Michelle is leader of the firm's Financial Institution Subpoena Compliance and Cybersecurity & Privacy Practices. She relies on her litigation experience to counsel clients on regulatory and compliance matters, including the development and implementation of compliance programs, the oversight of internal investigations and audits, and the analysis and preparation of self-disclosures to a variety of state and federal agencies.

She has extensive experience litigating civil and criminal matters in a variety of federal jurisdictions as well as New York State. A significant portion of her practice is dedicated to defending corporations and individuals in government investigations, audits, and administrative proceedings related to tax, environmental, fraud, and health care matters. Michelle also regularly challenges agency determinations in New York State courts through Article 78 proceedings. 

In recent years, her practice has also included cybersecurity and data privacy counseling under an array of international, federal, and state laws, including HIPAA, the New York State Department of Financial Services' Cybersecurity Regulation, the New York Shield Act, the California Consumer Privacy Act, and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Michelle regularly collaborates with management teams, IT staff, and forensic experts to analyze the scope of a data breach and provide notification to affected individuals and required government agencies. She also works with clients and consultants to develop robust data security programs, policies, and compliance practices.

Michelle serves as one of the firm’s assistant general counsel/loss prevention partners. She also chairs the Firm's Technology Strategy Committee and sits on the Security Committee.

Prior to joining the firm, Michelle served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where she oversaw and directed fraud investigations involving a variety of government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Treasury, the Secret Service, the Department of Transportation, and the District of Columbia Tax and Revenue Office. She also successfully litigated numerous criminal jury trials in the local courts. Prior to that, Michelle was an associate at a D.C. law firm, where she gained experience in complex commercial and technology disputes.


  • Judge Truman Morrison III, Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 1997-1998


Pennsylvania State University, B.A.

American University, Washington College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude


  • New York
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York 
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York 


  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Litigation and Controversy - Tax) 2023 - 2024
  • Mussey Prize for student with highest scholastic average in final year of law school
  • Department of Justice Special Achievement Award

News & Insights


  • Secretary, Board of Directors: The Melanie Foundation
  • Secretary, Board of Directors: The Saratoga Lake Association
  • Commissioner: The Saratoga Recreation Commission


  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Erie County
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Michelle Merola / News & Insights