Melissa Comras, a thirty-something over-achiever, has been a “Rising Star” four years running. Rated by Super Lawyers® and licensed since 2004, she is currently a shareholder at Jacksonville-based Hiday and Ricke, P.A., a collections litigation and subrogation law firm.
But Melissa’s career path to becoming a lawyer wasn’t intentional. She only pursued a law degree after asking a college professor for a letter of recommendation so she could go for her masters in psychology. Foreseeing her “calling,” he would only recommend her for law school. It was a “take-it-or-leave-it deal.”
So, that’s what she did. After graduating from the University of Central Florida (UCF), she was accepted at William Mitchell College of Law.
As hobbies go, Melissa plays piano and always wanted to play guitar. While in law school, she mastered the video game Guitar Hero, however she admits failing miserably at the real thing. Hard to imagine Melissa could really fail at anything. Maybe she’s just a bit hard on herself.
Diversified in her interests, Melissa speaks broken French (in addition to native English), likes to read, loves her Mac computer, and has a 5-year-old son.
Enjoying our friendly chat, I felt as if this outgoing, intelligent woman was someone I could hang out with––chatting about anything and everything. At some point, our conversation veered toward reminiscing about unforgettable life moments.
Turns out, Melissa went to school with former Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions football star, Daunte Culpepper, when he was a rookie running back at UCF. She met the Motor City Cobra, Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns, at a fundraiser in Hollywood, Florida, and has hobnobbed with other well-knowns like Pete Yorn, Jesse Ventura and Alan Dershowitz. After winning concert tickets, she got backstage passes to meet Sarah McLachlan and Indigo Girls, too.
In the professional arena, Melissa is a member of the Florida Bar, B’nai B’rith Justice Unit, National Association of Subrogation Professionals and co-chair of the Florida chapter. For the past eight years, she has worked out of Hiday and Ricke’s Ft. Lauderdale office, where her primary focus is major insurance subrogation matters, including litigation––from pre-suit through post-judgment recovery, including compliance and judgment collections. Prior to her move to Hiday and Ricke, she was staff counsel at Ocean Harbor Casualty Insurance Company.
Being an attorney these days has changed quite a bit, Melissa admits. Gone are the days of photocopies, fax machines and paper files. Email and texting are here to stay.
As all good things do, our conversation had to come to an end. Meeting Melissa was a pleasure.
Author: Carolyn Klucha