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About me

First of all, although his name is "Mark Daniel", Mr. Melnick is known to his friends as simply "Dan" (it's a long story).
Dan Melnick was born in Santa Monica, California and he grew up in the San Fernando Valley. After high school he got a job working for United Artists as a production assistant and spent nearly a year in Yugoslavia making (and appearing in) the movie Fiddler on the Roof. Upon his return to the U.S. Dan attended UCLA and graduated in 1975. Following his graduation from UCLA he went to work helping a family friend finish building a 60 foot cement sail boat and helped him sail it to Hawaii during the summer of 1975. With 2500 miles and 3 months of sailing behind him Dan returned and  attended Law School at the University of San Fernando Valley School of law, graduating in 1978. During his years in college and law school he worked and supported himself as a night crew and deli clerk at Ralphs Grocery store in Sherman Oaks. Notably, Dan is still friends with many of his old coworkers from his days of stocking shelves.

Shortly after passing the Bar exam Mr. Melnick went to work in Chicago as a management labor law and labor relations consultant for the premiere consulting firm in the country. In 1983 he again returned to the Los Angeles area to practice labor law, but that didn't last long. Early in his practice Mr. Melnick was referred a criminal case for trial. He tried the case and realized that criminal defense was his calling. It was in criminal defense that he felt he was able to truly provide a service that helped people on a personal level. Instead of reading contracts and arguing with management and unions he was able to work in a court room directly with his clients and juries. Most importantly, instead of helping big companies he was now able to protect "the little Guy" from the often oppressive government prosecutors. Since that first case, Dan Melnick has handled thousands of criminal cases of virtually every type, large and small, and to this day he continues to fight for the individual.

In his spare time Dan is an avid ice hockey player and he has played all over the world including Austria, Australia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Fifteen years ago one of the local leagues was named in his honor when the name was changed to the "Melnick Division". He is also a licensed Scuba Instructor and a commercially licensed sea captain with a fifty ton masters license. In 2002, Dan sold his law practice and left for an extended cruise on his sailboat. After sailing the waters of Mexico and Central America all the way to Costa Rica (4000 miles) in all kinds of  weather, Dan returned to Los Angeles in 2006 and returned to the practice of law. 

Because of his background, Dan can relate to people from all walks of life., He is a guy who is comfortable in a tuxedo or shorts and a t-shirt. He can (and has) fit in at the best Beverly Hills bistro or the corner bar in Van Nuys.  All of his experience and success, legal and otherwise, gives Dan Melnick the knowledge,  patience,  understanding and strength to deal with the stess and concerns of his clients and the ability to sucessfully fight the stringent demands of the legal system.  


"If you hire me, I will be your lawyer. No one else!
I will take your calls day or night. No one else!
I will make time for you.
We will not be strangers and all your questions will get answers.
It's more than buisness, it's personal! That's my commitment to my clients."

Dan Melnick


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. DUI & DWI: 50%
    37 years
  2. Domestic Violence: 20%
    37 years
  3. Criminal Defense: 20%
    37 years
  4. Juvenile: 5%
    37 years
  5. Federal Crime: 5%
    2 years



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Attorney endorsements

6 total 

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  • Mark George Cunningham

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Mark Cunningham Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Kelly Beth Sheahen

    Mr. Melnick is an experienced advocate who has seen it all and knows everybody in town. His wise counsel, perfect legal instincts and friendly, approachable style not only make him an excellent attorney, but also a mentor for younger lawyers.


    Kelly Sheahen Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

14401 Sylmar St
Suite 201
Van Nuys, CA, 91401


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Certificate of AppreciationMunicipal Court of Los Angeles1991
Certificate of AppreciationMunicipal Court of Los Angeles1989
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerMelnick & Spindel2006 - Present
Defense AttorneyMary Magdalene Project1999 - 2006
Judge Pro TemLos Municipal Court1989 - 1991
ProfessorNorthroup University1983 - 1984
AttorneyLaw Offices of Mark Daniel Melnick1983 - 2006
In House CounselHockey America1983 - 1984
Association namePosition nameDuration
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersOfficer2008 - Present
USCGCommercial Captain1998 - Present
PADIInstructor1991 - Present
United States District Court for the District of ArizonaMember1990 - Present
United States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaMember1987 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v L.R.Case Dismissed
People v M.S.Case Dismissed
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
VariousThe ABCs Of The California Criminal Justice System2013
SelfUnderstanding California Drunk Driving Laws2007
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
San Fernando Valley College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1979
University of California - Los AngelesN/AOther - BachelorsN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Money Leads Business GroupDUI and Drugs2014
PBX Business Group MeetingCriminal Justice Misperceptions2010
Kennedy High SchoolCriminal Law and High School2009