Melanie Morgan Norris


Melanie Norris is highly respected for her ability to defend and protect the interests of her clients. Her practice is a unique blend of direct representation of insurance companies and defense of oil and gas producers facing litigation. Melanie’s skills as a litigator are enhanced by her researching, writing, and public speaking abilities. Clients appreciate her insight and candor in advising them of their risks while helping them achieve their goals.

Melanie is the co-leader of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Team. She is often called upon to assist in insurance coverage opinions and bad faith litigation, as well as insurance arson and fraud investigations. She also practices in the areas of general personal injury and commercial litigation defense.

A lifelong resident of Belmont County, Ohio, Melanie is very familiar with the Utica Shale and is an integral part of the firm’s energy litigation team. Her work for large oil and gas producers includes landowner lease and mineral title litigation, as well as resolving access and right-of-way disputes.

Representative Experience

  • Has issued coverage opinions and litigated coverage issues on a variety of commercial property and liability claims, including claims for business interruption coverage
  • Rendered coverage opinion for an insurance company regarding an insured physician, pharmacy, and healthcare clinic defending patient’s lawsuit over prescription drugs
  • Sought preliminary and permanent injunctions on behalf of major energy company to prevent interference with rights-of-way and major gas transmissions lines
  • Prepared numerous coverage opinions and represented insurers in declaratory judgment actions involving claims arising under various types of insurance policies
  • Defended oil and gas companies in landowner lease litigation
  • Conducted investigations and examinations under oath and defended insurers in claims involving suspected arson or fraud
  • Defended and mediated claims of statutory bad faith and breach of contract
  • Jury trials on behalf of both individual and corporate defendants including claims of wrongful death, nursing malpractice, and personal injury

Licensed In

  • Ohio
  • West Virginia


  • J.D. The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
  • B.S. Muskingum University


  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Ohio County Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Inns of Court


  • Best Lawyers® 2020 Morgantown, WV Litigation – Insurance, Lawyer of the Year
  • The Best Lawyers in America®:
    • Litigation – Insurance (2018-Present)
    • Litigation – Land Use and Zoning (2022-Present)


  • Co-author of “What Legal Tools and Defenses are Available to Insurers?” For the Defense, a publication of the Defense Research Institute, Fall 2015
  • Article, “Privacy Claims Under CGL Policies” Steptoe & Johnson Insurance Law Update (Winter 2014)
  • Co-author, “Coverage Trigger Issues: What is the X Factor?” For The Defense, a publication of the Defense Research Institute, May 2014
  • White Paper, co-author of “Evolving Theories of Lease Termination Litigation,” EMLF, May 2014

Related Services

Related News & Resources

Bridgeport, WV – Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is excited to share ...
The Best Lawyers in America® named 90 Steptoe & Johnson attor...
Legal Insights
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (“OIC”) issued its West V...

Stay informed. Sign up for our mailing lists.

Stay Informed

All of our news and resources are shared electronically. Select your preferred list(s) below.(Required)