Melissa Tearney is co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. She has been named a “Top Woman of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, a “2016 Woman of Influence” by the Boston Business Journal, is a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.
Government Enforcement & Compliance: Ms. Tearney represents individuals and corporations in criminal matters in several substantive legal areas, including: healthcare fraud and abuse; foreign corrupt practices; bank fraud; financial fraud; hazardous waste and other environmental violations; customs violations; antitrust violations; and civil and criminal RICO. She routinely represents clients before state and federal grand juries and investigative bodies and has extensive trial and appellate experience. She also assists clients to develop programs to comply with all applicable laws and prepares compliance manuals to prevent governmental or regulatory scrutiny.
- Defense of international pharmaceutical companies in federal and state investigations involving sales and pricing practices.
- Defense of international medical device company in federal criminal and civil investigation alleging Anti-Kickback Statute violations.
- Defense of metal refining company for foreign corrupt practices and customs violations.
- Investigation of allegations that public company engaged in FCPA violations in China.
- Investigation of allegations that public company engaged in FCPA violations in Brazil and management of subsequent voluntary disclosure.
- Defense of academicians and universities in research misconduct proceedings.
- Defense of individual executives in federal and state investigations targeting international pharmaceutical companies.
- Defense of medical device company in civil False Claims Act litigation.
- Defense of individuals against allegations of environmental violations.
- Defense of companies and executives against allegation of accounting fraud.
- Design and implementation of compliance programs for multinational public companies.
Publications and Presentations
- Named to the Boston Business Journal's 2017 Women of Influence list
- “Expanded Access – A Regulatory Balancing Act For Drug Cos.” co-author, White Collar Law360, June 2016.
- “Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Choate's Melissa Tearney,” featured, White Collar Law360, February 2014.
- “Stakes are High for Companies Negotiating CIAs,” co-author, White Collar Law360, October 2012.
- “Q&A With Choate’s Melissa Tearney,” featured, Law360, May 2012.
- “Trends in White Collar Defense Practice: Stepped-up Government Enforcement Efforts in the Pharma and Medical Device Industries,” interviewed, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, April 2011.
- “Choate Picks up Nixon Peabody White Collar Guru,” featured, White Collar Law360, March 2011.
- “Are You Being Bribed?: Health Care Ethics and Compliance in the AdvaMed Code Era,” co-author, The American Journal of Orthopedics, March 2006.
Professional and Community Involvement
Ms. Tearney is a member of Hebrew SeniorLife’s Board of Directors and chair of the board’s Governance and Conflicts Committees as well as a member of the Development and Audit and Compliance Committees. She is a member of Greater Boston Legal Services and serves on its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Ms. Tearney also serves on Camp Bauercrest’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee and is chair of Thayer Academy Board of Trustees. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association and Phi Beta Kappa. Additionally, Ms. Tearney is a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee and its Pro Bono Committee, and has served as co-chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee and Summer Program.
Education & Credentials
- Harvard Law School
- JD, 1991, cum laude
- Harvard College
- BA, 1988, magna cum laude
Choate, Hall & Stewart Announces Dr. Brenda Jarrell and Melissa Tearney Named 2016 “Women Worth Watching” by Profiles in Diversity Journal