Litigation Counsel of America Fellow Melissa Luce, managing partner of the plaintiff's law firm Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC, was recently honored by the West Virginia Bar Foundation as a Fellow in its 2020 class of 15 lawyers and judges. Last year’s induction ceremony was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and this past summer’s ceremony recognized inductees from both the 2020 and 2021 classes.
"To be recognized by my peers is a fantastic feeling," Luce said. "I'm deeply humbled and grateful that the West Virginia Bar Foundation has deemed me worthy to sit alongside a relatively small group of lawyers and judges for whom I have great admiration and respect."
The criteria to be selected as a Bar Foundation Fellow includes judges and lawyers whose professional, public, and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and honorable service to the legal profession, with the individuals selected reflecting the diverse nature of the legal profession in West Virginia. A total of 61 judges and 394 lawyers have been selected as Fellows since 1999 from more than 6,000 judges and lawyers working in West Virginia.
During her early years of practicing law, Luce worked for the Charleston law firm DiTrapano & Jackson. She moved to Morristown, New Jersey, and practiced law with Stephen S. Weinstein, PA for nearly fifteen years before an opportunity arose to return to West Virginia to work alongside renowned plaintiff’s lawyer Stuart Calwell. "It was impossible to turn down working with a man whose integrity and love for the law is unwavering," Luce said. She was subsequently named the managing attorney for The Calwell Practice. In January 2019, Calwell joined together with Luce and another colleague, Dante' diTrapano, as partners to form a new law firm, Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC, where she continues in the role of managing partner.
Luce has earned a reputation as a formidable opponent, and her current practice focuses on medical malpractice, birth trauma and injuries, pharmaceutical litigation, products liability, and wrongful death cases. In addition to West Virginia, she is also a member of the bars of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Luce has received many accolades over the years, including being selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, being selected to the West Virginia Super Lawyers list in 2020 and 2021, and being previously recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney, a distinction earned by only 1% of the approximately 100,000 attorneys in the state. She is also AV Preeminent Peer Rated by Martindale-Hubbell for achieving the highest level of professional excellence for her legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards.
Luce previously served as counsel to the Morris County, New Jersey, Democratic Committee; served on the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice; served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Davis & Elkins College for nearly 20 years; and served as a member of the Visiting Nurses Association of Northern New Jersey's Board of Trustees. Luce was also a volunteer attorney for Trial Lawyers Care, which provided free legal representation to victims and their families of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. She has performed mission work for Project Serve in the Dominican Republic and has volunteered her time with the Special Olympics and Project Hope and was a youth basketball coach for the YMCA.
To learn more about Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC, visit www.cldlaw.com.
ABOUT CALWELL LUCE DITRAPANO PLLC
With more than two centuries of combined experience, the lawyers at Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC practice throughout West Virginia, with some members also licensed in Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Its legal team focuses on personal injury and property damage litigation as well as catastrophic workplace, medical malpractice, and auto accident cases.