Melissa Cresson is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Kean Miller. She joined the firm in 1996 and practices in the electronic discovery, environmental litigation, toxic tort litigation, oil and gas litigation, environmental regulation and commercial litigation areas.
Melissa’s experience in the eDiscovery area includes development of discovery plans in federal and state courts, including a wealth of experience in developing and negotiating of search terms with opposing counsel, and extensive experience in negotiating and implementing same. She also has extensive knowledge and experience in preparing corporate clients for “discovery on discovery” and in implementing and fulfilling obligations pursuant to court-ordered compliance efforts. Melissa has vast experience in assisting corporate clients with custodian identification, supervising and participating in custodian interviews, overseeing forensic collection, managing and designing technology assisted reviews, including predictive coding and continuous active learning (CAL), and implementation and use of the full range of most up-to-date advanced analytical tools in a variety of the most routinely utilized document management and litigation management platforms and eDiscovery tools.
Melissa represents local, national and international energy and industrial clients in numerous mass toxic tort and class action cases, environmental property damage cases, commercial contractual disputes, as well as in substantive environmental areas such as CERCLA/state superfund, RECAP/RBCA (risk-based cleanups), emergency response issues, water issues, underground injection wells, environmental compliance and audits, the defense of state and federal enforcement actions, and regulatory and legislative development. Melissa has developed extensive expertise in management of electronic and large-scale discovery efforts for large, multi-national companies, including advising the clients with regard to same as well as managing, developing, and implementing defensible strategies and processes for preservation, collection, review and analysis, production, and post production of massive amounts of information in the litigation context.
- Representation and adviser to various Fortune 500 Companies on electronic discovery, e-discovery compliance, electronically stored information (ESI) management, and retention and destructive policies and procedures
- Developed detailed protocols and procedures for handling all phases of discovery (electronic and standard hard copy information) from initial preservation to production and thereafter for various multi-national corporations and representation of clients in defending these processes and protocols in various courts against motions to compel in complex, and document-intensive litigation matters
- Extensive expertise and training regarding multiple major leading-edge archiving and litigation technologies for handling the collection, coding, production, and evaluation and use of documents at trial for complex, document-driven litigation matters
- Extensive experience in training and overseeing third-party vendors as well as large internal document review teams including preparation of all training materials, developing and implementing protocols for concurrent quality assurance/quality control measures, as well as final quality control/quality assurance measures
- Representation of numerous chemical, petrochemical energy, and chemical transport companies in mass toxic tort, toxic tort and class action cases
- Representation of numerous major and independent oil and gas companies in suits by landowners alleging property damage arising out of historical and ongoing oil and gas exploration and production activities
- Representation of major chemical and/or transport companies in transportation-related chemical spill remediation and associated toxic tort litigation
- Representation of numerous major chemical, energy, industrial, and petrochemical companies in permitting matters and enforcement actions and negotiations with EPA, DEQ and DNR
- Representation of major energy clients in contractual, indemnification claims against third-parties and suits for reimbursements against insurers
Melissa earned her B.S. from Spring Hill College in 1993. She earned her J.D. from the LSU Law Center in 1996 where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Louisiana Law Review, and was named to the LSU Law Center Hall of Fame.
- Admitted, Louisiana, 1996
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana State, American and Federal Bar Associations
- The court of data security, Baton Rouge Business Report Daily Report, January 7, 2020
- The Trespass Action in Louisiana: A Real Problem, 56 Louisiana Law Review 477.
- Board Member and Grant Panelist, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
- Board Member, Baton Rouge Bar Association
- Board Member, Elan Cotillion
- Past-President, Playmakers of Baton Rouge
- Past President, Member, Board of Directors, Spring Hill College National Alumni Association
- Past Member, Board of Trustees, Spring Hill College
- Past Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Young Lawyers Section Council, Baton Rouge Bar Association
- Past Chairman, Baton Rouge Bar Association Belly Up with the Bar Cook-Off
- Past Chairman, Baton Rouge Bar Association Young Lawyers Dress for Success Program
- Instructor, Baton Rouge Bar Association Lawyers in the Classroom Program
- Judge, Baton Rouge and Louisiana State Bar Association Mock Trial Competition
- Top "40 Under 40," Baton Rouge Business Report, 2003
- Outstanding Young Lawyer of Louisiana, Louisiana State Bar Association, 2004
- Parishioner, Class Representative and Volunteer, St. Aloysius Catholic Church and School
- Co-Founder, Jay Cresson Memorial Foundation
- Recipient of Excellence in Community Service Award, Safety Council of Greater Baton Rouge, 2005