Melinda received her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin.

After her law school graduation, Melinda joined the litigation section of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in its Dallas office.  There she developed her skills representing parties in state and federal trials before focusing her practice on representing parties in arbitration.  Melinda began serving as an arbitrator during her years as an equity partner at Akin Gump, and then significantly expanded her ADR practice after becoming General Counsel for a client that controlled a wide range of business lines.  While General Counsel, Melinda gained valuable insights into the day-to-day practicalities of business operations, management, and decision-making.  Melinda's alternative dispute resolution practice grew during her years as a General Counsel, and she then turned her attention exclusively to alternative dispute resolution as her core practice.  She chairs panels and serves as sole arbitrator resolving domestic and international disputes of all types and complexities.


ADR Honors and Affiliations 

Melinda has been recognized for her talents by her peers and ADR institutions with which she works.  She is a Fellow in both the College of Commercial Arbitrators and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.  Among other honors, Melinda is a Texas Super Lawyer (a Thomson Reuters service) in Alternative Dispute Resolution in 2019 and has an AV 5.0 rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

The following arbitral institutions, among others, have appointed Melinda to leadership roles for the education of their arbitrators and development of their arbitration practices:

  •  American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA/ICDR):  Melinda has served repeatedly as a trainer of other arbitrators and as an in-person and webinar speaker for the AAA/ICDR 
  • American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA):  Dispute Resolution Review Board (deciding challenges to arbitrator appointment under AHLA Commercial Rule 4.4); Program Planning Committee (planning arbitration and mediation training for AHLA arbitrators and mediators)
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR):  Banking, Accounting, and Financial Services Panel Review Committee (reviewing and qualifying applicants to serve on CPR’s Banking, Accounting, and Financial Services panel); Economical Litigation Agreement Drafting Committee (drafting CPR’s economical litigation contract provision template and melding ADR processes into litigation of disputes by contract)

Melinda previously was appointed to the State Bar of Texas ADR Section Council and to the Professionalism Enhancement Program Committee established by the State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee. 

Speaking Presentations

Melinda's webinar and in-person arbitrator training programs for the AAA/ICDR generally focus on case management efficiency, new trends in ADR practice, and creating an understanding of the arbitration process for parties.  Some of these webinars may be accessible through the AAAU.org website.  

Melinda also has given presentations on ADR at multiple State Bar of Texas ADR Section and Dallas Bar Association ADR Section continuing legal education programs, as well as at law schools, industry-specific professional organizations, and civic groups.

Please contact Melinda for further information regarding her presentations, honors, and affiliations.