Melinda has focused on ADR practice since soon after she began representing parties as a law firm associate.
After receiving her BA degree in American Studies with highest honors from the University of Texas and her JD degree with honors from the University of Texas School of Law, 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 quickly 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 ADR 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 repeatedly for her talents by her peers and ADR institutions with which she works. Among other honors, she has been selected repeatedly to The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service) under "Arbitration", and is a Fellow in both the College of Commercial Arbitrators and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Melinda 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:
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.
Melinda is a frequent speaker at arbitrator training programs. Her webinar and in-person presentations for the AAA/ICDR, AHLA, and others 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, affiliations, and detailed resume.