Nicholas B. Melzer is an attorney in Holland & Knight’s Denver and Los Angeles offices. He represents individuals and businesses in a wide range of white collar and related litigation matters.

Mr. Melzer focuses his practice in the areas of fraud, civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act issues, professional negligence, antitrust and unfair competition, false claims and consumer protection. He has extensive experience in state and federal courts, both in trials and appeals.

In addition to his litigation experience, Mr. Melzer is a member of Holland & Knight’s Legal Profession Team. In that role, he advises lawyers, law firms and legal departments on a wide range of professional responsibility matters, including legal ethics, risk management and disciplinary issues. Mr. Melzer also has represented numerous clients in disciplinary proceedings before the California State Bar Court and in related litigation.

Mr. Melzer has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in White Collar Defense and Business Litigation by the Southern California Super Lawyers Magazine, a designation given to fewer than 2.5 percent of the attorneys in California.

Practice in Colorado temporarily authorized pending admission under C.R.C.P. 205.6.

Recent Representative Experience

White Collar Defense

  • Represented a military contractor accused of submitting inflated fuel surcharges in a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation and subsequent litigation of a False Claims Act qui tam action; successfully obtained dismissal of all claims after DOJ declined to intervene
  • Represented an executive of a Japanese auto parts manufacturer in a DOJ price-fixing and bid-rigging investigation who was ultimately "carved in" to the manufacturer's plea agreement and release
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a mobile-payment processing company after the termination of a high-ranking sales executive who was accused of self-dealing
  • Obtained a favorable informal resolution of embezzlement claims by a client's former employer

Professional Liability and Financial Services

  • Represented the former CEO of a failed bank's construction loan division through discovery and trial against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for claims of negligent loan origination
  • Prepared 19 former employees of a nationwide mortgage originator, including many high-ranking executives, for deposition and trial as third-party witnesses in a civil fraud case brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York against the successor bank
  • Achieved a settlement of professional liability claims brought by the FDIC against the former officers of a community bank, prior to the beginning of active litigation

Commercial/Securities Litigation

  • Represented a plaintiff real estate developer from discovery through a six-week jury trial in a breach of contract/fiduciary duty action; obtained a $110 million jury verdict, one of the largest in Arizona history
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of securities fraud claims brought against a former bank director for allegedly making false statements related to the bank's loan loss reserves in a private placement memorandum
  • Successfully obtained U.S. Supreme Court review and reversal of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit opinion regarding the subject matter jurisdiction of bankruptcy courts

Consumer Protection

  • Represented a former high-ranking bank executive in a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) investigation related to mortgage origination and sales practices
  • Conducted an internal investigation of alleged mobile "cramming" practices and a former employee's related "whistleblowing" activities


  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D.
  • Tufts University, M.A., Economics
  • Tufts University, B.A., Quantitative Economics and International Relations
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • California
  • Colorado
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section, White Collar Crime Committee
  • American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law
  • American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
Honors & Awards
  • Rising Star, Southern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2019
  • Olin Grant for Law and Economics, USC Law School
Spoken Languages
  • French
  • German


Speaking Engagements