Melissa A. Clarke

Melissa A. Clarke

Associate

Contact Info

Phone: (609) 452-3142
Fax: (609) 452-3122

Primary Office

Princeton
650 College Road East
Suite 4000
Princeton, NJ 08540-6603

Melissa A. Clarke

Associate

Melissa A. Clarke

Melissa Clarke concentrates her practice in the areas of environmental law and real estate transactions, with a particular focus on environmental litigation, penalty and enforcement matters, and cost recovery actions involving federal and state statutes and regulations such as CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA and New Jersey’s Spill Act.

In addition to counseling clients on regulatory compliance, Melissa assists clients in obtaining and defending state and federal environmental permits.  As a transactional attorney, Melissa has negotiated and drafted environmental contractual provisions in a wide variety of corporate and real property transactions.

Melissa’s environmental practice areas cover:

  • Complex allocations of liability among potentially responsible parties at Superfund Sites, including the Gowanus Canal, Passaic River, and Berry’s Creek sites.
  • Environmental due diligence and remediation liability risk assessment in real estate transactions.
  • Compliance with the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA).
  • Cost recovery and contribution claims under CERCLA and the New Jersey Spill Act.
  • Defense of New Jersey Spill Act, Environmental Rights Act and common law claims.
  • Assessment and defense of natural resource damages (NRD) claims under federal and state law.
  • Drafting site access agreements and environmental provisions in commercial real estate and corporate agreements.
  • Environmental land use compliance and permitting under federal and state law, including wetlands, waterfront development, coastal areas (CAFRA) and flood hazard areas.
  • Riparian (tidelands) rights and approvals.
  • Administrative law matters challenging and defending permit decisions.
  • Green Acres diversion application process.
  • Pinelands development credits. 

Melissa also represents title insurance underwriters, insureds and title insurance agencies in commercial and residential title related disputes and foreclosure actions.

Credentials and Accolades

Honors and Awards

Melissa A. Clarke was selected to 2021 to present list of The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch by Environmental Law. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Memberships and Affiliations

Volunteer Ambassador, NJ Sharing Network

Professional Women in Building

New Jersey State Bar Association, Environmental Section

Monmouth County Bar Association

The Justice Stewart G. Pollock Environmental American Inn of Court

CREW NJ (Commercial Real Estate Women of New Jersey)

Education

J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 2011

  • Maryland Journal of International Law
  • Best Brief, Paul Cordish Memorial Writing Competition
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Women's Bar Association
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund

B.A., summa cum laude, Washington and Lee University, 2006

Bar Admissions

New Jersey

Firm Involvement

Associates Committee

Clerkships

Judge Thomas W. Cavanagh, New Jersey Superior Court

Melissa Clarke concentrates her practice in the areas of environmental law and real estate transactions, with a particular focus on environmental litigation, penalty and enforcement matters, and cost recovery actions involving federal and state statutes and regulations such as CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA and New Jersey’s Spill Act.

In addition to counseling clients on regulatory compliance, Melissa assists clients in obtaining and defending state and federal environmental permits.  As a transactional attorney, Melissa has negotiated and drafted environmental contractual provisions in a wide variety of corporate and real property transactions.

Melissa’s environmental practice areas cover:

  • Complex allocations of liability among potentially responsible parties at Superfund Sites, including the Gowanus Canal, Passaic River, and Berry’s Creek sites.
  • Environmental due diligence and remediation liability risk assessment in real estate transactions.
  • Compliance with the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA).
  • Cost recovery and contribution claims under CERCLA and the New Jersey Spill Act.
  • Defense of New Jersey Spill Act, Environmental Rights Act and common law claims.
  • Assessment and defense of natural resource damages (NRD) claims under federal and state law.
  • Drafting site access agreements and environmental provisions in commercial real estate and corporate agreements.
  • Environmental land use compliance and permitting under federal and state law, including wetlands, waterfront development, coastal areas (CAFRA) and flood hazard areas.
  • Riparian (tidelands) rights and approvals.
  • Administrative law matters challenging and defending permit decisions.
  • Green Acres diversion application process.
  • Pinelands development credits. 

Melissa also represents title insurance underwriters, insureds and title insurance agencies in commercial and residential title related disputes and foreclosure actions.