Brian Melendez

  • 225 South Sixth Street
    Suite 2800
    Minneapolis, MN 55402-4662

Brian Melendez is a veteran litigator with more than two decades of experience in trial and appellate practice, a former president of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and a partner in Barnes & Thornburg’s office in Minneapolis. His practice focuses on consumer-credit litigation and business torts. He was named by Minnesota Lawyer magazine in 2002 as one of the Top Ten Attorneys of the Year; he won the award a second time in 2008, only the second person to win twice. He has been named as a “Super Lawyer” in every year since 2003, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America®.

Brian earned his bachelor’s degree with honors from Harvard College in 1986; his law degree with honors from Harvard Law School in 1991, writing on “Districting a Diverse Society”; and a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School in 1991, concentrating in ethics.

Trial-Litigation Practice

Brian has defended clients, including several Fortune 100 companies, in litigation ranging from contractual disputes to business torts to sophisticated consumer-protection claims. He has litigated more than 300 cases under federal and state consumer-protection statutes, including the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Minnesota Prevention of Consumer Fraud Act. Please click here for a more complete list. Brian has defended consumer-financial-services providers in more than 300 cases in over 40 states, appearing in more than 30 federal district courts and in state courts in more than 20 states. He serves on the Federal Practice Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, where he chairs the style committee.

Brian is admitted to the bar in Minnesota and Florida. He is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Minnesota, District of Colorado, Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of Wisconsin, and Western District of Wisconsin (in addition to the appellate courts listed under “Appellate practice” below).

Class-Action Experience

Brian has defended more than a dozen putative nationwide class actions involving federal consumer-protection statutes, including one of the earliest class-action claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 2000. Please click here for a list.

Appellate Practice

Brian has argued cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth circuits, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and 12 of the 14 federal courts of appeals. He has filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court and nine federal circuits. He represents the lead petitioner in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission (D.C. Cir.), the consolidated challenge to the commission's 2015 ruling on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (the 2015 TCPA Order).

Professional Parliamentarian

Brian has served as parliamentarian for more than a dozen organizations, including seven terms for the ABA Young Lawyers Division, and two years on the Committee on Rules & Calendar for the ABA House of Delegates. He chaired the ABA Standing Committee on Constitution & Bylaws, and has written the constitution or bylaws for over two dozen organizations. He has taught seminars on parliamentary law for many bar-association, political, and other groups. He is a contributing editor defining more than 400 parliamentary-law terms for the eighth (2004), ninth (2009), and tenth (2014) editions of Black’s Law Dictionary. Brian is a member of the American Institute of Parliamentarians and the National Association of Parliamentarians.

Community Service

Brian has been elected as president of four national, five statewide, and 12 other organizations, including the Minnesota State Bar Association; the Hennepin County Bar Association, the nation’s ninth-largest metropolitan bar; the ABA Young Lawyers Division, the world’s second-largest voluntary professional organization; and the Harvard Divinity School Alumni/ae Association. He served three terms as state chair of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (the Minnesota version of regular Democrats). Brian has also served on the Minneapolis Charter Commission, where he served for a decade as reporter for an extensive plain-language charter-revision project, which Minneapolis voters adopted in 2013; and on the boards of Central Minnesota Legal Services, FairVote Minnesota, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Volunteer Lawyers Network, and numerous other alumni, community, and professional organizations. He was an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Brian has also written and taught about legal writing and drafting. He was a contributor to The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style, published by the West Group; and the second through fourth editions of Garner’s Modern English Usage by Bryan A. Garner, published by Oxford University Press.