Melanie Gillette
Senior Associate Attorney
Expertise Overview

Melanie’s practice focuses primarily on commercial liability defense, including premises liability, products liability, automobile liability, negligence, catastrophic injury, and liquor liability (dram shop) claims.

Prior to joining Smith Freed Eberhard, Melanie worked at a defense firm in Portland where her practice focused on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Prior to that, she worked at insurance defense firms in both Portland and Seattle where her practice included defense of third-party claims.

During law school, Melanie worked as a law clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice, Civil Litigation Section and externed for the Honorable Ronald B. Leighton at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. She was also an Associate Editor-In-Chief on the Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy.

Education

University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 2015
University of Washington, B.A., 2011

Professional Certification & Accolades

Member, Oregon State Bar Association
Member, Washington State Bar Association
Black Belt Trial Advocacy Training Program
Admitted, U.S. District Court of the District of Oregon
Admitted, U.S. District Court of the Western District of Washington
Admitted, U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Washington

Practice Areas
  • Practice Area
    • Commercial Liability Defense
    • Negligence
    • Products Liability
    • Premises Liability
    • Dram Shop & Tavern Keeper
Bar Admissions
  • Oregon
  • Washington
4th and 10… An Improbable Comeback Win at the Washington Court of Appeals Tuesday December 1, 2020 By: Firm Authorship, Jessica Kamish
When to Fight Back with a Counterclaim Thursday November 19, 2020 By: Jeff Eberhard
The Strategy in Jury Selection: Using Voir Dire to the Defendant’s Advantage Tuesday August 11, 2020 By: Jessica Kamish
Securing Victory Under Securities Laws Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Research Pays Off (to the Tune of $2.2 Million) Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Drawing the (Property) Line Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Multi-National Retailer’s Discrimination Mitigated Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Allegations of Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Employment Law Violations? Denied. Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Rejected: A Desperate Attempt to Recover Expenses Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
An $18,000,000 Dismissal Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
The Early Bird Gets the Case Dismissed Friday December 20, 2019 By: Josh Hayward
Safe Harbor Letter Preparation Always Pays off: Especially at Trial Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
The Case of the Mysterious Torn Medial Meniscus Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Hit and Run Dismissed Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Admitting Liability and Saving Costs Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Moreau v. Samalin A Swift and Speedy Settlement Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Know Your Venue: Taking Advantage of Arbitration Rules to Gain the Upper Hand and Mitigate Costs Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Pre-Existing Conditions Affirmed, No Additional Recovery Earned Friday December 20, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Dog Bite Dilemma Friday December 20, 2019 By: Cliff Wilson
public domain condemnation Cracked Concrete and Damaged Sheetrock Friday December 20, 2019 By: Cliff Wilson
Mandatory Civil Arbitration Punitive Damages Denied for Improper Filing Thursday December 19, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Due Diligence and Maintaining Position Leaves Ashley with a Happy Client Thursday December 19, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Picture frame Michaels Can You Picture a Better Outcome? Thursday March 21, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
avoiding the septic storm Avoiding the Septic Storm Friday February 8, 2019 By: Paul Sheely
operation trick or treat Operation Trick-or-Treat Wednesday January 23, 2019 By: Gordon Klug
KDB Success Story Padilla Bringing a Claim to a Complete Stop Thursday January 10, 2019 By: Gordon Klug
Small Claims Big Headache Small Claims, Big Headache Thursday December 27, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
Diligent Preparation and Spotting Fatal Flaws in the Other Side’s Case Leads to Favorable Outcome Thursday March 22, 2018 By: Ryan McLellan
Persistence and Staying Focused on the Facts Leads to Unanimous Defense Verdict Wednesday January 10, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
Litigation Success: Due Diligence and Maintaining Position Leaves Ashley with a Happy Client Thursday December 28, 2017 By: Firm Authorship, Thomas McCurdy
Occam’s Razor at Work Wednesday February 17, 2016 By: Firm Authorship
Cleaning the Slate: Using Witness Strengths to Dispel Juror’s Pre-Conceived Notions Wednesday February 17, 2016 By: Firm Authorship
Whose Fault is it Anyway? Friday December 11, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
No Tolerance For Tardiness Monday October 19, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Using the Right Rulebook Monday October 19, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Know the Law In and Out: Developing the Right Game Plan to Keep Costs Down Wednesday September 16, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Absolute Duty Not Lost in Translation Thursday July 16, 2015 By: Gordon Klug
The Show Must Go On Thursday July 9, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
Turning Over a New Leaf Thursday July 2, 2015 By: Ryan McLellan, Sean Conner
Disproving a Self Serving Story Tuesday June 30, 2015 By: Josh Hayward
Sticking to Your Guns with Trucking Clients Tuesday June 30, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
Low Impact Accident Leads to Low Verdict Tuesday June 30, 2015 By: Josh Hayward
Credibility Clenches Case Tuesday June 30, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
The Buck Stops Here Friday June 26, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
Burying Your Head in the Sand Will Get You Nowhere Friday June 26, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
Plaintiff’s Case Lost in Translation Friday June 26, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
Disc Bulge Dispute Friday June 26, 2015 By: Josh Hayward
Jobsite Injury Claims Dismissed Friday June 26, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
A Successful Appeal of OSHA Jobsite Violations Friday June 26, 2015 By: Ryan McLellan
Facebook Detective: Using Social Media to Debunk Exaggerated Claims Tuesday June 23, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Running Out The Clock Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Paul Sheely
Window Installation Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Paul Sheely
Design Defects Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Paul Sheely
Breaking Bad Advice Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Bringing Down the House (By Proving Plaintiff Brought Down the Door) Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Cliff Wilson
All in the Details: Using Inconsistencies to Win at Summary Judgment Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Gordon Klug
Snowpocalypse: Negligence and Bad Faith Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Kyle Riley
Trial Venue: Conservative Controversy Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Ryan McLellan
“Excusable Neglect” – Excused Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Ryan McLellan
Lack of Evidence for an Erroneous Equestrian Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Kyle Riley
Road Rage Rebuttal Thursday June 18, 2015 By: Jeff Eberhard
Hotel’s Liability Hotly Contested Thursday November 6, 2014 By: Firm Authorship
Steering Wheel Legal Alert UIM Benefits for Non-Relative Passenger? Denied! Wednesday December 30, 2020 By: Cliff Wilson
Webinar Oregon Personal Lines Year in Review Friday October 23, 2020 By: Josh Hayward, Cliff Wilson
jan 2019 webinar thumbnail Webinar 2019 – Year In Review – Personal Lines in OR & WA Thursday December 20, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
Webinar Attorney Fee Exposure in UM/UIM Friday October 5, 2018 By: Cliff Wilson
Legal Alert Oregon Case Law Update: When is Police Officer Testimony Admissible? Wednesday October 25, 2017 By: Josh Hayward
Legal Alert Oregon Employment Law Update: Oregon Changes Law on Pay Equity Wednesday June 7, 2017 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert Washington Case Law Update: Contract Cannot Bar CPA Claim Thursday April 27, 2017 By: Kyle Riley
Legal Alert Employment Update: FLSA Overtime Rule Blocked Until May 2017 Wednesday February 22, 2017 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert Oregon Case Law Update: When Can an Agent’s Actions Bind the Principal? Thursday October 13, 2016 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert Employment Update: Marijuana Still Schedule 1 Thursday September 22, 2016 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert Employment Update: Put ‘em Up – US DOL Mandatory Posters Monday September 12, 2016 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert Oregon Employment Update: Oregon Minimum Wage – 10 Things to Know Thursday July 7, 2016 By: William Taaffe
Legal Alert Oregon Case Update: Do PIP Benefits Cover Medical-Related Travel? Thursday February 19, 2015 By: Firm Authorship
Legal Alert Oregon Case Update: How Limited are LLC Members’ Liability? Thursday October 9, 2014 By: Josh Hayward
Legal Alert Oregon Case Update: Lack of Interpersonal Skills and the ADA Saturday September 13, 2014 By: William Taaffe
Jeff Eberhard, Managing Partner and Paul Sheely, Construction Defect Practice Leader, Named The Best Lawyers in America 2021 Monday December 28, 2020 By: Firm Authorship
Four Smith Freed Eberhard Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Thursday February 20, 2020 By: Firm Authorship
2019 Super Lawyers Recognizes 8 SFE Attorneys! Monday December 30, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 Announced Thursday November 21, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
Smith Freed Eberhard named best law firm in America 2020. Thursday November 21, 2019 By: Firm Authorship
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