Photo of Melissa K. Eaves

Melissa K. Eaves

Special Counsel
Los Angeles
T: 213.617.5464
F: 213.443.2846


  • J.D., Pepperdine University, 1985
  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1982
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California, 2000
  • US District Court, Southern District of California, 1993
  • United States Supreme Court, 1992
  • US Court of Appeals, Eighth and Ninth Circuits, 1991
  • US District Courts, Central and Northern Districts of California, 1991
  • California, 1986
Thought Leadership

Ms. Eaves is a special counsel in the White Collar/Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade Practice Group in the firm's Los Angeles office.

Areas of Practice

Ms. Eaves currently focuses her practice in complex civil litigation, fraud, investigations, white collar criminal defense and False Claims Act litigation.  She has been practicing more than 25 years and has substantial experience in American with  Disabilities Act and FTC litigation, compliance investigations, FAR MDR reviews and insolvency litigation. Ms. Eaves recently won a complete defense verdict in a trial involving ADA cases. She also has represented the California Insurance Commissioner in the Executive Life Insurance Company, First Capital and Mission Insurance Group insolvencies and reinsurance litigation, involving over 300 reinsurers worldwide, representing recoveries in excess of $1.3 billion.  

Ms. Eaves has substantial litigation experience in both state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, enforcing judgments abroad, and supervision of domestic and foreign outside counsel.


  • Tried 3 ADA cases to complete defense verdict.
  • Senior member of a trial team representing Fry’s Electronics, Inc. in a $100 million fraud action.  Ms. Eaves was responsible for coordination of discovery and experts.  The case settled on favorable terms shortly before trial. 
  • Acted as “second chair” in a multi-million dollar defense action brought by the Federal Trade Commission in a false advertising case.  The matter was complicated by an ongoing criminal investigation and ultimately settled prior to trial.
  • Acted as “second chair” in fraud litigation involving a multi-million dollar real estate venture which was settled favorably on the eve of trial.
  • Played a senior role in a year-long False Claims Act Mandatory Disclosure Rule “LookBack” investigation for Northrop Grumman Corporation. 
  • Acted as “second chair” in a trial involving an insurance insolvency rehabilitation as well as a senior role in litigation seeking recovery of facultative and treaty reinsurance proceeds which yielded over $1.3 billion to the estate.

Notable Engagements 

  • Quackenbush v. Allstate Ins. Co. (517 U.S. 706, 1996).
  • Quackenbush v. Allstate Ins. Co. (121 F.3d 1371, 1997).
  • Quackenbush v. Mission Ins. Co. (62 Cal. App. 4th 797, 1998).
  • Quackenbush v. Mission Ins. Co. (46 Cal. 4th 458, 1996).
  • In re Mission Ins. Co. (Imperial), (41 Cal. App. 4th 828, 1995).
  • Sunburst Bank, N.A. v. Executive Life Ins. Co. (24 Cal. App. 4th 1156, 1994).
  • Prudential Ins. Co. v. Garamendi (3 Cal. 4th 1118, 1992).
  • California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan v. Garamendi (232 Cal. App. 3d. 904, 1991).


Media Mentions