Senior Litigation Counsel
Melinda Koster is a Partner in the New York Office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in New York, Washington, DC, California, Tennessee, and Maryland. She received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Pomona College and her law degree from Stanford Law School.
Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Ms. Koster clerked for the Honorable Julio M. Fuentes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and for the Honorable Esther Salas of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. She also served as a Law Fellow at Phillips & Cohen, LLP, where she worked primarily on qui tam and SEC whistleblower cases.
At Stanford Law School, Ms. Koster served as a Notes Editor for the Stanford Law Review and was the recipient of the Gerald Gunther Prize for Outstanding Performance in Employment Law. She also served as the Co-President of the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation and the Co-Chair of Stanford’s Law Students for Reproductive Justice chapter.
During law school, Ms. Koster participated in Stanford’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, where she represented a client facing removal proceedings and won a motion to terminate the proceedings. As a clinic student, she also worked on a long-term advocacy project involving the treatment of immigrant youth in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, Ms. Koster participated in Stanford’s Criminal Defense Clinic, where she represented indigent clients facing misdemeanor charges at various stages of their criminal proceedings. Ms. Koster spent her first summer interning at CAIR Coalition and her second summer interning at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
Before law school, Ms. Koster served as a corps member of AVODAH: The Jewish Services Corps. She worked as a legal assistant at CASA de Maryland, where she helped lawyers provide direct legal services to day laborers and domestic workers and delivered know-your-rights presentations.
- J.D., Stanford Law School, 2012
- B.A., Pomona College, 2006, summa cum laude
- Stanford Law School: Immigrants’ Rights Clinic; Criminal Defense Clinic
- Honorable Julio M. Fuentes, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Honorable Esther Salas, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- New York 2013
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
FOREST LABORATORIES GENDER DISCRIMINATION CLASS ACTION
In July 2012, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP filed a $100 million class action lawsuit against Forest Laboratories, Inc., and Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Forest”) in federal court in New York, alleging, among other claims, that Forest discriminates against its female Sales Representatives by paying them less than their male counterparts. The Plaintiffs also allege claims of failure to promote, discrimination based on pregnancy and maternity leave, sexual harassment, and retaliation. In 2014, the Court denied Forest’s attempt to dismiss the Plaintiffs’ claims, and in 2015 the Court conditionally certified a class under the Equal Pay Act (EPA). Read More
JAMAICA COLOSSEUM MALL GENDER DISCRIMINATION CASE
The complaint alleges that two supervisors of the mall’s cleaning and security staff sexually assaulted, threatened, and stalked one of their employees, Sandra Douglas, as she tried to perform her job duties. When Ms. Douglas complained, the mall fired her. The Complaint further alleges that two months into her employment at JCM, the supervisor of JCM’s security team also began to sexually harass Ms. Douglas. Read More