MELISSA CRANFORD
Associate

PRACTICE AREAS

Labor and Employment Law

PRACTICE DESCRIPTION

Veteran labor and employment lawyer who provides experienced defense to management in employment disputes, including wage and hour, discrimination and retaliation claims. Employs a collaborative approach with employers in proceedings involving the EEOC, DOL, TWC and other regulatory agencies. Experienced counselor and negotiator in labor disputes and executive contracts.

CORE COMPETENCIES

  • Aggressively represents employers in arbitration and litigation in matters involving allegations of discrimination, retaliation, “just cause” terminations and non-compete agreements
  • Counsels employers in wage and hour disputes, grievances and pre-litigation claims
  • Negotiates on behalf of employers in labor disputes, including collective bargaining, executive work outs and regulatory agency interactions
  • Performs workplace investigations
  • Drafts policies and trains company leaders on supervisory practices
  • Advises employers on day-to-day employment law issues

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE

  • Senior Attorney - Messer, Rockefeller & Fort , P.L.L.C., January 2017 - Present - Provides responsive and efficient representation of public sector clients in all phases of litigation in employment and municipal matters. Counsels employers on best practice policies, employee terminations and other employment issues.
  • Of Counsel - The Nichols Firm, P.L.L.C., October 2016 – December 2016 - Provides responsive and efficient representation of public and private sector clients in all phases of litigation in employment and commercial matters. Counsels employers on best practice policies, employee terminations and other employment issues.
  • Partner - Lynn, Ross, Gannaway & Cranford, L.L.P., July 2013 –October 2016 - First chair representation of public and private sector employers in all areas of employment law litigation and disciplinary arbitration, including discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour disputes and legality and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements. Obtained reduced cost of settlement in multiple wage and hour disputes from demand, including class action defense.
  • Senior Assistant City Attorney - City of Irving, Texas, January 2008 – July 2013 - Successfully represented municipal corporation in employment disputes and civil litigation, including disciplinary arbitration. Advised elected officials and department heads on a wide-variety of employment matters, negotiating and drafting executive agreements and supervised outside counsel. Significantly reduced cost of defense and claims paid on behalf of client.
  • Of Counsel - The Haynes Law Firm, P.C., January 2006 – December 2007 -- July 1999 – March 2001, Represented private sector clients in a broad range of litigation matters, including professional liability and commercial litigation cases.
  • Associate Attorney - The Berry Firm, L.L.P., March 2001 – January 2006 - Represented public and private sector health care professionals and entities in all manner of professional liability defense involving catastrophic injuries.

EDUCATION

Texas Tech University School of Law, JD, May 1999
Abilene Christian University, BA Mass Communication, May 1994

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

State Bar of Texas, 1999
Admitted to Practice in the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western U.S. District Courts of Texas
Tarrant County Bar Association
Texas City Attorney Association
Fort Worth Human Resource Management Association