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 - Freedom of Access lawsuit
- Berry v. City of South Portland, 525 F. Supp. 2s 214 (D. Me. 2007) - Sexual 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
- 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
- ILAP, Pro Bono Panel
- Diversity Law Institute, Member
- Katahdin Counsel (2012-2014)
- Best Lawyers
- Super Lawyers-Employment & Labor, General Litigation, Schools & Education, Top 50 Women (2007-2013)
- Fellow, America's Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
- Chambers USA-Labor & Employment, Litigation
- Benchmark Litigation - Litigation Star; Top 250 Women in Litigation nationwide (2014)
- American College of Trial Lawyers; First Maine Woman inducted
Twenty-Two Drummond Woodsum Attorneys Selected For 2014 Super Lawyers List
October 15, 2014
Drummond Woodsum Attorneys Are Recognized by The Maine Supreme Judicial Court as Katahdin Counsel
October 10, 2014
Drummond Woodsum Successfully Challenges the Constitutionality of Maine’s Election Laws
September 1, 2014
Melissa Hewey Recognized As a Distinguished Female Litigator in Benchmark Litigation
June 1, 2014
Best Trial Lawyers video features Melissa Hewey
April 24, 2014
How Municipalities in Maine Should Address the Maine Supreme Court's Recent Decision on Transgender Access to Sex Separated Facilities
March 28, 2014
- Co-author Maine School Law, 4th Edition (2012)
Title IX and Sexual Aggression in Your Schools - Maine
Co-Presenter, SchoolLaw.com, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME, April 8, 2015
Title IX and Sexual Aggression in Your Schools - New Hampshire
Co-Presenter, SchoolLaw.com, Executive Court Banquet Facility, Manchester, NH, April 3, 2015
Surviving the Matrix: Supervising Staff and Students in the E-World
Co-Presenter, SchoolLaw.com in partnership with the Maine Principals’ Association, MPA’s Annual Fall Conference, Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME, November 20, 2014
Transgender Students, Allergies, and Service Animals: What's a Board to Do?
Presenter, Maine School Management Association (MSMA), MSMA Fall Conference, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME, October 24, 2014
Charting Unchartered Waters: Accommodating Transgender Students in Public Schools
Presenter, National School Boards Association, School Law Practice Seminar, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO, October 9-11, 2014
Playing by the Rules: Sports, Schools and the Law in Maine
Co-Presenter, SchoolLaw.com, Workshop, Augusta Civic Center, Augusta, ME, August 14, 2014
Maine School Law Summer Institute 2014
Presenter, Maine Principals' Association and Maine School Management Association in Partnership With Drummond Woodsum, Thomas College, Waterville, ME, July 22-25, 2014
Be True to Your Rules – Ensuring Booster Club Compliance with the Law
Presenter, SchoolLaw.com, Webinar, May 20, 2014
Transgender Youth in Maine Public Schools
Co-Presenter, SchoolLaw.com, Webinar, February 27, 2014
Crisis in the Classroom!
Workshop Leader, SchoolLaw.com in partnership with the Maine Principals’ Association, MPA’s Annual Fall Conference, Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, ME, November 21, 2013