Melany (Lanagan) O’Brien was born and raised in South Sioux City, Nebraska. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989 from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Ms. O’Brien also earned a law degree in 1993 from Creighton University School of Law and was admitted to the Nebraska Bar and the Federal Courts in 1993.
“I was inspired to go into legal work because I wanted to help people. I was always interested in the law, and out of law school I took a job that I thought would be great” recalled Ms. O’Brien. “It was with a great law firm and a really great group of people, but it was doing insurance defense work. I was working for the insurance companies, and after a couple of years I found it was not rewarding. I started in personal injury and I now feel like I’m helping people who would not be able to get through this process by themselves because the insurance company will just walk all over them, and take advantage of them, if they’re not represented by someone who is looking out for their best interest.”
With a career focused on Personal Injury and Product Liability Law, as well as Civil Litigation, Melany has served on the Practice and Procedure, Mediation, Legislative, Ways and Means, and Judicial Resources committees in the Nebraska State Bar Association. She is currently the Chair of the House of Delegates and a member of the Executive Council of the Nebraska State Bar Association. She is also a Fellow and Board Member of the Nebraska Bar Foundation.
Of all the affiliations Melany is deeply involved with, she is most proud of the work she does with the Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA). “Being on that board, I feel we’re doing so many meaningful things to help people get out of abusive situations, and as you know, Hauptman O’Brien provides free cab rides for someone who’s in an abusive situation. If they want a ride to an agency or a hospital we cover the cost of rides for people who are going through an unfortunate ordeal and are seeking help.”
Ms. O’Brien is a recipient of the David A. Svoboda Trial Award and is the author of “Lead Poisoning Prevention in Nebraska,” in The Nebraska Lawyer Magazine and “Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Proceeds in a Divorce,” for the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys.
“Ask anyone who has worked with Melany or been part of her social life and they will all be quick to tell you she is determined, funny, loyal, hard working” said Tim O’Brien. “She is caring and she is always open minded, but when it’s time to fight for her clients, nobody is more tenacious than Melany O’Brien.”
When she isn’t busy working for her clients and the many organizations she helps to succeed, Melany enjoys hiking, biking, scuba diving, golfing and many other outdoor activities, and spending time with family.
- Nebraska, 1993
- U.S. District Court District of Nebraska
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
- Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska, 1993
Doctor of Jurisprudence
Honors: Cum Laude
- University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1989
B.S., with Distinction
- Lead Poisoning Prevention in Nebraska, The Nebraska Lawyer Magazine
- Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Proceeds in a Divorce, Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys
Professional Associations and Memberships:
- Omaha Bar Association, Former Secretary and Member of the Executive Council
- Nebraska State Bar Association, Member; House of Delegates, Chair and Executive Council
- Nebraska Women’s Bar Association, Past President
- Nebraska State Bar Foundation, Fellow, Board Member
- Women’s Center for Advancement, Board Member
Areas of Practice:
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation