Melissa L. Exline, Attorney
Graduated with my law degree in 2002, passed the California Bar Exam in July that year, and immediately returned to Sparks, Nevada – my home. Upon return, I took the Nevada Bar Exam and have been practicing law since. As background, I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1999 with a dual degree in Philosophy and Political Science and earned my JD from Golden Gate School of Law in San Francisco. I loved my undergraduate studies, learning how to think critically and it has served me well as a lawyer.
My first six years as an attorney were spent honing my skills in civil litigation, working in a broad spectrum of areas. A friend and colleague started her own practice, and in September 2008, I began working at Surratt Law Practice with Kim Surratt, practicing Family Law full-time. I took my first divorce case to trial in October 2008, with a successful result in a contentious custody battle. I was hooked. I enjoy working closely with clients. Since 2008, I have taken many family law cases to trial, from contentious cases on relocation, termination of parental rights, termination of guardianship to divorce with custody elements and complex business divisions. In working with clients, I seek to develop strong interpersonal relationships, know my clients reasons for what they are asking for in a case, and understand the money issues in retirement, business, and overall asset division. Despite my trial work, I usually urge attempting a route that is less costly, both financially and emotionally. Settlement is always pursued when it meets the client’s needs. I particularly enjoy the adoption work that we do in our office. Nothing is more satisfying.
Doing divorce and custody work flowed naturally into preparing client’s estate plans. Since 2009, I have been drafting Revocable Living Trusts, Wills, and various Powers of Attorney for financial and health care. This work is now a growing part of my daily practice. It is nice to help client’s plan ahead for their family needs.
Working with people in family law and estate planning means I have an opportunity to truly help people. The issues are not “just business” or a simple dispute about money. It is about people’s lives and meeting their needs – and the clients I works with know my work matters.
Melissa is married to Nathan Exline (and his family of dedicated Wolf Pack fans) and they have three young children. She enjoys the Disneyland and the great outdoors (i.e. camping in the pop-up, spending time at Lake Tahoe, and skiing with the family).