Melissa is a skilled litigator and negotiator who handles a wide variety of civil litigation matters, including business torts, contracts and real estate matters, with a particular focus on the needs of clients in the energy and natural resources sector.

Staying true to her country-law roots, Melissa is distinguished by her work ethic and her charisma, and is consistently recognized by clients for her dedication to achieving successful resolutions.

She is the author of Energy Law Today, a blog that covers the legal developments impacting businesses in the energy and natural resources industries. Within the firm, Melissa serves as the Denver office’s connectivity liaison for the firmwide Women’s Initiative.

Representative Experience

Melissa has experience in:

  • Complex commercial litigation for oil and gas companies, including but not limited to:
    • breach of contract
    • breach of fiduciary duty
    • piercing the corporate veil
    • fraud and misrepresentation
  • Negotiation of purchase and sale agreements for oil and gas operators and non-operators, as well as loan documents and energy financing, master service agreements, independent contractor agreements and other agreements relating to exploration and development
  • Drafting and negotiating instruments concerning development, production, marketing and transportation of crude oil and natural gas
  • Workers compensation defense
  • Merger and acquisition negotiations and asset sales and divestitures of producing and non-producing assets for oil and gas operators and non-operators
  • Examination of financing and security agreements for loans secured by oil and gas assets
  • Royalty interest disputes
  • Complex due diligence review for major acquisitions of producing assets
  • Serious personal injury lawsuits involving carbon monoxide poisoning, asbestos exposure, automobile collisions and serious accidents
  • Drafting and negotiating commercial agreements, leases and transactions secured by real estate
  • Regulatory research and transaction matters for a wastewater disposal and injection company
  • Negotiation of oil and gas leases, surface use agreements, pipeline easements and rights-of-way.
  • Mechanics’ liens and oil and gas operators’ liens for oil and gas companies.
  • Appointment of a receiver and contract oil and gas operator in complex litigation.

Before Fox Rothschild

Melissa was an associate in two Wyoming law firms before relocating to Denver, where she continued her practice as a litigation associate focused on representing clients in the oil and gas industries.

While in law school, Melissa interned in the General Counsel’s office of the University of Wyoming and in the law school’s Prosecution Assistance Clinic, where she drafted a primer on the state’s new sexual abuse laws and presented to the Wyoming County and Prosecuting Attorneys Association Annual Meeting.

Beyond Fox Rothschild

Melissa founded the University of Wyoming Alumni Association—Denver Law Network. Annually she spearheads the Fox Canned Food Drive for Thanksgiving, benefiting the Denver Rescue Mission. She frequently volunteers for community organizations and activities, including the Arthritis Foundation's Corporate Revenue Committee and Colorado’s 2016 Walk to Cure Arthritis; the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art and its Luminosity Gala; the Downtown Laramie Business Association and its Boots, Brushes and Bourbon event; the Letters to Santa program; the University of Wyoming Art Museum Gala Auction Committee; Liberty Day; and the Business Leadership Mentoring Program.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected as one of the “Top Women in Energy” by the Denver Business Journal (2015, 2016, 2018)
  • Nominated for the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Awards (2015)
  • Nominated for the Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” (2015 and 2016)