Melissa O’Connor, Esq.
Melissa O’Connor assists clients in the firms’ environmental and land use practice, including counseling and advising clients about strategies to assure environmental compliance and avoid or minimize environmental risks and liabilities, in addition to defense of environmental enforcement actions. She represents companies and individuals in matters involving federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. She also assists in real estate litigation matters.
Melissa is an experienced regulator who has also worked as an independent environmental consultant. Her unique background provides her with in-depth knowledge of the issues facing the regulated community, particularly solid and hazardous wastes, leaking underground storage tanks, drinking water, wastewater and water quality standards as they relate to permitting.
Before entering the legal realm, Melissa’s first career was as an environmental scientist, including creating a coastal recreational water quality monitoring plan for the Hawaii Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch. She also composed the Environmental Health Administration’s Environmental Equity policy, and coordinated the Administration’s two Advisory groups – the Environmental Management Advisory Group, and the Water Quality Standards Technical Advisory Group.
She is the Treasurer the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals and a Board Member of its South Florida chapter.
Prior to joining the firm, Melissa served as law clerk to Chief Judge Ronald Ibarra of Hawaii’s Third Circuit court, and subsequently prosecuted cases in the County of Hawaii Office of the Prosecuting Attorney which included environmental/resource crimes. She is admitted to both the Florida and Hawaii bars.
Melissa received a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science Affairs from the University of Miami, and earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from The Johns Hopkins University, before earning her law degree.