Melanie M. Witte


San Francisco
Business Phone: 415.477.5731
Business Fax: 415.477.5710


Melanie Witte is an attorney in the firm’s Cybersecurity, Information Governance and Privacy practice group. She has significant experience in cyber law-privacy matters, having personally handled over 200 privacy data breach incidents and investigations since 2010, in a variety of industries, including: health care, financial services, professional services, law enforcement, and insurance. She develops privacy policies for all practice groups, guides clients through immediate forensics investigations, and coordinates initial crisis management including the maze of state and federal notification requirements, data governance standards, and regulatory compliance issues. Melanie is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the United States (CIPP/US).

Melanie’s practice areas also include professional liability and business litigation. She has routinely defended physicians and accountants, and has successfully defended against Section 2000 corporation claims. Melanie served as a post-bar law clerk for the Sexual Assault Unit in the Office of the District Attorney in Contra Costa County; and she was a Deputy Probation Officer in Riverside County assigned to sex and gang offenses prior to law school.

Representative Matters

  • Personally handled over 200 cyber event incidents for financial institutions, community hospitals, and solo practitioners; guiding clients through forensic analysis and the full maze of state and federal notification requirements.
  • Represented clients in global privacy breaches, including single incidents affecting 48 states, U.S. Territories, and multiple countries.
  • Successfully defended over a dozen Office of Civil Rights / Department of Health and Human Services investigations without fine or penalty assessment.
  • Successfully defended professional liability actions involving claims of medical malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud.
  • Successfully resolved discrimination action involving a homeowners association, settled favorably during Department of Fair Employment and Housing mediation prior to the filing of a formal complaint by plaintiffs.


Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “Data Breach! The Impact of Equifax & Other High Profile Data Breaches,” Troutman Sanders Privacy Webinar Series, February 20, 2018.
  • Speaker, “Data Breach! The Impact of Equifax and Other High Profile Data Breaches,” Third Party Payment Processors Association, Scottsdale, AZ, November 8, 2017.
  • Speaker, “How to Engage Your Legal Department in Data Incident Response,” Troutman Sanders Privacy Webinar Series, September 21, 2017.

Professional and Community Involvement

Melanie volunteers throughout the Bay Area community, presently working as a Civil Settlement Conference Panelist for Marin County Superior Court and running a literacy program at McKinley Elementary School, aimed to ignite the imaginations of children through literature and build San Francisco Unified School District’s library. She previously volunteered at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center and served as pro bono counsel for the Bar Association of San Francisco. Additional involvement and activities include:

  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Member
  • U.C. Hastings Moot Court Competition Judge, 2010-2017
  • Tuesday Night Book Club, Founder, 2011-Present
  • San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center, Tuesday Night Dinner Co-Chair and Playroom Volunteer, 2012-2015
  • Georgetown University Alumni Interviewer, 2004-2013

Professional Experience

  • Associate, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2017-Present
  • Senior Counsel, Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney LLP, 2015-2017
  • Senior Litigation Associate, Law Office of Steven D. Hillyard, 2010-2015
  • Certified Law Clerk II, Office of the District Attorney, Contra Costa County, 2008



  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2009
  • University of St. Andrews, Scotland, M. Litt., Philosophy, First Class Honors, 2003
  • Georgetown University, B.A., cum laude, 2001

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • California Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California