Melissa T. Daugherty

Co-Managing Partner of Los Angeles

Office: Los Angeles - Downtown

Direct: 213-647-0060

Fax: 213-647-1799

  • Professional Overview
    Ms. Daugherty has 20 years of experience representing management side clients, both individuals and organizations, in all aspects of employment related matters. In 2009, Ms. Daugherty was elevated to partner before completing her sixth year of practice at an AmLaw 100 law firm. In 2017, she became an Equity Partner and a Vice-Chair of the nation-wide Labor and Employment group and developed and chaired the firm’s Americans with Disabilities Act defense and compliance practice. In 2019, Ms. Daugherty was selected by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Women Lawyers. She has been recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 and has received many other accolades over her career, including being named one of the Southern California Super Lawyers®, and a Super Lawyers Rising Star® in her earlier years of practice.

    Ms. Daugherty is admitted to practice in California and all federal district courts in the state, along with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and she has successfully argued in each of those courts. She handles cases throughout California and routinely associates in as counsel throughout the country when specific expertise is needed on federal discrimination claims. Ms. Daugherty has served in the capacity of special counsel in multiple pattern and practice cases and representative actions in various states across the nation.

    In California, Ms. Daugherty devotes her practice to the defense of clients ranging from small family run businesses to international and publicly traded companies, exclusively representing them in Labor and Employment and third-party discrimination matters. Ms. Daugherty vigorously protects her clients’ interests beginning prior to litigation, by providing advice and counsel, policy drafting, training, and representation in matters pursued through and by government agencies including the EDD, EEOC, DFEH, DOL, and DOJ. Her zealous representation extends through all stages of litigation, bringing extensive experience in favorably resolving matters through informal negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and bench and jury trials.

    In 2019, Ms. Daugherty secured a complete defense verdict as first chair trial counsel in a high stakes case alleging sexual assault, wrongful termination, and other related claims. The defense team led by Ms. Daugherty beat the odds in front of a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury. The defense verdict was upheld on appeal two years later.

    While Ms. Daugherty’s practice spans numerous industries including professional services, hospitality, and technology, she has particular expertise in the healthcare industry and serves as the go-to attorney for several prominent healthcare systems.

    In addition to her expertise in single and multi-plaintiff employment matters, Ms. Daugherty is one of few experts in the country on the subject of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and attendant state law statutes such as the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Disabled Persons Act. She utilizes this expertise in defending her clients in cases alleging violations of fair housing laws, website accessibility, and architectural barrier statutes.

    While always focused on the development, expansion, and nurturing of her legal practice, Ms. Daugherty’s passion extends beyond her work to the pursuit of raising the next generation of leaders who will shape our future. She spends her time away from work raising her three children ages 5, 8, and 9, with her husband, a Los Angeles County Firefighter.
  • Practice Areas
  • Education and Admissions


    • B.A. from University of California, Santa Barbara, Cum Laude.
    • J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.


    • United States District Court for the Central District of California
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

    States Licensed

    • California