Melissa A. Hewey


Melissa Hewey is Drummond Woodsum’s Practice Group Leader for School and Local Government, and is a member of the Trial Services Group, focusing her practice on insurance defense, school law, higher education law, employment matters, and general commercial litigation.

She appears regularly before state and federal courts in Maine and New Hampshire as well as administrative agencies such as the Maine Human Rights Commission and New Hampshire Department of Labor. Melissa provides training to public and private entities throughout Maine and New Hampshire on a wide range of topics including sexual harassment, affirmative action, diversity and investigation technologies.

Melissa has been elected as a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America's Trial Lawyer Honorary Society. She has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for over ten years in the categories of Employment Law-Management, Education Law, Labor and Employment Litigation, Municipal Litigation and Commercial Litigation. In 2014, Melissa was named Maine's Education Lawyer of the Year and in 2012 she was named Maine’s Best Lawyer of the Year in the category of Employment Law-Management. Melissa has also been selected by New England Super Lawyers as one of the top 50 female lawyers and Benchmark Litigation has recognized Melissa as a Litigation Star in Maine as well as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation nationwide. She has also been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition in the Labor and Employment Law category. In addition, she is listed in Chambers USA, an independent guide to the top lawyers in the U.S., under the categories of Employment Defense and Commercial Litigation. She is also the first woman in the State of Maine to be inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Doe v. Regional School Unit 26, 2014 ME 11, 86 A.3d 800 – Access to restroom claim by transgender student.
  • Bailey v. State of Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, 900 F. Supp. 2d 75 (D. Me. 2012) – First Amendment claim relating to political speech.
  • Godin v. Machiasport School Department, 844 F. Supp. 2d 163 (D. Me. 2012) – School funding and administrator lay-off.
  • Board of Overseers v. Warren,  2011 ME 124, 34 A.3d 1103 – Attorney discipline case.
  • Smith v. Maine School Administrative District No. 6, et al., USDC Civil Action No. 00-00284-GC, (Defendants) - disability discrimination case; verdict for defendant
  • Blethen Maine Newspapers, Inc. v. Portland School Committee, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Docket No. CUM-07-522. The Law Court vacated a superior court ruling that the Portland School Committee held an executive session in violation of Maine's Freedom of Access statute.
  • Cookson v. Brewer School Department, 2009 ME 57, 974 A.2d 276 – Sexual orientation discrimination claim by coach.
  • Cyr v. Madawaska School District, 2007 ME 28, 916 A.2d 967 - The Court ruled that the school district complied with Maine’s Freedom of Access Act by releasing to the public a redacted copy of an investigation report. The redactions, which related to the “personal history, general character or conduct” of school employees, were exempt from disclosure.
  • Berry v. City of South Portland, 525 F. Supp. 2d 214 (D. Me. 2007) - Sex discrimination case brought by female deputy police chief against City; summary judgment for defendant
  • Kropp v. Maine School Administrative District #44, 471 F. Supp. 2d 175 (2007) - Disability discrimination claims asserted by student with multiple chemical sensitivities; summary judgment for defendant
  • Ms. K v. City of South Portland, 407 F. Supp. 2d 290 (D. Me. 2006) - Disability discrimination and tort claims brought by student against ; summary judgment for defendant
  • McCarthy v. Town of Kennebunkport, 366 F. Supp. 2d 165 (D. Me. 2005) (Defendants) – Section 1983 selective enforcement and tort claims; judgment for defendant
  • Millien v. Colby College, et al., 2005 ME 66, 874 A.2d 397 (Defendant) – contract claim involving student disciplinary process; judgment for defendant
  • Fitzpatrick v. Town of Falmouth, et al., 2005 ME 97, 879 A.2d 21 – (Defendants) - public accommodations and disability discrimination claim brought be home schooled student relating to use of school playground; judgment for defendants
  • Town of Charleston v. Sch. Admin. Dist. No. 68, 2002 ME 95, 798 A.2d 102, (Defendant) – claim for injunctive relief as a result of school closing; judgment for defendant
  • Forrest Associates v. Passamaquoddy Tribe, 760 A.2d 1041 (Me. 2000) (Defendant)
  • Lewiston Sun Journal v. MSAD No. 43, 1999 WL826120 (Defendant) – Freedom of Access claim; judgment for defendant
  • Taliento v. Portland West Neighborhood Ass’n, 1999 ME 194, 705 A.2d 696 (Defendant) – employment at will case; judgment for defendant
  • Hasenfus v. LaJeunesse, 175 F.3d 68, No. 98-2149 (1st Cir. 1999) (Defendant) – Section 1983 claim regarding student suicide; judgment for defendant
  • Woodhouse v. Maine Com’n on Govermental Ethics and Election Practices, 2014 WL 4198381 – Constitutional challenge to Maine’s contribution limits to independent candidates.


  • University of Maine School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1987
  • Wesleyan University, B.A., 1980

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Maine
  • New Hampshire
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maine
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Passamaquoddy Tribal Court


  • Trial Law Institute, Member
  • College of School Attorneys
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Maine State Bar Association
  • Maine Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Maine Trial Lawyers Association

Community/Public Service

  • ILAP, Pro Bono Panel


  • Employment Law-Management Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) (2016 and 2012)
  • Education Law Lawyer of the Year, Portland, ME (Awarded by Best Lawyers) (2014)
  • Top 50 Women (Awarded by New England Super Lawyers) (2007-2014)
  • New England Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor (2007-2015)
  • Best Lawyers USA
    • Bet-the-Company Litigation (2015-2016)
    • Employment Law-Management (2011-2016)
    • Litigation-Labor and Employment (2011-2016)
    • Litigation-Municipal (2011-2016)
    • Commercial Litigation (2008-2016)
    • Education Law (2008-2016)
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Local Litigation Star (2013-2015)
    • Top 250 Women in Litigation (2012-2014)
  • Chambers USA, Maine
    • Labor & Employment
    • Litigation: General Commercial
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent
  • Katahdin Counsel, Honoring Pro Bono Legal Services in Maine (2012-2014) 
  • American College of Trial Attorneys, Awarded Fellow
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Awarded Fellow




  • Co-author Maine School Law, 4th Edition (2012)