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A graduate of Harvard Law School, Melinda returned to her native Wisconsin. Initially with Foley and Lardner, Melinda has developed a practice focused on trial and appellate representation of businesses and business leaders faced with critical litigation challenges. Her experience encompasses all phases of the litigation process, from investigation through discovery, motion practice and trial and appeal as well as alternative dispute resolution.

Melinda has successfully litigated trial and appellate cases in federal courts, most notably the Seventh Circuit, in Wisconsin state courts and also courts in other states under pro hac vice admission, for the duration of the legal proceeding.

In addition to her general trial and appellate litigation practice, Melinda has represented railroads in a number of litigation actions involving the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), crossing accidents, and in related federal preemption litigation.

Melinda also assists business owners with estate planning and trust and estate matters, working to create estate plans tailored to their individual requirements, from wills and powers of attorney to establishing complex trust arrangements. She has also represented personal representatives in probate proceedings. She represents commercial landlords in eviction proceedings, lease negotiations and documentation, as well as in wider landlord/tenant counsel and litigation concerning the issues that arise in the course of operating a commercial property portfolio.

Her accomplishments include:

  • Representing a major interstate railroad in defense of multi-million dollar Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claims.
  • Successfully litigation multiple defenses of premises liability claims on behalf of commercial property owners.
  • Counseling trustees on issues encountered in the daily administration and windup of multi-million dollar trusts.
  • Appointed trustee administering multi-million dollar trusts.
  • Represented personal representatives in complex probate proceedings.
  • Successful defense of a corporation against a seven figure Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claim.

Practice Areas

  • Appellate Practice
  • Arbitration & Mediation
  • Business Litigation
  • Business Transactions
  • Complex Litigation
  • Contract Law
  • Federal Employers Liability Act
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Real Estate
  • Trusts & Estates

Bar Admissions

  • Wisconsin
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Western District of Wisconsin
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals


  • Harvard Law School, J.D. (1999)
    Member, Harvard Defenders, a student practice organization providing free representation to low-income defendants in criminal show-cause hearings before clerk-magistrates. 1996-1997
  • Lawrence University, B.A., magna cum laude (1996)
    Phi Beta Kappa
    Wristen Merit Scholar
    Kimberly Clark Merit Scholar

Representative Published Works

  • “Mitigation of Damages,” Ch. 30, THE LAW OF DAMAGES IN WISCONSIN, Vol. III; 5th Ed., Pinnacle Books, State Bar of Wisconsin, 2010 – Current

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association
  • Fairchild Inns of Court
  • Seargent’s Inn

Leadership Positions

  • Member of the Board of Directors – the Eastern District Bar Assn
  • Co-chair of the Civil Practice Committee - the Eastern District Bar Assn.
  • Member, Wisconsin Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee 2005-2007
  • Trustee, Immanuel Presbyterian Church 2005-2008