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Melissa Leavister Exline

Family Attorney at Reno, NV

5.0   5 reviews
  • State Years
    Nevada - NV 20 years
    California - CA 20 years
  • Licensed for 20 years
    State NV
    Acquired 2003
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 20 years
    State CA
    Acquired 2003
    Inactive No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Melissa

Learn Melissa’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Family
    Ms. Exline's focus in family law includes divorce matters, inclusive of complex marital property distribution issues, custody, relocation and child support. Non-married child custody matters and post-divorce modifications are also addressed regularly. Surratt Law Practice PC further meets the underserved area of Assisted Reproductive Technology clients, surrogacy, and adoptions.

    16 years

  2. Estate planning
    I draft Wills, Trusts, Health Care and Financial Powers of Attorney. This is my passion and I want to make sure all of Surratt Law's clients have their future needs met and can give their families the gift of an estate plan.

    15 years

  3. Guardianship
    I litigate guardianship cases, fighting a request by a parent to terminate a guardianship, or fighting a third-party from obtaining one against a parent's wishes.

    16 years

     Melissa L. Exline, Esq. joined Surratt Law in September 2008. At that time, Melissa shifted her focus from representing business and property owners in civil matters, to focusing on family law and estate planning. Why these areas of law? Because helping people put their best foot forward before the Court in a divorce or custody case can have a lasting impact on a person and family. Melissa is willing to take on a unique case with difficult issues and help her client's navigate the legal process. Providing estate planning services for clients is a natural extension our work at Surratt Law by making sure all of a client's needs are met.

     Melissa is admitted to practice in Nevada and California. She earned her dual undergraduate degrees from the University of Nevada. Ms. Exline received her J.D. from Golden Gate University, School of Law. She was author and associate editor for the Golden Gate University Law Review. Her prior legal expertise includes working at the U.S. Department of Labor. Melissa has a broad spectrum of experience. She brings her experience to the table to represent client needs using her background in consumer product law, employment law, construction defect litigation and general tort liability. Whenever possible, Melissa prefers to work with families to resolve conflict, with a cost effective, practical and no-nonsense approach.

     Melissa is a member of the State Bar of Nevada (Family Law Section Member), State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity, and Washoe County Bar Association.

Photos and videos


Melissa Leavister Exline
3705 Lakeside Drive
Reno, NV, 89509

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5.0 / 5.0
  5 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | November 13, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing Work
We had a family custody issue that Melissa took on with relatively short notice and a crunched timeline. She was thorough and efficient, keeping us informed each step of the way. She and her team were simply amazing. If we should ever have another similar legal issue she'll be our first call.
Posted by Marjorie | August 17, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Simply the best
sa is not only extremely knowledgeable about the law, but she is also kind and caring. I wasn't sure that anyone could sort out a messy post-divorce battle, but she did and walked me through a very traumatic time in my life. The staff at Surratt Law are also highly qualified, especially Amy Hodgson, certified Paralegal. She was a constant in my life for 3+years. My ex-husband filed many lawsuits, and Melissa and Amy were there for me. Melissa is a rock.
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Posted by anonymous | January 25, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Wonderful attorney
Melissa is fantastic. She is not only a very intelligent and well-prepared attorney, but also an attorney who calmly talked me through the whole legal process through one of the most difficult periods of my life. Thanks to her, my family is in a much better position than I had imagined possible. I recommend her in the strongest possible terms.
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Posted by Dina | May 18, 2011
Melissa is a wonderful Attorney, I would recommend her to everyone who wants a knowledgeable, caring , compassionate person, who so endlessly worked on my custody case involving 4 children. I will forever be greatful for all she has done, and will continue using her as needed. She understands people and their feelings. She talks WITH you instead of at you which is a great tribute for an attorney.
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Posted by Wayland | March 11, 2011
Melissa is extremely knowledgable, honest, and thorough.She was my lead attorney on a very complex divorce involving 2 children and millions of dollars. Legal proceedings were conducted simultaneously in two states. She managed to navagate through an absolute morass of legal issues. I not only would recommend Melissa but I already have to several Calif. attornies that may need Nevada representation.
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  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 9.2 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Surratt Law Practice, PC
  • 2008 - Present
  • Associate
  • Perry and Spann, PC
  • 2003 - 2008
  • Pension Benefit Associate
  • US Dept. of Labor
  • 2001 - 2002


  • Golden Gate Univ SOL
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2002
  • Univ of Nevada
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1999

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Gregory v. Gregory, 281 P.3d 1178 (Nev. 2009)
  • Decree Affirmed


  • State Bar of Nevada, Family Law Section
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Washoe County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2003 - Present
  • Golden Key National Honor Society
  • Member
  • 1998 - 1999

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Legal Elite
  • Nevada Business Magazine
  • 2014
  • Legal Elite
  • Nevada Business Magazine
  • 2013
  • Legal Elite Top 75 Attorneys
  • Nevada Business Magazine
  • 2012
  • CALI
  • 2002
View all awards


  • Vol. 31, No. 2, Spring 2001, Forum on Law & Social Change
  • Author, "Ambiguity Equals Authority: The Immigration and Naturalization Service's Response in the Elian Gonzalez Case,"
  • 2001

Speaking Engagements

  • Nevada Family Law Conference
  • Guardianship - Paralegal Track
  • 2015
  • CLE Reno and Las Vegas
  • Minor's Guardianship Litigation
  • 2013
  • BNI Noon Networkers
  • Estate Planning
  • 2011

Attorney endorsements

Received (9)
Given (14)
Endorse Melissa
Family Attorney | Jul 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly recommend Melissa to anyone looking for a skilled, caring family law attorney. Melissa is a knowledgeable, thorough, and effective advocate. She truly cares about her clients and it shows in her work!"
Family Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Co-worker
"Melissa is a joy to work with, both from the perspectives of a client and co-worker. Her compassion is only matched by her outstanding experience. Whether working with her or against her, Melissa exudes professionalism and respect."
Family Attorney | Aug 31
Relationship: Co-worker
"Melissa is a bright, committed lawyer who has been a tremendous asset to work with. Working with her on general family practice matters as well as estate planning, she is patient, thorough and reliable."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Family Attorney | Sep 07
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Melissa Exline is an excellent lawyer. She is reasonable in resolving cases. In addition, Ms. Exline and I litigated cases against each other. She was a prepared, thorough and tough litigator."
Family Attorney | Nov 07
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Family Attorney | Mar 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I wish to give an outstanding endorsement to attorney Melissa Exline. I have known Melissa for many years and she is a skilled and competent attorney. Melissa and the other lawyers in her firm, are the best you can get in the areas of family law, divorce, domestic partnerships, adoption, estate planning and assisted reproductive technology law."
Estate planning Attorney | Mar 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have known Melissa for a number of years and have always known her to be of very high intelligence, moral character and knowledge of her practice areas. I would endorse, and have recommended Melissa to other attorneys, to people in need of her services and would unconditionally recommend her for representation. Come to think of it, I need my will and estate reviewed and re-written. I'm calling Melissa soon!!"
Family Attorney | Mar 11
Relationship: Co-worker
"Melissa Exline and I first met before law school while studying for the LSAT. It has been my pleasure to continue working with her over the years due to her ethical stance on matters and her kindness to clients."
View more endorsements