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  Wayne S. Melnick
Direct Dial: 770.818.4256
Fax: 770.937.9960
[email protected]
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Wayne Melnick is a Partner and Vice-Chair of the firm’s Government Law practice section. He also is a member of the firm’s Tort and Catastrophic Loss practice section where he is Chair of FMG’s Media law practice team and Vice-Chair of FMG’s Transportation practice team. Mr. Melnick is an accomplished trial attorney and has tried over 50 jury trials to verdict in cases throughout the country. For every year since 2013, Mr. Melnick has been named a "Georgia Super Lawyer" in the areas of civil law defense and prior to that was selected multiple times as a “Rising Star.” He also was recognized as one of America’s “Best Lawyers.” Mr. Melnick previously served as one of only three Northern District of Georgia Representatives on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association where he chaired various committees. 

As part of the firm’s Government Law practice section, Mr. Melnick has a broad-based litigation practice with a focus on local government defense.  He has defended cities, counties, school districts, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, sheriffs, police officers, and various other types of governmental entities and individuals in civil rights and general liability matters in both state and federal court at the pre-litigation, trial, and appellate levels.  He also serves as general counsel for charter schools in Georgia.  For several years, Mr. Melnick was the Co-lead Chair of the Claims Litigation Management Alliance’s National Municipal Law Committee.  Mr. Melnick is recognized as a national authority in civil rights cases, immunity issues, and education law and is frequently requested to speak around the nation regarding those topics.

Mr. Melnick's practice also includes the defense of clients in a variety of commercial and complex litigation matters. He is panel counsel for a number of the nation's largest providers of commercial general liability and professional coverage. Mr. Melnick has extensive experience involving the defense of trucking cases and has repeatedly defended multi-million dollar claims and law suits involving trucking accidents. He is also recognized as being at the forefront of defending claims and cases involving internet defamation and media, advertising and entertainment liability claims.  Because he defends cases that regularly are covered by international news media, Mr. Melnick has been retained to defend celebrities in high-profile cases brought against them.

Based on his extensive trial experience, Mr. Melnick is the Chair of FMG’s Trial Committee. That committee is responsible for reviewing every case across the nation that an FMG attorney will take to trial to ensure that it is properly prepared and the best arguments are put forth on behalf of FMG’s clients.

Mr. Melnick received both his undergraduate and law degree from Emory University. Immediately following law school, he was selected as a law clerk with the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, serving as clerk to The Honorable W. Homer Drake, Jr., Bankruptcy Judge and The Honorable A. David Kahn, Chief Bankruptcy Judge. He has also been a litigation instructor at Emory University School of Law in the Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program as well as the Chairperson of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association Pre-Trial Discovery and Deposition Bootcamp.

When not litigating cases, Mr. Melnick is a long-time drummer who picked up his first pair of sticks when he was 8 years old.  Currently, he sits behind the drum kit for the rock cover band, Ooo…Shiny! as well as playing in the Ahavat Torah Band at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta. An avid soccer fan, Mr. Melnick is also part of the drum corps supporting Atlanta United FC (MLS) and can be found playing drums in AUFC’s Supporter’s Section energizing the crowd every home game.

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