Melissa Lin is a partner at Right Fitch Law Group and has earned the AV Preeminent Rating. Her practice includes insurance coverage and the representation of individuals, businesses, contractors, and municipalities in tort and contract litigation, primarily in the areas of general liability, personal injury, employment, construction defect, and product liability litigation. She was peer selected as a Best Lawyer in America in Construction Law for 2021-2022, and honored as a 2012-2019 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star. In 2018 the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) recognized her as one of the nineteen Best Under Forty attorneys in the country for her prominence and distinction in the practice of law and her demonstrated commitment to Asian Pacific American civic or community affairs. In 2013 she was named to Lawyers of Color’s Inaugural Hot List for the Western Region, and as one of the top valley attorneys in Phoenix by North Valley magazine. She has spoken and been published both locally and nationally on legal writing, diversity and construction law.
Melissa is especially adept at dealing with difficult individuals and scenarios. In situations where most attorneys would snap and let their emotions take over, she is able to calmly diffuse the situation and move the case forward to the benefit of the client. She is a skilled counselor that is able to analyze complex matters and provide clear explanations and solutions for clients.
Her strong analytical skills have guided multiple carriers in evaluating difficult and complicated coverage claims. She has successfully assisted employers, dealing with complex discrimination and hostile work environment charges and navigating EEOC investigations. Her ability to effectively defend, litigate, and negotiate on behalf of clients is the result of her well-established reputation in the legal community as an accomplished and honest attorney.
Melissa has successfully defended and resolved employment claims for businesses, colleges, and schools alleging violation of Title VII claims of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act (EPA).
Construction Defect Litigation
Melissa successfully prevailed on a defense motion for summary judgment on a breach of implied warranty claim through appeal, motion for reconsideration, and motion for new trial where Plaintiff alleged damages over a million dollars. The filing on motion for partial summary judgement severely limited Plaintiff damages. Melissa successfully negotiated a settlement which primarily consisted of settlement funds contributed by third parties.
Melissa was second chair for the defense of a multi-week seven-day construction defect trial where Plaintiff was requesting just under a million dollars in damages, and the defense asserted a cost of repair of just under $20,000. The jury found for the defense on common law fraud, consumer fraud, and negligent misrepresentation claims, and only awarded Plaintiff damages on warranty claims in the amount of $230,000. As a result of defense work on fee-shifting, Plaintiff agreed to walk away from the trial judgment with each party bearing their own fees and costs.
Melissa is the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona where her parents owned and operated a small business for over thirty-seven years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and young twins, cycling, rock climbing, sprint triathalons, and walking her two dogs.
- University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona, Juris Doctorate, 2004
- University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, Bachelor of Science (cum laude) Molecular and Cellular Biology, Spanish (minor), 2001
- USPTO, 2004
Professional Associations & Memberships
- State Bar of California, Member
- State Bar of Arizona, Member; YLD Board Member at Large 2013-2014, Treasurer 2012-2013, Secretary 2011-2012, District 4 Representative 2008-2011
- DRI (Defense Research Institute), Diversity Committee Member 2013-2021, Diversity Webinar Co- chair 2018-2019, Diversity for Success Seminar Chair 2016, Women in the Law SLC Liaison 2018-2019; Construction Law Committee Member 2014-2021, Construction Law Membership Chair 2015-2021, 2022 Construction Law Seminar Vice Chair; Women in the Law (WITL) Committee Member 2009-2022, WITL Diversity and Inclusion Vice Chair 2016-2021, Diversity and Inclusion SLC Liaison 2018-2019; Membership Committee 2020-2021, 2021 Annual Meeting Steering Committee (Public Service)
- International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Member 2019-Present; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programming Assistant Vice Chair of Programs and Projects; 2022 Midyear Meeting Steering Committee
- Themis Advocates Group
- Maricopa County Bar Association, Construction Law Section, Board Member 2008-2013, Chair 2011-2012, Vice Chair 2009-2010; Litigation Law Section, Board Member, 2012-2019
- Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Member 2007-Present; Young Lawyers Division, Vice President and Board Member, 2009-2011
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Member 2015-Present
- Arizona Asian American Bar Association, Member 2011-Present; Board Member, 2011-Present
- Arizona Women’s Law Association, Member 2007-2019
- Women’s Metropolitan Arts Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, Board Member 2008-2012, President 2010-2011
Articles & Publications
- “Finding Balance and Creating Connections Through DRI- FOR THE DEFENSE (DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar, Chicago, Il.) March 2022
- “Whose Claim and Defense is it Anyways? A Review of Current Claims Against and Best Defenses for Subcontractors” - FOR THE DEFENSE (DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar, Chicago, Il.) June 2015
- “Rainmaking Essentials: A Candid Conversation with Industry Decision Makers and Successful Female Rainmakers” - Sharing Success Newsletter (DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar, Chicago, Il.) Dec. 28, 2012 vol. 2 issue 2
- “Woman Leaders in the Law: An Intergenerational Perspective on Long-Term Legal Careers and the Importance of Mentoring” - SHARING SUCCESS NEWSLETTER (DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar, Chicago, Il.) May 17, 2012 vol. 2 issue 1
- “A Recent Extrapolation Ruling in Arizona Construction Defect Cases and its Implications for the Defense of Extrapolation in Construction Defect Cases” - E-Common Def. (Ariz. Ass’n of Def. Couns., Tempe, AZ.) Nov. 2007, at 8
Presentations and Speaking Engagements
- 2022 Themis Advocates Group Annual Meeting, Policy Limit Demands from Multiple Claimants.
- 2021 DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, Diversity and Inclusion in the Insurance Industry – How we are doing and why it matters.
- 2021, DRI Construction Law Seminar, Case Law Update.
- 2021 International Association of Defense Counsel Midyear Meeting, How to Retain Diverse Talent.
- August 27, 2020 International Association of Defense Counsel Diversity and Inclusion Webinar, Asian Discrimination in the Shadow of COVID-19 - Continuing the IADC Conversation About Becoming an Active Ally with a Focus on Asian Allyship: How to Get Involved, Stay Involved, and Educate Others About Racial and Social Injustice.
- 2018 DRI Women in the Law Seminar, “The Power of Persuasive Writing”
- 2017 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Executive Committees (but Were Afraid to Ask)” (moderator)
- 2015 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar, “Learning from Leading Women: Shaping the Future of Business Success” (moderator)
- 2015 American Conference Institute’s 2nd National Forum on Construction Claims & Litigation, “Nuances of the Economic Loss Rule in different Jurisdictions, How Owners Can Recover Damages from Subcontractors, with/without a Contract, and insurance Coverage Issues for Contractual Liability Exclusions”
- 2014 DRI Construction Law Seminar, “Whose Claim and Defense Is It Anyways? – Subcontractor Defense”
- 2014 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar, “Maximize Your Full Potential: Leveraging Opportunities, Overcoming Conflicts” (moderator)
- 2013 DRI Diversity for Success Seminar, “Work Life Balance and Making Partner: Analysis and Discussion on the Statistics and Practical Functioning of Reduced Hour Attorneys for Law Firms” (moderator)
- 2012 Arizona Association of Defense Counsel CLE, “Ladder Down: Leadership, Business Development and Mentoring for Women”
- 2010 State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention, “Legal and Practical Considerations for Board Service and Recent Developments in Non-Profit Governance”
- 2010 Arizona Association of Defense Counsel YDL CLE, “Networking and Marketing for the Young Lawyer, Litigation Basics for the Civil Defense Associate”
Contact Melissa today at (602) 483-6352.