil litigation, including large, multi-party product liability actions, commercial and business disputes, intellectual property litigation, premises liability and security litigation, liquor liability litigation as well as wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury litigation.
He has been an active member of the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, an organization of approximately 1,000 attorneys who primarily represent business and industry throughout North Carolina. He has held several executive positions within the organization and served as its president in 2005-2006. He served as Chair of the North Carolina Defense Fund from 2007-2009. He also served on the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission in 2006-2007.
Mel was elected to membership in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel in 2012 and was recognized by Best Lawyers®, 2010-2016, for Personal Injury and Products Liability Litigation. In 2012, Mel was selected for the Best Lawyers Personal Injury – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte and a North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law. Most recently he was named the Best Lawyers 2016 Product Liability Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” in Charlotte. Mel has been selected to the North Carolina Super Lawyers List for Civil Litigation from 2006-2016, and was included in the Charlotte Top 25 List in 2015 and the North Carolina Top 100 List for 2015 and 2016.
Mel was also recognized by Business North Carolina magazine as a North Carolina Legal Elite in 2011, 2013, and 2014. He maintains an AV rating with Martindale Hubbell, the most prestigious peer review rating that recognizes attorneys who have reached the highest levels of skill and integrity and he received DRI’s Exceptional Performance Citation in 2006.