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OIG Adds Attorney Investigator Rachael Melford

Apr 15, 2024

Oppenheimer Investigations Group LLP (OIG) announces the addition of Rachael Melford to the firm as an attorney investigator. She is based in the Los Angeles area.

“Rachael’s background aligns well with OIG, and her depth of expertise strengthens us in key areas that have become increasingly important to our clients,” said Vida Thomas, managing partner of the firm. “Rachael’s ability to skillfully leverage trauma-informed approaches to uncover the truth makes her a highly impactful investigator and a solid addition to our team. Her addition reflects OIG’s commitment to providing clients with quality resources and expertise to help ensure safer spaces and timely responses to claims of inappropriate workplace behavior.”

Rachael’s practice focuses on conducting thorough, impartial workplace investigations for public entities, with an emphasis on handling complex matters for law enforcement and other public safety agencies. She joins OIG after working at the Orange County Office of Independent Review, where she provided oversight to several public safety agencies by identifying high-risk conduct through impartial investigations and addressing the same by recommending remedial measures rooted in evidence-based best practices. During her time there, Rachael conducted independent investigations of citizen and incarcerated-person complaints, officer-involved shootings, custodial deaths, compliance with new reproductive and healthcare rights for incarcerated persons, and the use of chemical restraints on detained youth.

Prior to that, Rachael spent more than 14 years working at the Yuba County Public Defender’s Office, where she represented indigent criminal defendants in a wide variety of cases and conducted investigations, interviewing and consulting both lay and expert witnesses in preparation for trial. While there, she was assigned to several collaborative and restorative justice courts, including drug and conservatorship courts.

Rachael earned her J.D., Litigation Certificate with Distinction, from Golden Gate University, School of Law, and her B.A. with Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara.