Melissa A. Jones

Melissa A. Jones

Melissa A. Jones is a trial lawyer who provides experienced and practical counsel in complex business disputes, appellate matters and internal investigations. She has represented clients from a broad range of industries in complex civil litigation matters in both state and federal court, including the agribusiness, and oil and gas industries. Her practice includes an emphasis on Proposition 65 defense as well. Melissa’s experience includes litigating claims for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, misappropriation of trade secrets, products liability, false advertising and unfair competition. Melissa has helped clients at every stage of litigation and has argued key motions and appeals, including several arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Melissa also regularly defends companies in litigation claims related to California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (Proposition 65) and Unfair Competition Law (17200) and advises companies on Prop 65 compliance.

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A Prop. 65 Win for Winemakers: No Separate Warning Required for Inorganic Arsenic

This post was written by Melissa Jones and Tiffanie de la Riva for Stoel Rives’ Alcoholic Beverages Law blog. The California Court of Appeal recently handed a victory to winemakers, ruling that a specific Proposition 65 (“Prop. 65”) warning is not required regarding the presence of inorganic arsenic.  The lawsuit, Charles et al. v. Sutter Home Winery … Continue Reading

California Proposes Emergency Regulation to Ease the Prop 65 Warning Burden on Canned and Bottled Food and Beverage Products

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) added Bisphenol A (“BPA”) to the Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) list as a chemical known to cause reproductive toxicity, on May 11, 2015. Prop 65 provides companies with a one year grace period before having to comply with newly listed chemicals, meaning that as of May 11, … Continue Reading

California Attorney General Targets Prop. 65 Plaintiffs’ Settlement Terms

The California Office of the Attorney General is seeking to limit certain payment provisions common in Prop. 65 plaintiffs’ settlements with defendants. The proposed rulemaking, published September 25, 2015, would limit the sums payable to the plaintiffs “in lieu of” civil penalties (often referred to as “Additional Settlement Payments”), as well as require ongoing judicial … Continue Reading

California Prop 65 Update: OEHHA Issues Pre-Regulatory Proposals That Harm Existing Defenses

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) recently released several new pre-regulatory draft proposals regarding Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”). With one possible exception, the pre-regulatory draft proposals double down on the existing Prop 65 burden for companies doing business in California, and would make defending a Prop 65 action even more costly. In an … Continue Reading

New Proposed Proposition 65 Warning Requirements: What You Need To Know

The California Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) recently released its long anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing changes to the warning requirements under Proposition 65’s (“Prop 65”) implementing regulations. In summary, the proposed regulations would establish a new mandatory regulation regarding the responsibility of product manufacturers and others in the distribution chain … Continue Reading

OEHHA Issues Proposed Changes to the Prop 65 Warning Requirements

Last Friday, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a detailed pre-regulatory proposal that, if adopted, would result in significant changes to the warning requirements for Proposition 65.  For additional information, please see our Alert, which provides a summary of the proposed key modifications:  http://www.stoel.com/showalert.aspx?Show=11237… Continue Reading

New Wave of Prop 65 Notices Target Rice Industry

This week, Consumer Advocacy Group (CAG), a non-profit organization that files numerous Proposition 65 (Prop 65) lawsuits each year, issued notices of violation alleging that 15 companies violated California law by selling rice containing arsenic (and in some instances, lead) without a Prop 65 warning.  The notices targeted a wide a range of companies, from … Continue Reading

TDCPP- The Latest Target of Prop 65 Litigation

California’s Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) is notable for many reasons, one of which is that the Prop 65 list of chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer or reproductive harm is long (over 800 chemicals) and is ever-growing.  That being said, the vast majority of Prop 65 lawsuits and alleged violations only involve a handful … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Don’t Get Caught California Dreaming: The Proposition Trap

Join Stoel Rives attorney Melissa Jones for a webinar to help you avoid getting caught in the Proposition 65 trap. The webinar will cover significant regulatory and enforcement issues associated with Prop 65, including litigation, product testing, recent trends, and practical advice for compliance. When: Wednesday, October 10, 20129 – 10:30 a.m. Pacific11 a.m. – … Continue Reading

Save the Date: Join us for a Webinar on the Proposition 65 Trap

Save the Date for a webinar presented by Melissa Jones designed to help you avoid getting caught in the Proposition 65 trap. The webinar will cover significant regulatory and enforcement issues associated with Prop 65, including litigation, product testing, recent trends, and practical advice for compliance. Check back soon for more information and registration.… Continue Reading

CA State Agency Claims Nail Polish Contains Toxic Chemicals

As reported by the Associated Press, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) has issued a report claiming that nail polish has been sold in the State containing the chemicals toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and formaldehyde, which the agency has referred to as “the toxic trio.” The agency’s report noted that the use of the chemicals … Continue Reading

Proposition 65: New Director of OEHHA

Yesterday, Governor Brown appointed George Alexeeff as the Director of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) at the California EPA.  Alexeeff has been the deputy director since 1998 and has worked at the department since 1988.  He has a doctorate in pharmacology and toxicology from U.C. Davis. Among other duties, OEHHA is responsible … Continue Reading

First Prop 65 Notice of Violation Issued Regarding 4-MEI in Soft Drinks

A Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”) plaintiff has issued the first 60-Day Notice of Violation concerning 4-Methylimidazole (4-MEI).  4-MEI, a chemical compound used to make certain products, is one of the over 850 chemicals on California’s Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.  4-MEI was placed on the Prop 65 list in … Continue Reading

California AG sends new letter to Prop 65 plaintiffs’ bar

Yesterday the California Attorney General’s office sent a letter to the Proposition 65 plaintiffs’ bar regarding the use of releases in Proposition 65 cases.  The AG’s letter noted that it is concerned about releases in Prop 65 cases that have been given “in the public interest.”  The letter noted that these releases are typically problematic when they attempt … Continue Reading

Prop 65 Update- Lead in Brass Door Handles

Last month, I blogged about lead in brass handrails as a potential new Prop 65 trend.  The same plaintiff who issued the Proposition 65 notices concerning brass in handrails at amusement parks (the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation) has just issued another similar notice.  This time, the notice alleges that a large restaurant chain exposed California consumers … Continue Reading

Alleged Lead in Brass Hand Rails: Emerging Prop 65 Trend?

Several experienced Proposition 65 plaintiffs filed a high-profile Proposition 65 lawsuit in October regarding alleged lead at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.  The lawsuit alleged that various locations in Disneyland and California Adventure contain leaded brass, including hand rails, chains and line dividers, and various items that children are encouraged to play with (such as … Continue Reading

New CA Law Impacts Companies That Had Entered Into the Lead-in-Jewelry Consent Judgment

Governor Brown signed into law new legislation (SB 646-Pauley) that ends what has been described as a dual track system for enforcing California’s Lead Containing Jewelry Law (Health and Safety Codes Section 25214.1-25214.4.2).  The law, which regulates the levels of lead in jewelry, also contained an exemption for retailers that had joined a settlement in … Continue Reading

Prop 65: Cadmium Opt-In Deadline is October 21

A group of jewelry retailers, manufacturers and suppliers entered into a Proposition 65 settlement agreement with Center for Environmental Health (CEH) several months ago concerning cadmium in jewelry. The settlement was formalized in a consent judgment approved by Alameda Superior Court in CEH v. Aeropostale, Inc.  As in other Prop 65 consent judgments, this settlement … Continue Reading
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