A certified specialist in employment and labor law since 1993, M. Malissa Burnette has an extensive history of working toward workplace and social justice. She also has a wealth of experience in family law, personal injury, sexual harassment and discrimination law as well.
She practices in state and federal courts, primarily representing individuals in complex employment cases involving discrimination, civil and constitutional rights, breach of contract, covenants to not compete, employment-related torts, wage payment claims and academic tenure and promotions issues. She's also an experienced mediator - she's certified at the federal level - and arbitrator.
Malissa is co-author and editor of all four editions of Labor and Employment Law for South Carolina Lawyers, published by the South Carolina Bar in 1999, 2004, 2007 and 2011.
She holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. Malissa has been recognized by her peers for excellence in the field of employment law and alternative dispute resolution, being named in The Best Lawyers in America from 2005 to 2012. In the 2012 edition, she was named Columbia's Lawyer of the Year in the practice area of Employment Law - Individuals.
From 2008 through 2012, Malissa was included in South Carolina Super Lawyers in the category of Plaintiff's Employment Litigation. Also in 2011, she was honored with the South Carolina Bar's Employment Law Section's first Distinguished Lawyer Award. She's served as president of the South Carolina Women Lawyers Association, chair of the South Carolina Bar's Judicial Qualifications Committee, chair of the South Carolina Association for Justice's Employment Law Section and is currently a member of the South Carolina Bar's Resolution of Fees Disputes Board. She frequently presents continuing legal education programs on employment law issues for the South Carolina Bar, the South Carolina Association for Justice and the American Trial Lawyers Association. Malissa also has written numerous articles for legal and business publications.
Her volunteer work includes numerous other Bar, community and church boards and commissions. She's held a number of appointed positions over the years, ranging from The Governor's Domestic Violence Task Force to the board of directors of South Carolina Equality. She also served as former Lt. Gov. Nancy Stevenson's chief of staff.
Malissa is married to Michael G. LeFever. They have a daughter, Grant Burnette LeFever, who attends Presbyterian College.