News Release

Charlotte, NC Lawyer C. Melissa Owen Installed as Second Vice President of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (Aug. 7, 2023) – C. Melissa “Missy” Owen was sworn in as Second Vice President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association’s annual meeting in Chicago, IL on August 5.

C. Melissa Owen is a founding partner of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen. Owen’s practice areas include state and federal criminal defense, with a focus on white collar matters, financial crime, sex offense prosecutions, and Title IX representation.

Owen has served NACDL in numerous capacities, currently as Co-Chair of the Women in Criminal Defense Committee, Co-Chair of the Zealous Defense of Sex Crimes CLE, program Vice Chair in the CLE Institute, and as a member of the Audit, Bylaws, Governance, Membership, Title IX, Strategic Litigation Capacity Building, NFCJ Annual Fundraising, and Decarceration Committees. She co-authored NACDL’s 2021 report, Abortion in America: How Legislative Overreach Is Turning Reproductive Rights Into Criminal Wrongs and is Co-Chair of NACDL’s Taskforce on the Criminalization of Pregnancy and Reproductive Health.

Owen is also active on numerous bar associations and community groups, including having served as a member of the Board of Governors of North Carolina Advocates for Justice, a member of the Board of Directors for Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, and a member of the Ethics Committee at the North Carolina State Bar, which publishes Advisory Ethics Opinions for North Carolina attorneys.

She has been named “Super Lawyer: Criminal Defense – White Collar” since 2013, Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite”: Criminal Defense – White Collar (2014), the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, and received the Candace Reidbord Erhenworth Award from Duquesne University School of Law.

She received her undergraduate degree from Miami University in Ohio and her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh.


Jessie Diamond, Public Affairs and Communications Associate, (202) 465-7647 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.

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