Burnette listed among Top 50 in “Power Issue 2015”

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – Burnette Shutt & McDaniel partner M. Malissa Burnette has been recognized in Free Times’ “Power Issue 2015,” making her debut on a list that includes such elite company as Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

The newspaper’s annual ranking of “50 People Who Get Things Done in the Capital City” began in 2012. The list includes politicians, business leaders, judges, attorneys and law officers. The publication recognized Burnette for her work in the battle for marriage equality.

“Same-sex marriage is now legal in South Carolina. It came a lot sooner than anyone expected. And while many people contributed to that effort, Burnette Shutt & McDaniel attorney Malissa Burnette’s work as the head of a legal team at SC Equality was instrumental in getting the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriages overturned in federal court,” the magazine wrote.

Burnette’s opponent in one of the marriage equality cases, state Attorney General Alan Wilson, also made the list.

Burnette Shutt & McDaniel colleagues Nekki Shutt and Jax Pavlicek worked with Burnette on the litigation, filed on behalf of a Charleston couple who were denied a marriage license. Burnette said she considers “each lawyer on the team equally dedicated to bringing the freedom to marry to all South Carolinians.”

It’s not the first ground-breaking litigation in which Burnette has been involved. She also represented clients in cases that opened the doors of The Citadel to women and allowed South Carolina girls to play contact sports in public schools.

A certified Specialist in Employment and Labor Law since 1993, Burnette’s practice includes wrongful termination cases and wage disputes in addition to a range of discrimination cases. She’s also an arbitrator and certified federal court mediator.