Neli Kharbedia is an associate in the General Defense Litigation Practice Group at Tressler LLP. Neli is an active member of our national Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She focuses her practice on litigating defense matters and insurance coverage disputes including various business lines.
Neli received her J.D. from Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University with honors and currently works out of Tressler's New Jersey and New York offices.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the Republic of Georgia. Yes - there is a country called Georgia. I was 16 years old when I moved to the U.S. but kept strong ties with my native country.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Georgian Cheesy Bread. If you haven’t tried it, call me!
What was your first job?
My first job was what they used to call a “floor model” for Abercrombie and Fitch.
What is on your bucket list?
I would love to ride a camel into the Sahara Desert in Morocco and sleep beneath the Saharan stars.
What is your favorite travel spot?
Italy - nothing beats an Italian summer.
Neli, her husband, Giorgi, and daughter, Nita, in Italy.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I don’t really remember when or why I decided to become an attorney, but I know why I enjoy being one. This profession provides you with emotional rewards. I get a great deal of satisfaction from being challenged. My work involves litigating interesting and complex cases. Being a lawyer further allows me to gain and grow various skills.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
A typical workday usually involves analyzing policies, drafting coverage opinions, position letters, pleadings, motions, preparing discovery, legal research, etc.
What do you like most about Tressler?
I love my team in both the Morristown, NJ and New York, NY offices. I work with a small group with big hearts. Every person in my group is genuinely interested in helping me be my best.
What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?
I am most proud of achieving a healthy work-life balance between the demands of my career and the demands of my personal life. When I see how brave and intelligent my daughter is, I know I’m on the right path. I am also very proud of how far I have come professionally, especially because English is my third language and I was raised in a very different culture.
Do you have a unique personal story to share with us?
In August of 2008, I was a 19 year old standing in a church about to get married in my native country. Along with wedding bells, we could hear warplanes flying above us and bombs falling from the sky around our capital. That night, I left Georgia to flee the war. There was no wedding ceremony. No celebration.
During times of uncertainty, one thing was certain - my marriage would lead to “happily ever after”. I saw my husband a year later. This summer we will celebrate our 14-year-wedding anniversary. Nietzsche wrote “Out of life’s school of war - what doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”; I became bulletproof.