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Melinda Cantrall

Senior Partner

(213) 426-2000
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Ms. Cantrall is a Senior Partner of Hurrell Cantrall LLP, and anchors the firm’s appellate practice, focusing on police misconduct and civil rights cases under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as government entity liability, products liability, professional liability and general liability matters. Ms. Cantrall handles appeals in federal and state courts, and regularly argues cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal. In addition, she has successfully co-chaired a number of trials in federal and state courts, and her trial experience assists with the handling of cases at the appellate level. Ms. Cantrall is a Certified Appellate Specialist.

Ms. Cantrall was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in San Diego, California, and her law degree in 1998 from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. Her honors include Dean’s List, Associate Editor of Law Review, receipt of the American Jurisprudence Book Award in Criminal Law, and receipt of CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Advanced Criminal Procedure. In addition, she was a judicial extern to Judge Arthur Alarcon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. Cantrall has been with Hurrell Cantrall LLP and its predecessor firms since 1998. She became a partner with the firm in 2002, and a Senior Partner in 2006. In 2003, Ms. Cantrall received the “Attorney of the Year” Award from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Representative Matters:

  • Cty. of Los Angeles v. Mendez, 137 S. Ct. 1539 (2017) (Supreme Court overturned Ninth Circuit's "provocation" rule, which allowed a plaintiff to recover damages for injuries caused by a reasonable use of force, based upon an earlier constitutional violation which provoked a violent response)
  • Chang v. Cnty. of L.A., 1 Cal.App.5th 25 (2016) (where deputies sought indemnification for compensatory damages against for battery and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims, Government Code § 825.2 applied where defense was conducted under a reservation of rights)
  • Castro v. Cnty. of L.A., 833 F.3d 1060 (9th Cir. 2016) (en banc), cert, denied, 137 S. Ct. 831 (2017) (en banc court developed new test for deliberate indifference failure to protect claims)
  • Flores v. Cnty of L.A., 758 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2014) (plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 City of Canton failure to train claim failed as, in light of the regular law enforcement duties of police officers, there is no patently obvious need for an entity to train officers not to rape women)
  • Hager v. Cnty. of L.A., 228 Cal.App.4th 1538 (2014) (in whistleblower Labor Code § 1102.5 claim, court reversed $2 million in loss of earnings damages)
  • Shoyoye v. Cnty. of L.A., 203 Cal.App.4th 947 (2012) (in Civil Code § 52.1 action, plaintiff must prove threats, intimidation or coercion independent from the wrongful detention in of itself).

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  • California
  • Minnesota
  • United States District Court, Central District of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • San Diego State University in San Diego, B.A., 1995
  • Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, J.D., 1998