PERSONNEL FILE: Foster Bird named 'Best of the Year' in Railroad Law

By Chris Dickerson | Sep 28, 2012

Foster Bird

HUNTINGTON – Best Lawyers, a legal peer-review publication, has named Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough partner Melissa Foster Bird as the 2013 Best Lawyer of the Year in Charleston Railroad Law.

Foster Bird has a background in trying cases for railroads, trucking companies, chemical companies, and other manufacturers and retailers and convenience stores in some of the most difficult venues in the nation.

Her practice is concentrated in railroad defense litigation, products liability, premises liability, professional malpractice, and toxic tort cases. She also has experience in workplace sexual harassment and retaliatory termination.

According to Best Lawyers, only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the "Lawyer of the Year."

Lawyers are selected based on voting averages received during the peer-review assessments conducted with lawyers. Receiving this designation reflects "the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity."

Foster Bird is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court, and in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.

She has been published in the areas of privacy and media law and has taught seminars in the areas of effective motion practice, expert witness direct and cross examination, trial practice and tactics, and scientific research concerning cumulative trauma disorders. She serves on the faculty of the litigation trial school sponsored by the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel.

She is a member of Defense Research Institute, the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, and the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia. She is a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. She has been selected for inclusion in the U.K-based legal directories Chambers USA 2011-2012 and the 2011-2012 U.S. editions of The Legal 500 for her litigation practice.

Foster Bird has served the community as a volunteer for the Huntington Museum of Art Capital Campaign, the United Way of the River Cities, the State Scholars Initiative, and the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. She has been actively involved in Andrew's Buddies/FightSMA, an organization that raises funds for research in the area of Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

A native of southern Ohio, Foster Bird earned her Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University in 1994. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1990.

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins has more than 430 attorneys and government relations professionals with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Nashville, Tallahassee, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., and throughout the Carolinas. For more information, visit

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