Adams Stirling PLC


Legal Practice. Melissa Ward has extensive experience representing common interest developments, including master planned communities, condominium projects, senior communities, mixed-use projects, highrise developments, and co-ops. The majority of her practice involves interpreting, amending, and enforcing governing documents; advising boards on day-to-day operations, elections, and compliance matters; real property and title issues; negotiating and drafting contracts and other agreements; and dispute resolution. Prior to 2010, Melissa practiced as a corporate and real estate attorney handling transactional business and real estate matters, as well as real estate litigation.

Community Service. Melissa is a member of the Walnut Creek Planning Commission and currently serves as the Commission’s Chair. She is a Past President of the Diablo Symphony Association and is a member of the Symphony’s cello section.


  • Fellow of the Community Association Institute's (CAI) College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL)
  • Board Member of CAI's BayCen Chapter
  • Co-Chair of the Education Committee of CAI’s BayCen Chapter
  • Committee Member on the Legislative Support Committee (LSC) of CAI’s BayCen Chapter
  • Committee Member on the CAI CCAL Amicus Curiae Review Committee
  • Member of the Community Associations Institute (CAI)
  • Frequent speaker and writer for both CAI, CACM and ECHO
  • Serving as Chair on the Walnut Creek Planning Commission for the City of Walnut Creek
  • Certified Mediator
  • Northern California Super Lawyer 2023
  • Past Committee Member of the CCAL Case Law Update Committee
  • Past Chair (2018) and Past Vice Chair (2017) on the Walnut Creek Transportation Commission for the City of Walnut Creek

Juris Doctor, University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings), Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review.

Bachelor of Arts, History, Yale University


All California Courts
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
9th Circuit Court of Appeals