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Melanie Stepp Lane


Melanie's practice focuses on family law, including divorce, child custody, domestic violence and adoption cases.  She has represented clients at the trial and appellate levels in each of these practice areas.

Early in her career, Melanie began representing clients against the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.  This began with appointed cases in juvenile court, representing parents whose children had been removed due to allegations of abuse or neglect.  This work led to her representing people who were substantiated as perpetrators of abuse or neglect, and people whose constitutional rights were violated by DCS. 

In 2011 she challenged DCS when they substantiated an eleven-year-old boy as the perpetrator of child sexual abuse, then refused to give him a hearing. She filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that led to the child getting a hearing and eventually being cleared.  

When DCS refused to give another of Melanie's client's a hearing in 2014, she filed another civil rights lawsuit, and got that client a hearing. These lawsuits eventually led to DCS changing its rules and providing a hearing to everyone substantiated for child abuse.  

When DCS wrongfully removed  two young girls from their father, Melanie filed civil rights lawsuit for them, which settled favorable to these young ladies and their dad.  The money paid by DCS in the settlement helped the father to repay the legal bills he incurred in regaining custody of his daughters, and compensated him for the business losses he had incurred during the legal battle.

A Fentress County native, Melanie is a graduate of Clarkrange High School, Tennessee Technological University, and Nashville School of Law.  She began her law career in 2007 when she joined Romer & Lane.  For the past fourteen years she has developed her skills as a litigator, representing hundreds of clients in the Upper-Cumberland area.  

She is admitted to practice before all Tennessee state courts, including the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court. In addition, she is admitted to practice in the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 2007


  • Nashville School of Law, 2007
  • Tennessee Technology University, 1989

Email: [email protected]

Read More by Melanie Lane:

  • How to Win a Custody Battle by Melanie November 1, 2020 - One of the very best things you can do to help your custody case is to cooperate with the other parent.

    Melanie Stepp Lane

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