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Melissa Felder Zappala

Washington, DC

t: 202 274 1158
f: 202 237 6131
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Area of Practice



Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude, 2005; Order of the Coif

Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, History/Women's & Gender Studies, 2002; Phi Beta Kappa


Hon. Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., United States District Court for the District of Columbia, 2007-2008


New York and the District of Columbia

United States District Courts: Southern District of New York and District of Columbia

United States Court of Appeals: First Circuit

Melissa Felder Zappala specializes in complex commercial litigation.  She has extensive experience in a variety of legal areas, including securities, antitrust, class actions, and business torts on both the trial and appellate levels.  Examples of Ms. Felder Zappala’s matters include:

  • Representing a private equity firm in a trial in federal court against a major financial institution alleging fraud;
  • Representing opt-out plaintiffs in litigation alleging a price-fixing conspiracy in the TFT-LCD industry;
  • Representing a corporation in a FINRA arbitration against a major financial institution alleging fraud in the sale of auction rate securities;
  • Representing a corporation in a trial in federal court against its competitor alleging unfair competition;
  • Representing a direct purchaser class alleging a price-fixing conspiracy related to polyurethane foam;
  • Representing the putative class in a securities fraud class action regarding the improper elimination of “tracking stock”;
  • Representing a telecommunications company in several matters related to securities fraud across domestic and international jurisdictions;
  • Representing a major financial institution against putative class actions alleging fraud in the sale of securities;
  • Representing a major credit card company against allegations that it violated the Sherman Act.

 In recent pro bono work, Ms. Felder Zappala, along with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, brought suit against the District of Columbia on behalf of a deaf individual alleging that videos posted on the District’s website either had no captions or had captions that were not intelligible. Deaf residents were unable to access important information about DC services and benefits. As a result of this litigation, which appears to be one of the first of its kind in the United States, the District of Columbia agreed to issue a Mayoral Order requiring that the District caption or provide transcripts for videos that it posts on its website and on third party websites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

Super Lawyers D.C.: Rising Star, 2014 and 2015

National Law Journal Washington, DC’s list of rising stars of 40 lawyers under 40



Not Quite "Family Friendly": Amending the Fair Labor Standards Act to Provide Comp Time May Hurt Welfare Leavers and Their Families 12 Geo. J. on Poverty L. & Pol'y 273 (2005)

Related News

Melissa Felder Zappala named a Rising Star in D.C. (September 14, 2015)

The biggest hurdle for lawyers with disabilities: preconceptions (ABA Journal)

Boies, Schiller & Flexner Attorneys Recognized as Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers (April 23, 2015)

Deaf Partner at Boies Schiller Overcomes Obstacles (In The News)

BSF Attorneys Recognized as Top Lawyers in 2014 Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine (2014 Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers)

Outstanding Achievement Award to BSF Partner Melissa Felder for Pro Bono Efforts (06.10.2013)

Rare Retrial Granted Following BSF’s Second Circuit Arguments for Private Equity Firm Terra Firma (May 31, 2013)

The BSF Report: Spring 2013 (03.08.2013)

BSF's Ongoing Effort to Open Federal Courts to Cameras and the Internet Continues to Make Unprecedented Gains (December 20, 2009)

Firm Report: November 2006 (Vol. 1, Issue III (11.01.2006)