Melissa M. Crosthwaite
Melissa Crosthwaite is of counsel in the Municipal Law practice group at Best Best & Krieger LLP. For over a decade, Melissa gained a breadth of experience serving as in-house counsel to various cities. In addition to the day-to-day demands of municipal leadership, Melissa’s experience includes advising on land use and zoning, the Brown Act, ethics, California Public Records Act, business licensing, economic development and housing laws. As a complement to her legal advisory roles, Melissa also previously directed a city planning and development department, which provided her with a truly holistic perspective of municipal operations, including budgeting, personnel, planning and code enforcement.
As the previous assistant city attorney for the City of Hawthorne, California, she advised city council and department heads in all areas of municipal law. Melissa partnered closely with members of the city’s Planning Commission, Planning & Community Development Department, HR team, finance leaders and others to address the daily myriad of legal needs, questions and challenges. Melissa was proud to work closely with staff and the community where she grew up and where her family resided. Melissa also previously worked as deputy city attorney for the City of Santa Ana handling various code enforcement violations, litigation and advisory tasks for city departments.
In her previous roles, Melissa has enjoyed contributing to the industry as a national leader and educator, presenting frequently to colleagues, clients, and local elected and appointed officials on ethics laws, public records and policymaking. Before serving in the public sector as in-house counsel, Melissa practiced with Richards, Watson & Gershon, serving as assistant and deputy assistant to various cities throughout California, and at Lozano Smith.
In her spare time, Melissa enjoys salsa dancing, traveling and time with her toddler, Sebastian.