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Court of Appeals of Indiana > Judges of the Court of Appeals > Judge Melissa S. May Judge Melissa S. May

(Fourth District)

115 West Washington Street
Suite 1080 South Tower
Indianapolis, IN  46204
(317) 232-6907

Melissa S. May was appointed to the Indiana Court of Appeals by Governor Frank O’Bannon in April of 1998.  She was born in Elkhart, Indiana.  She earned a B.S. in criminal justice from Indiana University-South Bend in 1980, a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis in 1984.  She is also a graduate of the Graduate Program for Indiana Judges. Judge May is currently the Presiding Judge of the Fourth District.

Prior to her appointment to the Court, Judge May practiced law for fourteen years in Evansville, Indiana, where she focused on insurance defense and personal injury litigation. 

Judge May has been active in local, state, and national bar associations and bar foundations.  She served the Indiana Bar Association on the Board of Managers from 1992-1994, as Chair of the Litigation Section from 1998-1999, as Counsel to the President from 2000-2001, as Chair of the Appellate Practice Section from 2007-2008, and as Secretary to the Board of Governors in 2008-2009.  She is also a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and the Evansville Bar Association.  In addition, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum from 1994-1999 and has been a co-chair of ICLEF’s Indiana Trial Advocacy College from 2001 to present.  She is a fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation, as well as for the American Bar Association, and she is a Master Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Association.

From 1999 until December 2004, Judge May was a member of Indiana’s Continuing Legal Education Commission, where she chaired the Specialization Committee.  She is currently on an Advisory Panel to the Specialization Committee.  In 2005, she was named to the Indiana Pro Bono Commission and in July 2008, she was named as Chair of that Commission.  While chair, she worked with the fourteen pro bono districts to train lawyers and mediators on how to assist homeowners who are facing foreclosure.  Judge May also serves on the Civil Instruction Committee, an Indiana Judicial Conference Committee, which has been working to translate all of the civil jury instructions into “plain English.”  She frequently speaks on legal topics to attorneys, other judges, schools, and other professional and community organizations.

In 2003, Judge May was named to the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Attorney Specialization.  She is now special counsel to that committee.  In the spring of 2004, Judge May became adjunct faculty at Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis, where she teaches a trial advocacy course.  Also in the spring of 2004, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Southern Indiana. 

Judge May was retained on the Court of Appeals in 2000 and 2010, is married and lives with her husband in Morgan County.