Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mills Brings Substantial Trial and Investigations Experience
PALO ALTO, Calif., June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the premier provider of legal services to technology, life sciences, and growth enterprises worldwide, announced today that Melissa Mills has joined its litigation department as a partner in the Los Angeles office. She joins the firm's expanding trial and commercial litigation practices after serving as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California for 12 years.
Upon joining the U.S. Attorney's office in 2010, Mills investigated and prosecuted complex corruption and national security crimes. She was responsible for shaping investigations, analyzing evidence, developing charges, presenting cases to the grand jury, motion practice, litigating jury trials, advocating for appropriate sentences, and any resulting appellate practice.
Most recently, Mills led a complex criminal investigation into bribery and corruption at the highest levels of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, resulting in convictions of several senior officials. She also investigated a sophisticated web of racketeering and corruption-related offenses alleged to involve local politicians, lobbyists, and developers. Other litigated cases included the capital murder of a Transportation Security Administration officer, international arms trafficking, espionage, trade secret theft, bribery and corruption, domestic and international terrorism, and other serious crimes against the U.S.
"Melissa's talents and accomplishments as an Assistant U.S. Attorney conducting corruption- and national-security-related prosecutions and investigations both nationally and internationally will be invaluable to our clients," said Doug Clark, managing partner at Wilson Sonsini. "We're pleased to welcome Melissa to the firm as we continue to add trial experience to our litigation department and bolster our proven ability to represent clients in high-profile, bet-the-company disputes."
Wilson Sonsini's litigation department has experienced significant growth over the past two-plus years. In California alone, Mills is the tenth litigation partner to join the firm since March 2020, when Wilson Sonsini added Victor Jih in the Los Angeles office. By mid-2021, the firm had added three more experienced, first-chair trial lawyers as partners in California: Susan Kay Leader (Los Angeles), Amy Candido (San Francisco), and Jordan Jaffe (San Francisco). In November 2021, Wilson Sonsini added five accomplished litigation partners in Los Angeles, each of whom has substantial experience with high-stakes trials, investigations, and appeals: Luis Li, Matthew Macdonald, Fred Rowley, Eric Tuttle (based in Los Angeles and Seattle), and Mark Yohalem.
"I am excited to join Wilson Sonsini because of its outstanding reputation, impressive roster of innovative clients, and strong commitment to continuing to expand its trial and litigation practices," said Mills. "I'm also looking forward to collaborating with the team in LA—including those I worked alongside during my time in the U.S. Attorney's office—along with others across the firm's litigation department. This is an excellent opportunity for me to apply my trial and investigations experience to help the firm further grow its sophisticated and accomplished litigation practice."
After graduating from law school, Mills was a law clerk for the Honorable A.S. Effron of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. She then went on to work on the investigation and prosecution of war crimes before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
From 2002 to 2006, Mills was an active-duty officer in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Quantico, Camp Pendleton, and Fallujah, Iraq. During her service in the Marine Corps, she prosecuted and defended hundreds of criminal cases, trying numerous jury trials to verdict. During a seven-month deployment to Iraq, she traveled throughout the war theater to investigate and prosecute crimes in a combat environment. She completed her service in 2006 at the rank of captain.
Following her military service, Mills was an associate in the Los Angeles office of Gibson Dunn, where she focused on white collar crime, compliance, and anti-corruption work, from 2006 to 2010. She litigated issues of criminal, appellate, constitutional, and commercial law; conducted internal investigations; and developed, tested, and monitored corporate compliance. While there, she wrote multiple U.S. Supreme Court briefs and had an active pro bono practice.
Mills earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2000, and a B.A. degree in environmental law and policy from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1996.
About Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
For more than 60 years, Wilson Sonsini's services and legal disciplines have focused on serving the principal challenges faced by the management and boards of directors of business enterprises. The firm is nationally recognized as a leading provider to growing and established clients seeking legal counsel to complete sophisticated corporate and technology transactions; manage governance and enterprise-scale matters; assist with intellectual property development, protection, and IP-driven transactions; represent them in contested disputes; and/or advise them on antitrust or other regulatory matters. With deep roots in Silicon Valley, Wilson Sonsini has offices in 18 technology and business hubs worldwide. For more information, please visit www.wsgr.com.
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