Kari L. Melkonian

03/01/2020
Kari L. Melkonian
Attorney

Kari L. Melkonian

Attorney

Kari L. Melkonian

Summary

Kari is a partner in the general and automotive liability group, focusing her practice on the defense of general and automotive liability claims. She has substantial experience in all phases of litigation, including discovery, dispositive motion practice, and trial.

Kari served as a Judicial Staff Attorney to the Honorable Martha D. Anderson in the Oakland County Circuit Court where she was involved in researching and writing opinions on various civil, criminal and domestic relations matters. Prior to her position as a staff attorney, she served as a Court Clerk for the Honorable Linda S. Hallmark and the Honorable Barry M. Grant (retired).

Kari has been mentoring students in the legal field for many years, serving as an adjunct professor in the Paralegal Studies program at Baker College and providing one-on-one consultation and guidance to aspiring lawyers.

Practice Areas
General and Automotive Liability
Product Liability
Condominium Law
Construction Defect Claims
Landlord-Tenant Claims
Civil Rights
Property Disputes

Credentials

Education
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (J.D. 2008)
  • Oakland University (B.A. 2003)
Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
Professional Activities
  • Oakland County Bar Association
    • Board of Directors
    • Judicial Qualifications Committee
    • Circuit Court Committee (Past Chair)
    • Criminal Law Committee (Past Chair)
    • Energy, Sustainability and Environmental Law Committee
    • Inns of Court Committee
    • Family Law Committee
    • Board of Directors Nominating Committee (Past Member)
  • Michigan Defense Trial Counsel
    • Social Media Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association
  • State Bar of Michigan Foundation (Fellow)
  • Oakland County Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • Adjunct Professor, Family Law/Research/Writing, Baker College Auburn Hills
  • Discovery Mediator, Oakland County Circuit Court
  • Case Evaluator, Oakland County Circuit Court
Community Involvement

Kari participates every year as a volunteer in the University of Detroit High School Mock Trial Team program, and has also volunteered as a judge in the University of Detroit Law School G. Mennen Williams Moot Court program.

Accomplishments
  • Super Lawyers™
    • Rising Star (2016-2018)
  • Up & Coming Lawyer, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (2017)
  • Recipient of the 10-Year Service Award from Oakland County for public service
  • Recipient of the Oakland County Circuit Court MVP Award (2010)
  • Certificates of Merit Recipient in Criminal Sentencing and Criminal Sentencing Seminar, University of Detroit Mercy Law School
  • Associate Member of the University of Detroit Law Review, work selected for publication
  • Oakland County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award
Prominent Outcomes

Obtained dismissal of civil rights complaint filed against major retail store in a claim arising out of alleged discriminatory treatment of barefoot customer. (November, 2019)

Obtained summary disposition in Saginaw County Circuit Court on behalf of a sheet metal fabricator in a wrongful death and product liability claim. (September, 2019)

Obtained dismissal of civil rights complaint filed against a condominium association and its management company in a claim arising out of alleged discriminatory treatment of a co-owner. (August, 2019)

Obtained summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court on behalf of an insurance company in a claim arising out of an alleged violation of special titling requirements set forth in Section 257.217c of the Motor Vehicle Code. (July 2019).

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court on behalf of premises owner. The Court found that plaintiff’s claim was barred by the applicable statute of limitations, and dismissed the case in its entirety. (June 2019)

Won summary judgment in the United States District Court (Eastern District) on behalf of client in a legal malpractice claim which arose out of post-judgment divorce proceedings. The court found that plaintiff’s claims were barred by the attorney-judgment rule. (March 2019)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court on behalf of an insurer who rescinded the policy it had issued for no-fault and liability insurance (February 2019)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court in a third-party automobile liability claim. The Court found that the plaintiff was unable to meet the serious impairment threshold and dismissed the claims with prejudice. (November 2018)

Won summary disposition in 36th District Court on behalf of television streaming company in a fraud and Michigan Consumer Protection Act claim brought by a former customer. (October 2018)

Won summary disposition in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on behalf of an insurer who rescinded the policy it had issued for no-fault and liability insurance. (October 2018)

Successfully defended an auction company in a multi-million dollar premises liability case. The plaintiff was attending an auction when she fell down a three-foot-drop-off created by a missing set of stairs. The auction company moved for summary disposition which was denied by the trial court. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the trial court should have granted summary disposition because the defendant lacked possession and control over the property and the hazard was open and obvious. The Supreme Court denied plaintiff’s application for leave to appeal. (April 2018)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court for a restaurant in an implied warranty and food safety act claim arising out of dental injuries allegedly sustained from a foreign object in a salad. (October 2017)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court for a hotel in a case arising out of a slip and fall on water at a wedding reception. (September 2017)

Successful trial result in 61st District Court on behalf of cable service provider in a breach of contract and unfair collection practices action. (Septemer 2017)

Won summary disposition in St. Clair County Circuit Court for a hotel in a case arising out of an assault on visitor at the premises. The Court granted summary disposition in favor of the defendant hotel finding that there is no duty to anticipate or prevent third-party criminal acts and that the hotel had no notice of any potential threat to the visitor and therefore no duty to act. (July 2017)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court for a paving contractor in a wrongful death claim arising out of a slip and fall in a commercial parking lot. (April 2017)

Won summary disposition in Washtenaw County Circuit Court for a grocery store in a personal injury claim involving an automatic sliding door. (March 2017)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court for a tenant and property owner in a premises liability claim involving a slip and fall in a parking lot (February 2017)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court for a snow removal contractor in a premises liability involving a slip and fall on ice at a commercial establishment. (August 2016)

Successful hearing result in Oakland County Circuit Court for non-profit animal rescue organization. A preliminary injunction was obtained in favor of the client in an adverse possession claim. (July 2016)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court in premises liability case arising out of a trip and fall over a clothing hanger. (June 2016)

Won partial summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in a construction defect claim obtaining dismissal of plaintiffs’ conversion and promissory estoppel claims. (April 2016)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court on a claim for nuisance and injunctive relief arising out of a dispute between neighbors. (March 2016)

Won summary disposition in Macomb County Circuit Court for a snow removal contractor in a premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall at a condominium complex. The condominium complex filed a third-party complaint against the contractor based on the snow removal contract. The Court dismissed the third-party complaint finding that the primary plaintiff’s injuries were not the result of the contractor’s failure to fulfill its contractual obligations. (January 2016) In a related matter, the primary plaintiff brought a direct claim against the snow removal contractor; summary disposition was also granted in favor of the contractor in that case as the Court found no duty was owed to plaintiff under the circumstances. (February 2016)

Won summary disposition in Macomb County Circuit Court for a snow removal contractor in a premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall on ice at a condominium complex. (2015)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in favor of restaurant owner in premises liability case involving a trip and fall on a sidewalk. (2015)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in a premises liability case. Plaintiff alleged that she tripped and fell on a step-down area in a newly constructed concrete island located outside of the defendant’s restaurant location, causing her to sustain serious injuries and related wage-loss. A motion for summary disposition was filed on behalf of the restaurant owner arguing that the condition was open and obvious. The court agreed and granted summary disposition in favor of the restaurant owner and dismissed plaintiff’s claims with prejudice. (November 2015)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in favor of apartment complex in premises liability case involving a slip and fall in a stairwell. (November 2015)

Won summary judgment in the United States District Court – Western District in favor of manufacturer in a subrogation claim. The court found that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred under the economic loss doctrine and dismissed the complaint against the manufacturer with prejudice. (September 2015)

Successful trial result in Oakland County Circuit Court for non-profit board of directors in declaratory claim filed by former board member. (August 2015)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court for snow removal contractor in premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall on ice in a commercial parking lot. (June 2015)

Won partial summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court in favor of audio-video equipment manufacturer in a breach of contract claim involving custom-made teleconference equipment. (June 2015)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court for commercial building owner seeking indemnity against tenant for claims arising out a slip and fall in a bathroom. (April 2015)

Won partial summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in a construction defect claim. The court dismissed plaintiff’s claims in the trial court based on an express agreement to arbitrate in the construction contract. (March 2015)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court for condominium complex in premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall on ice. (February 2015)

Won partial summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in favor of employer in a negligent entrustment claim arising out of a motor vehicle accident. (February 2015)

Won summary disposition in Wayne County Circuit Court, affirmed on appeal, for a property management company in a case arising out of an assault on an employee in the lobby of an office building. The Court granted summary disposition in favor of the defendant management company finding that defendant fulfilled its limited duty of care to promptly notify the police after the unforeseeable criminal attack. (November 2014)

Won summary disposition in Genesee County Circuit Court for gas station owner in a premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall on ice in the station parking lot. (October 2014)

Won summary disposition in Macomb County Circuit Court for condominium complex in premises liability case arising out of a trip and fall on a sidewalk crack. (September 2014)

Won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in favor of manufacturer in a product liability claim arising out of injuries sustained by use of product. (September 2014)

Won summary disposition in St. Clair County Circuit Court for commercial building owner in premises liability case arising out of a trip and fall on landscaping near the sidewalk area. (August 2014)

Won summary disposition in Macomb County Circuit Court for condominium complex in premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall on ice. (June 2014)

Publications & Speaking Engagements

Motion Granted: A Litigator and Former Judicial Attorney’s Perspective on Effective Motion Practice, Oakland County Bar Association LACHES (June/July 2020)

Participated as a panelist at the CLM Midwest Conference in Chicago, addressing the topic of electric scooter regulations and developing liability issues. (June 2019)

From Government to Firm: Stepping Outside of My Comfort Zone, Oakland County Bar Association LACHES (February 2019)

Michigan’s Sex Offender Registration Act: Does it Make Communities Safer?  The Implications of the Inclusion of a Broad Range of Offenders, a Review of Statutory Amendments and Thoughts on Future Changes, 84 U DET MERCY L REV 355 (Spring 2007)

While Kari was Vice Chair of the OCBA Criminal Law Committee, she organized the committee’s Brown Bag Lecture Series, moderating many of the lectures within the series as well.

Kari has spoken on a number of topics at various Oakland County Bar Association CLE seminars. She regularly contributes to articles in various legal publications, including Risk and Insurance Magazine and Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In addition, Kari has appeared on a show called “Practical Law” hosted by attorney Henry Gornbein to discuss the judicial process.

Kari has spoken to volunteers at the Women’s Survival Center about the Personal Protection Order process.

Kari L. Melkonian Receives Oakland County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award

Collins Einhorn is proud to announce that Kari L. Melkonian has received the Oakland County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes a member of the Oakland County Bar Association who provides exceptional voluntary services to benefit the organization. Kari’s unquestionable passion for inspiring positive change is displayed through the magnitude of her involvement….

Twenty-Three Collins Einhorn Farrell PC Attorneys Recognized by 2020 Super Lawyers®

Collins Einhorn Farrell PC is proud to announce that 15 of its attorneys have been named to the 2020 Michigan Super Lawyers list, and an additional 8 attorneys were named to the 2020 Michigan Rising Stars list. Additionally, Melissa Graves was named to the Top 50: 2020 Women Michigan Super Lawyers list. Super Lawyers, a…

Kari L. Melkonian and Michael A. Mezey Obtain Summary Disposition on Behalf of a Premises Owner in a Negligence Case in Oakland County Circuit Court

Attorneys Kari L. Melkonian and Michael A. Mezey obtained summary disposition on behalf of a premises owner in a negligence case in Oakland County Circuit Court. Defendants argued that the three-year statute of limitations had expired at the time the complaint was filed. Plaintiff’s alleged date of injury was contradicted by his medical records. The…

Attorneys Kevin Moloughney and Kari Melkonian obtained summary disposition for a condominium association in Dearborn’s 19th District Court.

Attorneys Kevin Moloughney and Kari Melkonian obtained summary disposition for a condominium association in Dearborn’s 19th District Court. The plaintiff sued the association to challenge fines and assessments levied against his unit. The Court held that the plaintiff couldn’t prove that he received insufficient notice or that the fines were improper. So it granted Kevin…

Attorneys Hebert and Melkonian obtained summary disposition on behalf of insurer

Attorneys Deborah Hebert and Kari Melkonian obtained summary disposition in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on behalf of the insurer in an action for declaratory relief. Defendant rescinded the policy based on misrepresentations made in the application for insurance. The Court agreed that the misrepresentation regarding the insured’s marital status was material and entered an order…

Attorneys Melkonian and Koch obtain dismissal on behalf of television streaming company

Attorneys Kari Melkonian and Jonathan Koch recently prevailed on behalf of a television streaming company in a fraud and Michigan Consumer Protection Act claim brought by a former customer. The Court found that the plaintiff’s pleadings were insufficient to maintain a cause of action against the defendant and dismissed with prejudice.

Attorneys Kari Melkonian and Lindsey Peck Obtain Summary Disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court

Attorneys Kari L. Melkonian and Lindsey A. Peck won summary disposition in favor of a snow-removal company in a slip-and-fall case. The Court dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant, holding that the defendant didn’t owe the plaintiff a separate duty. The Court also granted the snow-removal contractor’s motion for summary disposition on a third-party complaint filed against its subcontractor. The Court found that, under the terms of the snow-removal subcontract, the subcontractor owed the contractor and property owner both defense and indemnification.

Kari L. Melkonian Named as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2017 Up & Coming Lawyers

We are pleased to announce that our partner Kari L. Melkonian has been included in Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Up & Coming Lawyer class of 2017. Melkonian was one of thirty honorees selected via committee based on criteria which include having established a name for themselves, going above and beyond, and displaying the ambition, drive, determination, and accomplishments that set them apart from their peers. Only attorneys in their first 10 years in practice are eligible for this prestigious award.

Attorneys Melkonian and Walbridge Obtain Multiple Summary Dispositions in Wayne County Circuit Court

Attorneys Kari L. Melkonian and Patrick J. Walbridge recently obtained two summary dispositions in Wayne County Circuit Court. The first was on behalf of a hotel in a case arising out of a slip and fall on water at a wedding reception. The other was on behalf of a restaurant in an implied warranty and food safety act claim arising out of dental injuries sustained from a foreign object in a salad. To read the full details of both, click on the headline.

Attorney Kari L. Melkonian Obtains Directed Verdict in Trial Involving Claim Against Cable Company

Attorney Kari L. Melkonian successfully defended a breach of contract and unfair collection practices claim on behalf of a cable services provider. Plaintiff filed suit in the 61st District Court seeking damages as a result of the company’s collection efforts. The matter proceeded to trial and the Court granted a directed verdict in favor of the defendant and dismissed plaintiff’s claims with prejudice.

Attorneys Lujan and Melkonian have successful hearing result in OCCC for non-profit animal rescue organization

Attorneys Deborah A. Lujan and Kari L. Melkonian obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of a non-profit animal rescue organization in a dispute over a boundary line. After a two-day evidentiary hearing, the Court found that the organization has a likelihood of success on the merits and entered an injunction against the neighboring business from interfering with the client’s use of the disputed portion of the property.

Lujan and Melkonian Win Summary Disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court

Attorneys Deborah A. Lujan and Kari L. Melkonian won summary disposition in Oakland County Circuit Court in a premises liability case. Plaintiff alleged that she tripped and fell on a step-down area in a newly constructed concrete island located outside of the defendant’s restaurant location, causing her to sustain serious injuries and related wage-loss. A…

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