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Advocacy at a Higher Level

Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

Our firm history, honors and awards, and locations speak to our collaborative approach and commitment to serving clients as well as the outstanding legal resources we bring to bear.

Melissa B. Whalen

Melissa B. Whalen

Associate - Los Angeles Office

How Melissa Helps Clients

Clients benefit from Melissa Whalen's thorough research and carefully written appellate briefs. Melissa joined the firm in 2017 as part of Horvitz & Levy LLP’s two-year Appellate Fellowship Program. As an Appellate Fellow, Melissa participated in the drafting of briefs in the United States Supreme Court and California Courts of Appeal. She also assisted other H&L attorneys with a variety of projects, including performing case-related legal research and developing articles for publication. In 2019, Melissa began her clerkship for Judge Steve Kim, a magistrate judge at the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Then, in 2020, she clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Ferdinand Fernandez. She returned to Horvitz & Levy in 2021 to continue her career as an appellate attorney and now manages the appellate fellowship program.

Melissa graduated magna cum laude from Loyola Law School, where she served as Chief Research Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. Melissa obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, summa cum laude, from George Washington University.

Representative Matters

Cheesman v. Ford Motor Co. (2024)
Washington Court of Appeals affirms defense summary judgment in product liability action.

Sanchez v. Superior Court (2022) 
California Court of Appeal issued alternative writ, causing trial court to vacate order that compelled Horvitz & Levy client to submit to mental examination.

Federal district court reduced $27.3 million punitive damages award to $800,400 and denied plaintiff attorney fees.


  • Loyola Law School of Los Angeles
    J.D., Order of the Coif, magna cum laude, 2017
  • George Washington University
    Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in Psychology and Judaic Studies, summa cum laude, 2014


  • Hon. Steve Kim, U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • Hon. Ferdinand Fernandez, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Professional Associations


  • Received First Honors Awards for the highest grades in Introduction to Income Tax, Marital Property, and California Civil Procedure.