Melanie S. Taylor is a partner with Bendin, Sumrall & Ladner. Melanie’s representation includes corporations, business owners, universities, hospitals and individual medical providers in complex litigation and medical malpractice matters. Melanie volunteers on the faculty of the National Business Institute to publish and teach national continuing education seminars throughout the year for attorneys and paralegals on the topics of medical malpractice litigation, best practices for discovery and trial, and defending general liability cases.
She is also counsel for businesses ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies in the retail, banking, financial, and construction industries. For all of her clients, Melanie prepares her clients and experts for all stages of litigation and defends them all the way through resolution or trial. For mid to large-size business clients, she often advises them how to avoid litigation, train and educate managers and employees across various locations or countries, develop and implement best practices for transparent leadership, how to mitigate risk, and how to improve premises security and monitoring, including the appropriate use of drones. For her healthcare clients, Melanie assists with risk management, best provider/patient relationship practices, pre-suit investigations, and represents them after becoming involved in litigation or alternative dispute resolution.
She also advises small business or start-up clients on real estate matters, employment questions, and intellectual property protection, among other issues commonly faced by smaller businesses. She often prepares and advises on contracts and contract negotiations, including reviewing Spanish-language contracts. She is fluent in Spanish so you may hear her speaking in Spanish to interview witnesses in investigations or litigation, represent Spanish-speaking plaintiffs or defendants, or to assist Spanish-speakers with pro bono legal matters.
Melanie graduated with honors from Duke University with joint degrees in Political Science and Spanish. She earned her law degree at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. At Georgetown, she competed on the Alternative Dispute Resolution team of the Barrister’s Council, twice chaired mock trial competitions for the Model United Nations Conference, provided legal and policy counsel to national charities through the Federal Legislation Clinic, and served as Executive Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy. Melanie also taught Spanish to students in kindergarten through eighth grade at a school in Washington, D.C. After returning to Atlanta, Melanie practiced with large firms and was a mock trial coach for students at South Atlanta High School.
Outside of BSL, Melanie and her husband enjoy parenting two girls and being involved in their church and community. Melanie regularly speaks at church, leads community events and service for the Teen Ministry, and assists with the Children’s Ministry. She also serves on the Church Board and leads a home group. Melanie serves in an elected position on the Principal’s Advisory Committee of their Dekalb County school. When she has an ounce of energy left, she enjoys running and competing in martial arts.
Business / Retail / Banking / Restaurant Litigation
Melanie defends businesses in the retail, banking, and restaurant industries against lawsuits or claims against them for contract disputes, premises liability, and risk management to identify and reduce areas of potential exposure. Her small business or closely-held clients typically seek advice on contract negotiations or disputes, real estate matters, employment questions, intellectual property protection, among other issues commonly faced by closely-held or small businesses. For mid to large-size business clients, she often advises them how to mitigate risk, avoid litigation, train and educate managers and employees across various locations or countries, develop and implement best practices for improving communication, record-keeping, and transparent leadership, in order to reduce their risk and better defend against claims and lawsuits.
Professional Negligence / Medical Malpractice
Melanie has defended hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers in pre-litigation medical malpractice matters and in law suits. She has consulted her clients concerning how to avoid litigation, best practices after becoming involved in litigation, and alternative dispute resolution. Her representation has involved preparing her clients and experts for all stages of litigation and defending against allegations of negligence, wrongful death, and agency and employment relationships, and other liability claims.
Melanie has counseled and represented general contractors, owners, and subcontractors in the construction and restoration industries. She provides counsel on risk management, contract negotiation and litigation. Before her clients are involved in litigation, she assists them with avoiding litigation, such as, when counseling a construction company seeking legal counsel regarding waterproofing and subcontractor concerns that affected multiple unrelated projects. However, for those situations where her clients are already in a dispute or litigation, she has successfully resolved disputes over contracts and subcontracts, insurance coverage, construction defects, liens, and premises liability claims. Melanie has also successfully placed liens and/or otherwise obtained payments due to her clients and defended them against liens.
Melanie’s general liability experience includes premises liability cases concerning injuries on commercial and residential property, products liability, construction defects, and landlord-tenant issues. She has been involved in the defense of numerous cases arising out of slip and fall incidents, other incidents causing various injuries, product defects and malfunctions, robberies, and violent crimes on commercial properties.
- Juris Doctor, 2003, Georgetown University Law Center
- Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, 2000, Duke University
- Georgia, 2003
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Georgia
- Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- State Bar of Georgia
- Atlanta Bar Association
- Dunwoody Bar Association
- Georgia Society for Healthcare Risk Management
- Evaluating Virtual vs. In-Person Deposition and Interviews – ASHRM, 2021
- Ten Tips for Managing Medical Records in Litigation, NBI Institute, 2016
- “How Will the ACA Affect Malpractice Litigation and Damages Awards,” NBI Institute, 2016
- “Pressure Ulcer Prevention,” HealthStream, 2014
- “Drafting Discovery Requests and Responses,” NBI Institute, 2013
- “Significant Medical Malpractice Rulings in 2012,” BSL Brief, 2013
- “Georgia Premises Liability Cases in 2013 for Hospital Risk Managers,” GSHRM Newsletter 2013
- “The Role Of Apportionment And Third Party Liability In Defending Premises Liability Claims In Georgia,” BSL Brief, 2013
- “Medical Documents for Trial,” NBI Institute, 2012
- “Retroactive Application of Georgia’s Offer of Judgment Statute is Unconstitutional,” HBSS For the Record, 2007
- “2007 GSHRM Update on the law of Medical Negligence,” 2007
- “2006-2007 Update on the law of Medical Negligence,” Georgia Malpractice Institute
- “A Primer on the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act Overview,” HBSS For the Record, 2005
- Driving Diversity in Law and Leadership, September 2022 (https://cf-conferences.com/conferences/driving-diversity-in-law-leadership-atlanta/overview)
- Medical Malpractice Prevention and Overview for Residents, August 2022
- Panelist on De-Risking Healthcare: Episode 3, Achieving Better Risk Investigations in Healthcare, 2021
- Survey of Georgia Premises Liability cases, 2015-2019
- E-Discovery for Risk Management, 2019
- Electronic Medical Records in Medical Malpractice Cases, 2017
- Legal Issues for Ob/Gyn, 2017
- The Rules of Evidence: A Practical Toolkit, 2017
- The ACA’s Impact on Medical Malpractice Litigation, panelist, NBI Institute, 2016
- Avoiding Medical Malpractice for Orthopedic and Sports Physicians,” 2016
- Legal Lessons on Documentation for Perianesthesia Nurses, April 2015
- Preparing Medical Records for Use at Trial: A Paralegal’s Guide, February 2015
- A Paralegal’s Guide to Medical Records, Institute for Paralegal Education, 2014
- Drafting Discovery Requests and Responses, National Business Institute, 2014
- Trial and Error- Tactics and Strategy in Written Discovery, National Business Institute, 2014
- The Federal Rules Regarding Witnesses in Civil Cases, National Business Institute, 2013
- Lessons for Neurology from a Medical Malpractice Perspective, 2013
- The Federal Rules Regarding Witnesses in Civil Cases, National Business Institute, 2013
- Drafting Discovery Requests And Responses, National Business Institute, 2013, 2011
- A Paralegal’s Guide to Medical Records, National Business Institute, 2013
- Preparing Medical Information for Use at Trial, National Business Institute, 2012
- Medical Malpractice Law and Case Studies for Orthopedic Surgeons, 2012- present (annually)
- Survey of Georgia Premises Liability cases, 2009-2010
- Medical Document Management, National Business Institute, 2010
- Survey of Georgia Premises Liability cases, 2007-2009
- Medical Malpractice Law and Case Studies for Anesthesiologists and Anesthetists, 2009
- Legal Issues for Hospital Risk Managers, 2008-2017
- Legal Issues for Charge Nurses, 2006-2017
- Legal Issues for Nurses, 2006-2007
- Documentation for Advanced Med-Surg Nurses, 2006
- Legal Issues for Nurses, 2006
- Legal Issues for Medical Professionals, 2006