Harvard Law School
JD, 1991, cum laude

Harvard College
BA, 1988, magna cum laude



    Melissa Tearney Selected by The NLJ

    Melissa Tearney has been selected as a "White Collar Crime Trailblazer" by The National Law Journal. Read more...

  • toggle

    52 attorneys at the firm – 79 percent of the firm’s equity partners – have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016.  Read more...

Melissa Bayer Tearney


t 617-248-4068   f 617-248-4000

Melissa Tearney is a partner in the firm’s Government Enforcement & Compliance Practice Group.  She has been named a “Top Woman of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, is a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and is listed in Best Lawyers in America.

Practice Focus

Government Enforcement & Compliance:  Ms. Tearney represents individuals and corporations in criminal matters in several substantive legal areas, including: healthcare fraud and abuse; bank, mortgage lending and other financial institutions fraud; financial fraud; affordable housing, HUD and real estate fraud; hazardous waste and other environmental violations; foreign corrupt practices; 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. 

Representative Engagements

  • 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 academicians and universities in research misconduct proceedings.
  • Defense of individual executives in federal and state investigations targeting international pharmaceutical companies.
  • Defense of metal refining company for foreign corrupt practices and customs violations.
  • 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.

Publications and Presentations

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 president 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 a Trustee of Thayer Academy.  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 has served as co-chair of the firm’s Hiring Committee and Summer Program. 


Thank you for reaching out to contact Choate. Before you send your message, we wanted to make sure you are aware of the following. Please do not send any confidential information in response to this link. Sending an e-mail to Choate does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship, and will not be deemed to disqualify Choate from undertaking any engagement for a current or future client.  Before any attorney-client engagement may be formed, Choate will need to check for possible conflicts of interest, you will need to consider whether you wish to retain Choate as counsel, and we will need to consider whether we wish to accept the potential engagement. In the meantime, Choate reserves the right to represent parties with interests adverse to you.