Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP
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 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 previously served as one of only three Northern District of Georgia Representatives on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association. 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, 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. Mr. Melnick is 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 and immunity issues and is frequently requested to speak around the nation regarding municipal liability.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. Mr. Melnick 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.
Mr. Melnick received both his undergraduate and law degree from Emory University. He served 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 also has served as a litigation instructor at Emory University School of Law in the Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program and 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! 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 helping energize the crowd every home game.