Get to Know Kari Melkonian

by Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Kari Melkonian is a partner at Collins Einhorn Farrell PC in Southfield, in the firm’s general and automotive liability group. She focuses her practice on the defense of general and automotive liability claims and has substantial experience in all phases of litigation, including discovery, dispositive motion practice and trial.

A graduate of Oakland University and Detroit Mercy Law School, Melkonian was listed as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine (2016-2017); was the recipient of the 10-Year Service Award from Oakland County for public service; and 2010 recipient of the Oakland County Circuit Court MVP Award.

She is heavily involved in a number of professional associations, including serving as a board member on the Oakland County Bar Association’s Board of Directors, the chair of OCBA’s Circuit Court Committee, and the co-chair of the Michigan Trial Defense Council’s Social Media Committee. She previously served as a court clerk and judicial staff attorney in the Oakland County Circuit Court.

What would surprise people about your job?
That I actually enjoy it. I am fortunate to work with wonderful people and I look forward to doing what I do each day.

 Why did you become a lawyer? Relatively poor math skills and a fascination of the legal system.

 What’s your favorite law-related TV show? “Law and Order.”

 Who are your law role models – real and/or fictional? Judy Cunningham. I had the pleasure of working with Judy at the Oakland County Circuit Court where she was the Court Administrator and eventually became Corporation Counsel for the county. She is also a past-president of the Oakland County Bar Association. Judy is a leader and role model; she pushed me to become a better lawyer and gave me the “nudge” I needed to assume various leadership roles in the bar association.

 If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
If it’s something you’re passionate about, go for it; don’t do it for money or prestige because you might be disappointed.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Winning my first summary disposition motion and my first trial. 

What do you do to relax? Play golf and take naps.

What other career path might you have chosen? House flipper or writer for the “The Onion.”

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Listen to your parents; they actually know what they are talking about.

Favorite local hangouts? White Lake Oaks Golf Course, MEX, Kennedy’s Irish Pub.

Favorite website?  Google and Michigan Court Rules online.

Favorite app? Facebook and Pandora.

Favorite music? ‘80s, Classic Rock and Old School Rap/R&B.

What is your happiest childhood memory?
Learn-ing to swim.

What is your most treasured material possession?
A scarf given to me as graduation gift.

 What do you wish someone would invent? More hours in a day.

What has been your favorite year so far and why? 2014; I was hired by Collins Einhorn Farrell and admitted to the United States Supreme Court.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula.

 If you could have one super power, what would it be? To read minds.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do?
Speak Armenian.

What is something most people don't know about you?
I’m right-hand dominant; however, I play sports (golf, baseball and hockey) left-handed.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? JFK, Michael Jordan, and Mary Barra. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? Good advice comes from bad experiences.

Favorite place to spend money? My hair stylist and any place that sells golf and running apparel. 

What is your motto? Never apologize for being who you are.

Which living person do you most admire? My parents.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
Making partner at my law firm.

What is the most unusual thing you have done?
I recently completed my first triathlon without any official training.

Would you like to be featured in a Get ro Know profile? E-mail


Subscribe to the Legal News!
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available