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Melissa J Totaro

Consumer protection Attorney at Fairfield, NJ

5.0   2 reviews
  • Licensed for 30 years
    State NJ
    Acquired 1993
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Melissa

Learn Melissa’s areas of practice.

Practice area
  1. Consumer protection
    We represent clients who have been subjected to fraudulent, unfair, unconscionable or otherwise illegal practices by automobile dealers, mortgage lenders and servicers, service contract companies, insurers, debt collectors and all other types of businesses.

    30 years

My law partner Madeline Houston and I represent consumers across New Jersey in cases involving consumer fraud by automobile dealers, finance entities, landlords, wedding venues and other types of businesses; predatory lending; mortgage servicing abuse, and violations of  federal and state consumer protection laws.  While we are located in Essex County, we use a combination of telephone conferences, Zoom conferences and e-mail communications, as well as face to face meetings, to obtain the information we need to make informed decisions about a case.  We accomodate clients from all counties, and appear in courts throughout the state of New Jersey, state and federal.  


Houston & Totaro, 277 Fairfield Rd. Suite 200, Fairfield, NJ 07004
Email: [email protected]; Tel. 973-228-6200
Fairfield, NJ, 07004


5.0 / 5.0
  2 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by anonymous | September 27, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Most Helpful and Understanding
There was a major collection company which had a default judgement against me for a credit card debt that was paid. After providing countless documentation was unable to resolve the issue. I posted on Avvo a general question and received responses back quickly. Melissa Totaro agreed to review my documents; she represented me in the court on a contingency basis and got the default judgment vacated. Melissa was very understanding to my circumstances. Could not have been more pleased with the way she handled my situation.
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Posted by anonymous | December 7, 2013
The best lawyer ever!!!
When I first got to Melissa's office and explained my situation to her the firs thing she said was "it sounds like you have a case" She wasted no time, she pulled out her pen and pad started asking me questions, writing notes and wanted any and all evidence that I had with me at the time. Not only did she believe in my case but she asked for no money upfront which was a blessing to me. Right then i knew she would fight tooth and nail for me. She explained how things would go and what to be prepared for. Throughout the next several months she called and emailed me every step of the way. Any questions she had, updates, or new news she always kept me in the loop. Melissa is very upfront, knowledgeable, and precise with everything. My lawyers fought to make sure everything turned out for the better. So if you are looking for a lawyer who will go above and beyond and will not take no for an answer than look no further You are most certainly in the right hands.
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  • Free Consultation 15 minutes


AVVO RATING 7.3 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Partner
  • Houston & Totaro
  • 1999 - Present
  • Staff Attorney - Consumer Law Unit
  • Passaic County Legal Aid Society
  • 1994 - 1998
  • Judicial Law Clerk
  • NJ Superior Court
  • 1993 - 1994


  • Rutgers University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1993
  • Rutgers University, Newark
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1988

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Sandra Smith v. Hillside Village, 279 F. Supp. 3d 537 (D.N.J. 2017)
  • Plaintiff-tenant prevailed on motion
  • Anthony D’Agostino v. Ricardo Maldonado, 216 N.J. 168 (2013)
  • New Jersey Supreme Court held in accord with arguments in amicus brief
  • Laufer v. The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York, 385 N.J. Super. 172 (App. Div. 2006)
  • Insured prevailed on appeal
View all legal cases


  • National Association of Consumer Advocates
  • Member
  • 2002 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Attorney endorsements

Received (3)
Given (2)
Endorse Melissa
Consumer protection Attorney | Dec 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Melissa Totaro is an exceptional attorney who is highly experienced in consumer-related matters. I endorse her wholeheartedly."
Consumer protection Attorney | Nov 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I strongly endorse these lawyers. Madeline and Melissa are outstanding attorneys committed to helping the consumers of New Jersey. They are experienced, knowledgeable, and ethical. I have worked with them on several cases and they always get the best possible results for their clients. You will not find better advocates. Patricia M. Timlen, Esq. Northeast New Jersey Legal Services"
Consumer protection Attorney | Oct 25
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Melissa is a solid committed consumer attorney. Together with her partner, Melissa has litigated several important cases which resulted in reported decisions which have advanced the law for all consumers. Melissa is thorough and smart -- just what you want in a lawyer!"
Fairfield Consumer protection Lawyer Melissa J Totaro
Melissa J Totaro
Consumer protection Attorney
Fairfield, NJ
Licensed for 30 years
Free Consultation