Melinda Belew is “Of Counsel” at of Beach Cowdrey Jenkins, LLP. Ms. Belew has worked almost exclusively in healthcare litigation and risk management since 1999. Ms. Belew’s practice is focused on the defense of human services providers, including drug and alcohol rehabilitation providers, skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities, physicians and nurses, in the areas of dependent adult and elder abuse, medical malpractice, personal injury and wrongful death. Ms. Belew’s practice includes litigation, risk management, administrative and regulatory appeals, and recoupment actions. She has tried numerous jury trials to verdict.
Ms. Belew has authored several articles related to health care litigation, including Confusion over Confidentiality: Breaking Down the California Supreme Court’s Decision in Brown v. Mortensen (SCAHRM eNews, October 2011) and It’s Hard to Say I’m Sorry (SCAHRM eNews November 2011). She has lectured to risk managers in Southern California on Medication Errors: Lessons Learned through Litigation. She was the recipient of the 2010-2011 Rookie of the Year Award from SCAHRM. In addition, Ms. Belew presented oral argument to the Court of Appeal in the case of Flores v. Evergreen at San Diego, L.L.C. (2007) 148 Cal.App.3d 581 [enforceability of arbitration agreement signed by spouse of nursing home resident], which resulted in a published opinion.
Ms. Belew is a native of Tennessee. From 1990 to 1994, Ms. Belew attended Vanderbilt University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors, in French and Theater. After graduation, she attended Pepperdine University School of Law, receiving a Juris Doctor degree in 1998, also with honors. Ms. Belew also received a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution in 1998. While in law school, Ms. Belew served as a law clerk for two judges in the law and motion department in the Los Angeles Superior Court – West District. She received the American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law. She also received numerous awards for trial advocacy in mock trial competitions across the Western United States.
Ms. Belew is admitted to practice before all California state courts and the United States District Court of the Southern District of California. She is a member of the Ventura County Bar Association, the Southern California Association for Health Care Risk Management (SCAHRM), the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and the San Diego Association for Healthcare Risk Management (SDAHRM).