Melissa Osorio Dibble concentrates her practice in the area of Estate and Trust Litigation in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Melissa has handled all varieties of probate, general equity, and Orphans’ Court matters, including, but not limited to accountings, will contests, breach of fiduciary duty actions, trust modifications, and matters involving the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act and the Slayer Statute. Melissa has represented a variety of institutions and individuals, including banks, universities, executors, trustees, beneficiaries of estates and trusts, and intestate heirs.
Melissa is the immediate past president of the Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern New Jersey. She is a frequent speaker on topics regarding estate and trust litigation and has authored articles on the doctrine of writings intended as wills and the Uniform Trust Code.
Prior to joining Archer, Melissa served as the law clerk for the Honorable Richard F. Wells in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden Vicinage.
Melissa received her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law-Camden. She was the recipient of the Archer Diversity Scholarship during her tenure at Rutgers. During law school, Melissa was the President of the Association for Public Interest Law (APIL); articles editor for the Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy; and a member of the Domestic Violence Clinic. During her first year, she received recognition as the Best Appellant Oral Argument in her Legal Analysis Writing & Research course. Melissa was a Marshall Brennan Fellow, teaching Constitutional Law to students at Camden High School.
- Successfully obtained dismissal of a will challenge on the return date on behalf of an executor.
- Handled the termination of several uneconomical charitable trusts for a corporate trustee.
- Served as co-counsel defending an agent under a power of attorney in Orphans’ Court.
- Represented a University in several successful applications to modify scholarships and prize funds under UPMIFA.
- Obtained countless settlements on behalf of individuals and institutions regarding disputes as to fiduciary compensation, fiduciary removal actions, and will and trust disputes.
Professional and Community Involvement
- Probate & Fiduciary Litigation Co-Chair, American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law (Vice-Chair: 2020-2021; 2021-2022; Co-Chair: 2022-2023)
- Immediate Past President, Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern New Jersey
- Member of the Inaugural Class of the Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- New Jersey Women Lawyers
- Camden County Bar Association, Probate & Trust Committee
- Burlington County Bar Association
- Pennsylvania State Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association, Probate & Trust Section
- Member, Samaritan’s Healthcare & Hospice Planned Giving Committee
- Board Member, Interfaith Caregivers of Haddonfield, NJ (nonprofit organized to assist seniors with independent living)
- Board Member, CONTACT Community Helplines (nonprofit agency staffed by trained and dedicated volunteers, and supported by the United Way (2013-2016)
- Mock Trial Coach for Paul VI High School (2011-2015)
- Homeless Advocacy Project Volunteer-Pro Bono Representation of Veterans (2011-2015)
Awards and Recognition
- Named to New Jersey Law Journal “New Leader of the Bar” (2022)
- Named a “Top Attorney” for Wills, Estates & Trusts by SJ Magazine (2020, 2021)
- Probate & Property Magazine’s Excellence in Writing Award (2014)
Articles and Presentations
- “Evidence in Trust and Estate Litigation,” NJICLE, (August 2021)
- “Developing Trends in Probate Litigation,” Constitutional Officers Association of New Jersey, Surrogates’ Section (August 2020)
- “Toss the Blue-Backs and Sealing Wax, Electronic Wills Are Here! Or Are They?,” American Bar Association Annual Real Property, Trust & Estate Law National CLE Conference (May 2020)
- “Estate and Trust Fiduciary Litigation: Minimizing and Defending Breach of Duty Claims” Webinar (February 27, 2020)
- “Evidence Issues for Trust & Estate Litigation,” Camden County Bar Association (2019)
- “Wills and Estate Planning Workshop,” The Samaritan Center at Voorhees (2019)
- “Hot Trends in Estate Litigation,” CCBA (2018)
- “Fiduciary Litigation Update,” Greater Middlesex/Somerset County Estate Planning Council (2018)
- “The Final Frontier: Concerns and Considerations of Electronic Wills Seminar,” EFPCSNJ (2018)
- “Hot Trends in Estate Litigation; Seven Deadly Claims,” Archer Annual Estate Litigation Seminar (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- “Wills Seminar,” The Samaritan Center at Voorhees (2017)
- “Guardianship Update From The Surrogate’s Office,” Camden County Bar Association (2017)
- “A Case Study on the UTC,” Society of Financial Service Professionals (2017)
- “Charitable Bequests: How to Make Them Last,” Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice (2017)
- “Recent Developments in Trust Law: New Jersey Enacts the Uniform Trust Code,” Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey Connection Newsletter (2016)
- “Hot Trends in Probate Litigation,” Camden County Bar Association Annual Forum (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
- “What We’ve Learned So Far Under Uniform Trust Code,” Burlington County Bar Association (2016)
- “What’s in a Name: Writings Intended as Wills (co-author),” ABA Probate & Property (2014)
- “No Signature Required: NJ Leads the Way with Writings Intended as Wills,” New Jersey Law Journal (2013)
- “Federal Exception to Probate Litigation, Fiduciary Litigation, Ethics & Malpractice Committee,” ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section