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Melinda A. Balian


(313) 756-6429
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37000 Woodward Avenue
Suite 225
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304


J.D., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, 1996

B.A., Political Science, Michigan State University, 1991


Michigan Super Lawyers®, 2014 - 2018

Super Lawyers® Business Edition, Employment & Labor - 2014


Melinda A. Balian is a Partner in the Detroit office of GRSM. She focuses her practice in employment law and litigation.

Melinda has assisted numerous organizations in taking a proactive approach in managing the workforce to protect against employment-based claims by establishing policies and procedures to provide employers the maximum legal protections afforded under applicable federal and state laws. She has also litigated numerous matters defending both private and municipal entities against claims involving wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, Michigan Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, Title VII, ADEA, ADA, Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act, civil rights claims brought pursuant 42 U.S.C. 1983, prisoner claims and other related matters. In addition, Melinda regularly counsels clients pertaining to employee issues involving discipline, terminations, unemployment, employment hiring practices, non-competition agreements, and employment manuals and other related issues.

Melinda also has extensive experience in handling administrative claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. She represents clients directly or through appointment as defense counsel by their insurance carriers. Melinda practices in both state and federal courts and her appellate experience includes matters before the Michigan Court of Appeals, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court. In addition to private practice, she sits as a Magistrate at the 52/3 District Court, a position to which she was appointed in 1998.

In 2016, Melinda successfully argued a case of first impression before the Michigan Supreme Court resulting in the precedential opinion of Pace v. Edel-Harrelson, 499 Mich 1; 878 NW2d 784 (2016). Specifically, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the state’s Whistleblower Protection Act does not protect an employee who is terminated because she reported a coworker’s plan to violate a law in the future; rather, the “plain language” of the Act provides protection only against retaliation for a report of an act or conduct that has actually occurred or is ongoing.

In addition to her private practice, Melinda has served as a Magistrate at the 52/3 District Court, a position to which she was appointed in 1998. 


  • Michigan


  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Oakland County Bar Association
  • Rochester Bar Association
  • Michigan Bar Foundation

Community Involvement

  • The Rainbow Connection
Publications & Presentations