Melissa Needle


Attorney Needle is willing to fight for what she believes is right and she will protect you and your family through all your divorce and family law issues.

Alexander J. Cuda


Alexander J. Cuda is a partner at Needle | Cuda (formerly the Law Office of Melissa Needle) where he practices family and matrimonial law. Alex is an experienced negotiator and advocate whether in litigation, mediation, or arbitration. He also provides representation in family and matrimonial appeals. Alex emphasizes the importance of vigorous advocacy, communication, responsiveness, and personalized representation and understanding of each client's needs. He handles both custody and financial matters. Representative cases have included relocation of parents with children, valuations of closely held businesses, substance abuse / addiction / mental health issues, disposition of intellectual property rights in the marital estate, and challenges to and enforcement of premarital agreements.

Alex's leadership in the family law bar is well-recognized. He actively publishes and speaks on family law issues. Alex lives with his family in Fairfield County.


J.D., LL.M., Tulane University Law School, 2003, 2004
      · Senior Articles Editor, Journal of Law & Sexuality
      · Moot Court National Appellate Competition Team
      · Senior Fellow, Legal Research and Writing

B.A., Cornell University, Comparative Literature (magna cum laude) and Latin, 2000


Connecticut, 2004
U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, 2006


Connecticut Bar Association
      · Secretary, Family Law Section, 2017-2018
      · Treasurer, Family Law Section, 2016 - 2017
      · Executive Committee, Family Law Section, 2010 - present
      · Amicus Committee Chair, Family Law Section, 2014 - present
      · Presentation of case law updates to the Family Law Section, 2012 - 2017
      · Service on various committees addressing issues including family law arbitration, alimony reform, and premarital and postnuptial agreements

Fairfield County Bar Association
      · FCBA Board of Directors, 2015 - present
      · Family Law Committee, Co-Chair, 2017 - present
      · Bench/Bar Committee, Co-Chair, 2014 - 2017
      · MCLE Committee, 2016
      · Professionalism Symposium Committee, 2016

Greater Bridgeport Bar Association
      · Family Law Section
American Bar Association
      · Family Law Section


National Academy of Family Law Attorneys, 2017, "Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in Southern Connecticut"
"New Leader in the Law," Connecticut Law Tribune 2014
"Rising Star," SuperLawyers 2012 - present
"Rising Star," Connecticut Bar Association Family Law Section, 2010-2011
Connecticut Bar Association Pro Bono Award, recipient, 2009
10 Star "Superb" Featured Attorney Rating by Avvo


Houston Family Law Trial Institute, 2012
Connecticut Bar Association Appellate Advocacy Institute, 2012
Connecticut Guardian ad Litem / Attorney for Minor Children Certification Training, 2009-2010


Special Master, Bridgeport Superior Court
Co-Associate Editor, Connecticut Family Lawyer
Judge, Yale Mock Trial Tournament, 2005, 2006


· "Court Time is Valuable - Don't Waste It," (with Jacob Pyetranker), Connecticut Law Tribune, 5/12/17.
· "Confidentiality Agreements Can Keep Cases Moving," Connecticut Law Tribune, 11/24/15
· "Connecticut Supreme Court Restricts Alimony, Limits Discretion" (with Arnold H. Rutkin), Connecticut Law Tribune, 1/20/15
Author of chapter on alimony in A Practical Guide to Divorce in Connecticut, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., 1st Edition 2013, Publication Date: 1/6/14 (Updated publication of treatise chapter pending)
· "The Myth of Alimony Reform" (with Arnold H. Rutkin), Connecticut Law Tribune, 8/20/12
· "Crews-ing Away from Equity and Back Again: Enforcement of Premarital Agreements in Connecticut," Connecticut Family Lawyer, Summer 2012
· "Conservators Can Pursue Divorces on Behalf of Wards" (with David W. Griffin), Connecticut Law Tribune, 8/15/11
· "Representing Children in Connecticut Family Court: Examining the Roles and Anticipating the Problems" (by Arnold H. Rutkin with Alexander J. Cuda), Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Seminar "How to Do Everything Better From Managing Your Clients, Cases and Employing Experts," 5/26/10


· "Essentials of Family Law" (with Judge Lynda Munro (ret.), Amy MacNamara, Dara Goings, and Eva DeFranco) -- Connecticut Bar Association, 11/8/17
· "Annual Review of Developments in Family Law" (with Aidan Welsh and Steven Dembo) - Connecticut Bar Association 2017 Annual Meeting/Connecticut Legal Conference, 6/12/17
· "Taking, Defending, and Utilizing Depositions" (with Christopher McCormack and Adam Blank) - Fairfield County Bar Association, 5/24/17
· "The Automatic Orders: How to Avoid Problems and What to Do When They Happen" (with Andy Eliot and Ross Kaufman) - Fairfield County Bar Association, 1/26/17
· "Update on Connecticut Practice Book Revisions Effective January 1, 2017) - Connecticut Bar Association Family Law Section Meeting, 1/10/17
· "Annual Review of Developments in Family Law" (with Aidan Welsh, Steven Dembo and Louise Truax) - Connecticut Bar Association 2016 Annual Meeting/Connecticut Legal Conference, 6/13/16
· "Prejudgment Remedies in Family Cases" - Connecticut Bar Association Practice Tips video presentation, Episode #6, 4/1/16
· "Annual Review of Family Law Cases" (with Aidan Welsh and Steven Dembo) - Connecticut Bar Association 2015 Annual Meeting / Connecticut Legal Conference, 6/15/15
· Special presentation on Dan v. Dan and McKeon v. Lennon at CBA Family Law Section Executive Committee meeting, 2/10/15
· "Family Law Arbitration: How It Works, How It Can Benefit Clients and Counsel, and What to Expect from the Arbitrator" - Moderator for Fairfield County Bar Association Seminar, 1/7/15
· "Synopsis and Analysis of Connecticut Supreme Court Decision in Olson v. Mohammadu (SC 18963)" - Connecticut Bar Association Family Law Section Meeting, 1/14/14
· "Changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct and Practice Book" - Connecticut Bar Association Family Law Section Meeting, 11/12/13
· "Annual Review of New Developments in Family Law" (with Campbell D. Barrett) - Connecticut Bar Association 2013 Annual Meeting, 6/17/13
· "A Survey of New England Family Cases Involving Business Valuation" (by Arnold H. Rutkin with Alexander J. Cuda), AAML New England 2013 Regional Symposium, 5/4/13
· "Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements in Family Law Cases: Drafting, Litigating, and Getting It Done" (with Allen Gary Palmer) - Connecticut Bar Association and Fairfield County Bar Association joint CLE, 3/20/13
· "A Limited Comparison of Alimony Guidelines Methodology: Massachusetts Statutes, Raised Bill 5509 (Connecticut), and the AAML Commission Recommendations" (with various panelists) - Connecticut Bar Association Annual Meeting, 6/11/12
· "Use of a Mental Health Expert at Trial" (by Arnold H. Rutkin with Alexander J. Cuda) - Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Advanced Custody Seminar, 5/18/12
· "An Overview of Property Division and Spousal Support Regimes in the United States" (by Sarah S. Oldham with Alexander J. Cuda) - International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Meeting, September 2010

Contact Info

T: (203) 557-9500
F: (203) 557-9504
V: Download V-card

Law Office of Melissa Needle
830 Post Road East, Suite 101
Westport, CT 06880
t: (203) 557-9500
f: (203) 557-9504