Melissa Hewey is the chair of the firm's School and Local Government Group, 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 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 and Partners’ USA Guide, an independent guide to the top lawyers in the United States, 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.
Melissa regularly presents at seminars for school personnel and board members on a variety of school law topics and at continuing legal education seminars for lawyers on employment and litigation topics. She is a contributing author of Maine School Law (Fourth Edition 2012), is the author of numerous School Law Advisory articles, and has written and acted in three training videos for school districts.
Melissa is also deeply committed to proving pro bono services to those in need. She is on the pro bono panel of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project where she represents applicants for asylum before the U.S. Immigration Court. She also provides pro bono representation to Maine Center on Deafness and serves clients through Maine’s Volunteer Lawyers Project.
- J.D., University of Maine School of Law (1987) (magna cum laude)
- B.A. Wesleyan University (1980)
- Admitted in Maine and New Hampshire
- Admitted to practice before the courts in the States of Maine and New Hampshire, the United States District Courts for the District of Maine and New Hampshire, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Passamaquoddy Tribal Court.
- Fellow, American College of Trial Attorneys
- Fellow, Maine Bar Foundation
- Maine Bar Association
Representative Clients and Matters
- 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
- Cyr v. Madawaska School District, 2007 ME 28, 916 A.2d 967 - Freedom of Access lawsuit
- 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
- 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
- Cole v. Maine School Administrative District No. 1, USDC, Civil Action No. 03-205-B-W, (Defendants) – First Amendment and civil rights claim brought by teacher regarding social studies curriculum; verdict for defendants
- Millien v. Colby College, et al., 2005 ME 66, 874 A.2d 397 (Defendant) – contract claim involving student disciplinary process; 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
- 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
- Smith v. Maine School Administrative District No. 6, et al., USDC Civil Action No. 00-00284-GC, (Defendants) - disability discrimination case; verdict for defendant
- Taliento v. Portland West Neighborhood Ass’n, 1999 ME 194, 705 A.2d 696 (Defendant) – employment at will case; judgment for defendant
- Lewiston Sun Journal v. MSAD No. 43, 1999 WL826120 (Defendant) – Freedom of Access claim; judgment for defendant
- Forrest Associates v. Passamaquoddy Tribe, 760 A.2d 1041 (Me. 2000) (Defendant)
- Hasenfus v. LaJeunesse, 175 F.3d 68, No. 98-2149 (1st Cir. 1999) (Defendant) – Section 1983 claim regarding student suicide; judgment for defendant