Melissa Y. York     |     Partner

804.622.1131   |   email   |   vCard

ASSISTANT   |   Amber Stephens     804.762.8029
PARALEGAL   |   Chandra Reeves     804.762.8037

OFFICE   |   Richmond
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Missy, a Richmond, Virginia native, joined Harman Claytor in October 2014 after practicing at Morris & Morris for six years. She focuses her practice on defending public and private entities and their employees who are involved in litigation. Missy has experience handling claims of employment discrimination and wrongful termination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disability Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Family Medical Leave Act. She represents government entities and their employees in civil rights actions asserting constitutional violations and claims under federal law. Additionally, Missy defends claims involving defamation, intentional torts, and negligence, including claims involving premises liability, products liability, and general negligence.

Education
  • University of Virginia, B.A., 2005
  • University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D., 2008
    • Summa Cum Laude
    • Graduated 2nd in class of 171 students
    • Articles Editor, Law Review
    • Vice-Chancellor, Walter Scott McNeill Law Society
Professional Honors & Activities
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Henrico Bar Association
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Chair, Appellate Advocacy Section, 2018 – present
    • Vice-Chair, Appellate Advocacy Section, 2017 – 2018
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Virginia State Bar
    • Secretary, Young Lawyers Conference – 2018 – present
    • Outstanding Service Award – 2014 – 2016
    • Co-Chair Bench Bar Dinner for Young Lawyers’ Conference – 2013 – 2016
    • Young Lawyers’ Conference Board of Governors 3rd District Representative – 2016 – 2018
  • Virginia Super Lawyers – Rising Stars – Civil Litigation: Defense – 2013 – 2018
  • Virginia Business Legal Elite, Young Lawyer (under 40) – 2017
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Virginia State Bar – 2008
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern & Western Districts of Virginia
  • United States District Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern & Western Districts of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Publication
  • Sandra S. Gregor & Melissa Y. York, The Imposition of Sanctions Against Attorneys after Ford Motor Co. v. Benitez, Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXV, No. 1 (Spring 2013).

Representative Experience
  • Successfully defended school board against an unsuccessful bidder’s request for preliminary injunction to stop construction on a contract awarded pursuant to the Virginia Public Procurement Act.
  • Defense verdict after a jury trial for a town manager against claim of battery arising out of a verbal altercation with a town resident.
  • Successfully defended school board and school superintendent against claims brought by an employee for violation of Title VII and 42 USC § 1983, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended school principal and division director of testing against claims brought by a former employee for a liberty interest violation and defamation, resulting in summary judgment.
  • Successfully defended school board in a due process appeal arising out of the implementation of an individualized education plan.
  • Successfully defended school board, superintendent, and school board member against claims of defamation and breach of contract, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended school board and director of student services against claims of violation of the Virginia Public Procurement Act and tortious interference with contract, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended town against claims of wrongful burial, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended former chief of police against claims of conspiracy, tortious interference, and defamation, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended maintenance company against claims from a former apartment tenant for violations of the fair housing act, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended school superintendent, assistant principal, and director of communications against claims from a former employee for defamation, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Successfully defended rehabilitation center against claims of a former employee for violation of Title VII, resulting in dismissal of the Complaint.
  • Defense verdict based on contributory negligence as a matter of law in a personal injury case arising out of a motor vehicle accident.
  • Defense verdict after a jury trial in a personal injury case arising out of a motor vehicle accident involving a car and bicycle.
  • Successfully defended manufacturer of HVAC equipment in a products liability case.
  • Successfully defended trucking company and its driver in a personal injury case arising out of a motor vehicle accident.
  • Successfully defended premises owner in a personal injury case arising out of a slip and fall.
  • Successfully defended restaurant in a lawsuit filed by plaintiff who was allegedly injured after biting into a foreign object in food served at defendant’s restaurant.

The cases referenced above do not represent the lawyer’s entire record.  Each case must be evaluated on its own facts.  The outcome of a particular case cannot be based on past results.

Presentations
  • From Hugs and Kisses to Other Workplace Conduct:  Understanding Sexual Harassment in 2018, Virginia Juvenile Detention Association, Charlottesville,, VA, March 2018