Melinda A. Nicholson

Partner

New Orleans Office
(504) 648-1842
Melinda A. Nicholson

Melinda A. Nicholson, a partner in KSF’s Louisiana office, focuses on shareholder derivative and class action litigation, representing institutional and individual shareholders in corporate governance litigation and securities fraud actions, and antitrust matters. Ms. Nicholson also oversees KSF’s shareholder derivative practice.

Ms. Nicholson has been involved in a number of significant derivative and class action cases throughout the country seeking recovery for harmed shareholders and individuals, obtaining seminal decisions in shareholders’ favor, including:

  • Oliver, et al. v. American Express Company, et al., No. 1:19-cv-00566 (E.D.N.Y). On April 30, 2020, the Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York, entered an Order denying, in part, defendants’ motion to dismiss. This matter, in which Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC is a member of Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, seeks damages, restitution, and injunctive relief against the American Express Company and American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. (collectively, “Amex”), on behalf of persons that used an electronic form of payment other than an Amex charge or credit card to purchase goods and services sold by merchants across the country at prices allegedly inflated by Amex’s non-discrimination provisions. Judge Garaufis ruled that plaintiffs adequately pled violations of 22 state antitrust and/or consumer protection laws and allowed plaintiffs’ case to proceed against Amex for these violations.
  • In re Fitbit, Inc. Stockholder Derivative Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 2017-0402 (Del. Ch.). On December 14, 2018, Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III of the Delaware Chancery Court rejected a motion to dismiss a stockholder derivative suit alleging insider trading and breach of fiduciary duty claims against executive officers and directors of Fitbit, Inc. (“Fitbit”). The lawsuit, in which Ms. Nicholson serves as co-lead counsel, alleges that certain insiders made $385 million in stock sales in the company’s initial public offering and—after agreeing to release the insiders from lock-up agreements that barred them from trading for 180 days after the initial public offering—an early secondary offering, taking take advantage of an artificially positive market response to Fitbit’s flagship PurePulse heartrate monitoring technology.  Vice Chancellor Slights held that the plaintiffs’ complaint—bolstered by internal company documents obtained by KSF and its co-counsel—reasonably alleges that, while Fitbit was actively promoting its PurePulse technology, the company internally was struggling to correct and contain news about serious problems with the accurate functioning of their devices containing PurePulse.  In the opinion, Vice Chancellor Slights further held that the complaint adequately pled that the directors and officers who sold stock traded on inside information, and “designed the secondary offering to accommodate sellers’ interests.”
  • Dougherty v. Esperion Therapeutics, Inc., et al., 16-10089 (E.D. Mich.). On September 27, 2018, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the lower court’s dismissal of the securities class action filed on behalf of a putative class of Esperion Therapeutics, Inc. investors. In a decision written by Senior Circuit Judge Eugene Edward Siler, Jr., the Sixth Circuit held that the district court erred by concluding that lead plaintiffs had not adequately alleged scienter, stating that, “Esperion has offered no innocent inference stronger than Plaintiffs’ inference that Esperion knowingly or recklessly made material misrepresentations or omissions in its [] communications with investors.” The Court further held that defendants’ “innocent inference” explanations were either implausible or actually supported lead plaintiffs’ allegation of recklessness.

Ms. Nicholson is actively involved in cases pending before various federal and state courts across the United States, including:

  • In re Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Stockholder Derivative Action, Index No. 516051/2020; New York Supreme Court, Kings County; Co-Lead Counsel;
  • In re Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. Derivative Litigation, No. 21- 02046; Southern District of Texas; Additional Plaintiffs’ Counsel;
  • Conte v. Greenberg (Skechers U.S.A., Inc. Derivative Litigation), C.A. No. 2022-0633 (Del. Ch.); Plaintiffs’ Counsel;
  • Dalton v. Surgner, et al. (Altria Group Inc. Derivative Litigation), No. CL21-5548-00; Circuit Court for Henrico County, Virginia; Plaintiffs’ Counsel;
  • Khoury v. Williams, et al. (Groupon, Inc. Derivative Litigation), A. No. 2022-0077 (Del. Ch.); Plaintiffs’ Counsel;
  • Lyon v. AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., et al., 21-7940; Southern District of New York; Plaintiffs’ Counsel;
  • In re Mattel, Inc. Stockholder Derivative Litigation, No. 2021-0417 (Del. Ch.); Co-Lead Counsel;
  • Oliver, et al. v. American Express Company, et al., No. 1:19-cv-00566 (E.D.N.Y.); Member of Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee;
  • In re Pareteum Securities Litigation, No. 1:19-cv-09767 (S.D.N.Y.);Lead Counsel;
  • Pfenning v. Jacobs, et al. (Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. Derivative Litigation), C.A. No. 2020-0915 (Del. Ch.); Plaintiff’s Counsel;
  • In re ProAssurance Corp. Stockholder Derivative Litigation, No. 2022-0034 (Del. Ch.); Co-Lead Counsel;
  • Weber, et al. v. Polk, et al. (Newell Brands, Inc. Derivative Litigation), C.A. No. 20-cv-01792 (D. Del.); Plaintiffs’ Counsel; and
  • Welch v. Meaux, et al., No. 19-1260 (W.D. La.) Lead Counsel.

Since joining KSF, Ms. Nicholson has also been involved in a number of cases which ultimately resulted in successful settlements, including:

  • Orrego v. Lefkofsky (Groupon, Inc. Derivative Litigation), No. 12 CH 12420 (Ill. Cir. Ct, Cook Cnty., Ch. Div.) (settlement consisting of broad corporate governance reforms with an estimated value of $159 million);
  • In re Bank of America Corporation Securities, Derivative, & Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Litigation, No. 09-MD-2058 (S.D.N.Y.) (Court-approved settlement including $62.5 million cash recovery and substantial corporate governance changes);
  • Bassett Family Trust v. Costolo, et al. (Twitter, Inc. Derivative Litigation), A. No. 2019-0806 (Del. Ch.) (settlement resulted $38 million payment and targeted corporate governance reforms);
  • In re Fifth Street Finance Corp. Stockholder Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 12157 (Del. Ch.) (settlement resulted in governance enhancements and advisory fee reductions worth an estimated $30 million);
  • In re Barnes & Noble Stockholder Derivative Litigation, C.A. No. 4813 (Del. Ch.) (settlement resulted in $29 million recovery for the company);
  • In re Fitbit, Inc. Stockholder Derivative Litigation Consolidated C.A. No. 2017-0402 (Del. Ch.) (settlement resulted in $5 million recovery for the company);
  • In re FAB Universal Corporation Shareholder Derivative Litigation., Lead Case No. 14-cv-687 (S.D.N.Y.) (settlement involving broad corporate governance reforms);
  • Lowry v. Basile (Violin Memory, Inc. Derivative Litigation), No. 4:13-cv-05768 (N.D. Cal.) (broad corporate governance reform settlement); and
  • In re Moody’s Corporation Shareholder Derivative Litigation, 1:08-CV-9323 (S.D.N.Y.) (settlement involving comprehensive corporate governance reforms).

Prior to joining the firm in 2010, Ms. Nicholson worked for defense firms in New York, handling complex commercial litigations and regulatory investigations involving a variety of legal issues, including fiduciary obligations, securities violations, contractual breaches, antitrust and insurance coverage. Ms. Nicholson completed a joint B.A./J.D. program at Tulane University, receiving a B.A. in Political Science, with a concentration in American Politics and Policies and a minor in Economics, from Tulane in 2003 and a J.D. from Tulane in 2005. While at Tulane Law School, Ms. Nicholson served as a Notes and Comments Managing Editor for the Tulane Law Review, which published her comment, The Constitutional Right to Self-Representation: Proceeding Pro Se and the Requisite Scope of Inquiry When Waiving Right to Counsel, 79 TUL. L. REV. 755 (2005). She has received numerous awards, including the Dean’s Medal for attaining the highest grade point average during the third year, the George Dewey Nelson Memorial Award for attaining the highest grade point average in common law subjects throughout the three years of law study, and Order of the Coif. She graduated from the law school summa cum laude and ranked second in her class.

Ms. Nicholson is regularly asked to give presentations and conduct CLEs addressing her practice areas.

Education

  • Tulane University, 2005, J.D.
  • Tulane University, 2003, B.A.

Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Louisiana
  • United States District Courts for the Western Districts of Louisiana
  • New York
  • United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern District of New York
  • United States District Courts for the District of Colorado
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Michigan

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Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Privacy Policy

This privacy notice applies to www.ksfcounsel.com and all other websites on the World Wide Web owned or operated by Kahn Swick & Foti. It explains how we collect, use, process and share personal data we collect about you when you visit this website, including in connection with potential or actual representation of you by Kahn Swick & Foti. This notice is in accordance with European Data Protection laws (including the General Data Protection Regulation, effective May 25, 2018, as well as other country-specific laws that may be applicable).

This website is not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect personal data related to children.

What Information Do We Collect About You?

Personal data includes any information about an individual that could be used to identify them.

Kahn Swick & Foti collects, uses, stores and transfers different kinds of personal information about you, such as:

  • “Contact Data” – includes your work address, email address and telephone numbers;
  • “Identity Data” – including your first name, last name and/or title;
  • “Marketing Data” – including your marketing and communications preferences;
  • “Profile Data” – including information collected when you visit our site, such as the site that referred you to our site, pages you visit, actions you take on the site, and information you provide through the site;
  • “Technical Data” – including information about your internet protocol (IP) address, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types, operating system and platform, and other technology on the devices you are using; and
  • “Usage Data” – information about how you use our website.

How Do We Collect Information About You?

We collect information about you in the following ways:

  • Direct interactions – You provide us with your Contact Data, Identity Data and Profile Data directly when you visit our website, for example, when you register for an event, subscribe to receive publications, request marketing materials, submit a form, provide feedback, and send us an email message and/or attachments.
  • Automated means – We receive Technical Data automatically by using cookies, server logs and other similar technologies.
  • Third parties or publicly available sources – We receive Technical Data from analytics providers such as Google.

How Will We Use Information We Collect About You?

We will only use your personal data in ways permitted by law, which may or may not include consent, depending on the type of data obtained. Any information you submit to us may be used to communicate with you regarding the matter or case for which you provided the information, as well as to communicate with you regarding unrelated matters or cases.

We take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data. These include internal reviews of our data collection, storage and processing practices, and security measures, including appropriate encryption and physical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to systems where we store personal data.

In circumstances where you provide us with personal information in connection with a matter in which we are representing you, we may share such information with contractors or agents we employ in the course of our investigations or casework with your consent. In doing so, we restrict access to personal data to firm employees, contractors, and agents who need to know that information to process it on our behalf. These individuals are bound by confidentiality obligations and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations. We may also share the personal information if we have a good faith belief that access, use, preservation, or disclosure of such information is reasonably necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request.

Marketing

We aim to provide you with choices regarding the use of your data for marketing purposes. We will not use your personal data to send you marketing materials if you have requested not to receive them.

If you do not wish to receive marketing materials and/or would like to request that we stop processing your personal data for marketing purposes, you may submit a request to info@ksfcounsel.com.

Access to Your Information and Correction

EU residents may have certain rights under European data protection law governing the personal data that Kahn Swick & Foti processes, including:

  • the right to be informed;
  • the right of access;
  • the right to rectification;
  • the right to restrict processing;
  • the right to data portability;
  • the right to object; and
  • rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

To exercise these rights with respect to any data provided to Kahn Swick & Foti, please contact us. All requests will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Your California Privacy Rights

California Civil Code §1798.83 permits our clients who are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

Cookies

A “cookie” is a piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. Cookies are then sent back to the originating website on every subsequent visit, or another website that recognizes that cookie. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognize a user’s device, preferences, and to help improve the user’s online experience.

Kahn Swick & Foti uses cookies on its website. The cookie contains a short, unique alphanumeric string that helps us recognize a specific user, which helps us improve the user’s online experience and personalize the site. For example, certain confirmation pages may display the name users provide to us. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

If you prefer not to receive cookies, you can change your browser settings to turn off the use of cookies. If you choose to turn off cookies, it is possible that some areas of the website will not function properly. Please refer to your browser’s Help function for specific information on how to turn off cookies.

Data Retention and Storage

All data collected through this website, including data submitted by you, will be stored in the United States. Please note that, should you wish to submit personal data protected under European data protection law (other than for purposes of responding to your inquiry), you should contact us prior to submitting such data to discuss options.

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to satisfy the purpose for which it was collected. Examples include satisfying legal, regulatory, accounting, reporting requirements and/or executing legal work for which we were retained by you. The specific retention period applicable to the type of data obtained will depend upon a variety of factors, including the data type, purpose for which it was obtained, and the nature, volume and sensitivity of the personal data, among others. If you would like to know more about data retention, please contact us.

Changes to Our Privacy Policy

Kahn Swick & Foti reserves the right to change this policy at any time by posting a new privacy policy at this location.

How to Contact Us

If you have questions concerning this Privacy Notice, wish to obtain additional information, or exercise specific data subject rights pursuant to European law (including the General Data Protection Regulation, and other country-specific data protection laws that may apply), please contact us.

Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Terms & Conditions

The law firm Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC will evaluate your submission. By submitting the form, you acknowledge that this submission is not intended to and will not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC (the “Firm”), and that the submission or receipt of information to the Firm or one of its attorneys via this form, website, e-mail or telephone does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Please note that, should you wish to submit personal data protected under European data protection law (other than for purposes of responding to your inquiry and/or determining class eligibility), you should contact us prior to submitting such data.