Twitter Google +1 Facebook LinkedIn Share this page RSS


Melesa N. JohnsonView Bio as PDF
Melesa Johnson is an associate in the firm’s Kansas City office practicing in the area of civil defense litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Melesa served as an Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor where she tried numerous jury trials and was named the office wide Rookie of the Year.

Melesa graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law at Columbia in 2014. During law school, she was an Associate Editor of the Missouri Law Review, Judging Director for the Board of Advocates, Research Assistant, and Parliamentarian of the Black Law Student’s Association. She also served as an intern clerk for The Honorable Judge George Draper III of the Missouri Supreme Court and as an Environmental Law Intern with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Melesa earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science and African American Studies from Columbia University in the City of New York in 2011.


  • Missouri


  • University of Missouri Columbia, J.D., Order of the Barristers, 2014
  • Columbia University in the City of New York, B.A., 2011

Memberships & Activities

  • The Missouri Bar
    • Leadership Academy, Class of 2017-2018
  • Jackson County Bar Association
    • Scholarship Banquet Planning Committee 2017-2018
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Kansas City Liquor Control Review Board Member
  • Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Drug Sales Tax (COMBAT) Drug Commission, District 2 Member
  • National Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.


  • ALFA International Compendium, Labor and Employment, Kansas and Missouri Sections (with Thomas E. Rice) (2017).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Product Liability & Complex Torts, Kansas Section (with Thomas E. Rice) (2017).
  • Contributing author (with Thomas E. Rice); DRI Rescission Compendium, Kansas chapter (2017).

Awards & Recognition

  • Tim Cochran Community Service Award, 2017

Community Involvement

  • "Lead to Read" Volunteer, Garfield Elementary, Kansas CIty, Missouri

News & Events

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Sponsors Judge Kit Carson Roque, Jr. Scholarship Banquet

10.13.17 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice continued its long tradition as a law firm sponsor of the Annual Judge Kit Carson Roque, Jr. Scholarship Banquet, by sponsoring the 2017 banquet held at the Sheraton Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri on October 7.

Melesa Johnson Chosen to Join Missouri Bar Leadership Academy Class of 2017-2018

07.27.17 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice associate Melesa Johnson has been chosen to join the 2017-2018 class of The Missouri Bar Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy was developed in 2000 with a mission to recruit, train, and retain young or recently admitted lawyers (under age 40 or less than 10 years of practice) for...

Melesa Johnson Appointed to Jackson County (Missouri) Drug Commission

03.31.17 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice associate Melesa Johnson has been appointed as the District 2 member of the Jackson County (Missouri) Drug Commission by Jackson County Executive Frank White. The Jackson County Drug Commission oversees...

Melesa Johnson Appointed to Kansas City Liquor Control Review Board

09.27.16 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice associate Melesa Johnson has been appointed by Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James to the Kansas City Liquor Control Review Board. The Liquor Control Review Board, established under Section 10-61 of the Kansas City, Missouri Code of Ordinances, is comprised of...

Melesa Johnson Joins Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

06.13.16 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Melesa N. Johnson, who joins the firm's Kansas City office as an associate. A former Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor with extensive jury trial experience, Melesa’s practice with the firm is focused on civil defense litigation.


BSCR Scores Win for Retailer at Trial

BSCR defended a retailer sued by a shopper who was struck by a falling object. Plaintiff claimed a cervical injury that resulted in a cervical fusion. Plaintiff claimed permanent range of motion limitations in her neck due to the fusion.

Blog Posts

Jury verdicts in the Kansas City area slightly decline in number, but increase in amount

03.26.18 | According to data from the Greater Kansas City Jury Verdict Service, courts in the metropolitan area experienced fewer jury trials in 2017, but the Plaintiffs' Bar still managed to have a good year.

Gender Stereotypes Now Serve as a Basis for Sex Discrimination Claim under the MHRA

12.18.17 | Despite an uptick in advocacy, support, and inclusion of the LGTBQ community over the past several decades, as of today, discrimination based on sexual orientation remains an invalid claim under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). However, in a recent decision by the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals...

Western District Court of Appeals Expounds on Attorney Duty of "Reasonable Investigation" of Juror Litigation History

10.24.17 | Attorneys typically rejoice when courts provide further definition of previously established rules, standards, and legal terms; and that is exactly what the Western District Court of Appeals did in King v. Sorenson.

Jury Panel Investigation in Missouri Revisited: Waiver of the Issue of Juror Non-Disclosure Remains Limited to the Litigation History

03.06.17 | With the constant evolution of technology, the Missouri Constitution's guarantee of the right to a fair and impartial jury of 12 has simultaneously become easier and more difficult to attain. As internet outlets and social media platforms rapidly multiply, prospective jurors have more opportunities to express or "post" beliefs and reveal biases on topics involved in litigation.

Premises Liability: The Responsibility of a Business Owner to Act When a Foreseeable Danger is Posed to an Invitee

02.13.17 | A premises owner's duty to protect an invitee from the criminal acts of third parties is triggered by foreseeability. An employer's safety policies and procedures - and a failure to follow them - may be considered when determining the owner/employer's negligence toward an employee, in an assault that occurred on company premises.