Melanie Poturica has been with Liebert Cassidy Whitmore since the firm's inception in 1980. Melanie was the firm's Managing Partner from 1995 until 2010 when she transitioned back to full-time law practice. As Managing Partner, Melanie directed the successful operation of LCW including the overall management of the firm's strategic planning, financial, legal, training and personnel activities. While managing the firm, Melanie continued to handle litigation, administrative hearings and advice and counsel.
Melanie is a vigorous litigator with an extensive background in suits involving discrimination and harassment, as well as disciplinary and due process issues, and other employment law topics. Melanie has tried several cases to verdict and/or judgment in state and federal court. They have involved a variety of causes of action including allegations of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, retaliation under FEHA, whistleblower retaliation under Labor Code 1102.5, retaliation for exercising freedom of speech rights and union activities under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. Melanie has also handled many ordinary writs of mandamus under CCP 1085 and administrative mandamus under CCP 1094.5.
In addition to her work as a litigator, Melanie has successfully represented many clients in arbitrations and in administrative hearings. Melanie is also a dynamic trainer, who brings the scope of her legal and management expertise to her presentations.
A continuous aspect of Melanie's practice is responding to requests from clients for advice and guidance regarding employment law issues and student issues which run the gamut from the disability interactive process, background checks, privacy rights, cyberbulling, investigations, retaliation, non-renewals of contract, discrimination,etc. Melanie also regularly advises independent schools on student, faculty, governance, contract and a variety of other issues. She brings to independent schools her seven-year tenure as a member of Chadwick School's Board of Trustees, including four years service as a member of its executive committee. Melanie was also chair of Chadwick's Risk Management Committee.
Melanie is currently serving on the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Executive Committee of its Labor and Employment Law Section and is the Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Symposium Committee.
In this unpublished U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Melanie oversaw the motion to dismiss and summary judgment motion at the trial court level and presented oral argument to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit upheld the 12(b)6 motion to dismiss the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim and the motion for summary judgment of the Title VII retaliation claim, gender and race discrimination claims and hostile work environment claim.
Chair, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Symposium
Secretary of the Executive Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
Selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers 2005 - 2014
Top 50 Female Attorneys in Southern California 2007