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Layne Melzer is the new managing partner of Costa Mesa-based Rutan & Tucker LLP, Orange County’s largest full-service law firm. He succeeds Steven Nichols, who was the firm’s managing partner in 2014 and 2015. Melzer will oversee the entire firm, including its Palo Alto office.

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Melzer joined the firm in 1988. He’s a business litigator and chairperson of the firm’s unfair competition/class-action defense group. He has been a member of Rutan’s executive committee for several years and is the firm’s co-general counsel.

Melzer’s litigation and trial experience includes class actions, false advertising and consumer claims, unfair competition, real estate litigation, and internal partnership and corporate disputes. He handles cases throughout the country in federal and state courts that frequently involve high-profile or high-dollar value disputes.

Rutan & Tucker is one of California’s largest full-service law firms. Primary practice areas include corporate and securities law, business, banking and finance, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, government and regulatory law.