It is our belief that a client should know who their lawyer really is. As a defendant in a criminal case, you need to know what motivates your attorney, why they care, and what kind of person they are because you are putting your future in their hands.
Meet Criminal Defense Attorney Dan Melnick
Mark Daniel Melnick’s friends and clients call him Dan. He was born in Santa Monica and spent his childhood in the San Fernando Valley. After graduating from high school, Dan went to work as a production assistant for United Artists and spent almost a year making (and lending a cameo to) the film Fiddler On The Roof.
After coming back to the United States, Dan attended UCLA and received his bachelor’s degree there in 1975. That summer, he helped a friend build a sixty-foot cement sailboat and joined him for its maiden voyage to Hawaii, a three-month journey of over 2500 miles! After this odyssey, Dan enrolled in University of San Fernando Valley School of Law and obtained his J.D. in 1979. While attending school, Dan worked both as a deli clerk and a member of the night crew at Ralph’s, a grocery store in Sherman Oaks, and he remains friends with many of the individuals with whom he worked during that time there.
Dan passed the bar exam in 1979 and moved to Chicago to work for a premier consulting firm as a management labor law and labor relations consultant. Five years later, Dan returned to Los Angeles with the intent to practice labor law, but after trying a criminal case that had been referred to him, he realized that criminal defense was his true vocation. Dan loved the idea that he could help people on a personal level instead of spending his time fighting with employers and unions. Since that time, he has taken on thousands of criminal cases from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies and has made it his mission to protect the proverbial little guy (or gal) from overzealous government prosecutors and a criminal justice system that is often unfairly biased against defendants.
When not practicing criminal defense, Dan is an avid hockey player who has played in many countries around the world including Sweden, Norway, Finland, Australia, and Austria. (In fact, many years ago one of the local hockey leagues changed its name to the Melnick Division in his honor!) Dan is also a licensed SCUBA instructor as well as a commercially licensed sea captain with a fifty-ton masters license. Dan took a hiatus from practicing law between 2002 and 2006 in order to take to the seas again, sailing over 4000 miles in the waters of Central America and Mexico.
This diverse background has allowed Dan to relate to people from all walks of life. He is just as comfortable in a tuxedo in Beverly Hills as he is in shorts and a T-shirt at the corner bar in Van Nuys. His substantial life experience, legal or otherwise, gives Dan the strength, understanding, patience, and knowledge to take on the criminal justice system on his clients’ behalf and help get them the results they are hoping for.
“If you hire me, I will be your lawyer. No one else!
I will take your calls day or night. No one else!
I will make time for you.
We will not be strangers and all your questions will get answers.
It’s more than business, it’s personal! That’s my commitment to my clients.”
- California, 1979
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1987
- U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1990
- San Fernando Valley College of Law, Sepulveda, California, 1979
- UCLA, Los Angeles, 1975
- NACDL (National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers)
- Coastguard, 50 ton Masters License
- Former Pro Tem Judge