Nevada Business Journal is pleased to publish its first Legal Elite which recognized outstanding lawyers in the state, as ranked by their peers. Balloting for Legal Elite began in February 2008, when all in-state members of The Nevada Bar were invited to participate, naming other lawyers whom they hold in the highest regard. In addition, they were asked to submit two names of the best up-and-coming attorneys in the state, as well as two government attorneys. The ballots were processed, checked and tabulated. Each lawyer was given a score based on the number of votes he or she received and whether the votes came from within their firm (one point) or outside their firm (three points). Only lawyers who are currently licensed and practicing in Nevada were considered eligible. Here are their choices for this year’s Legal Elite.
Bruce T. Beesley
Bankruptcy & Workout – Lewis & Roca, LLP, Reno
Bruce T. Beesley is a partner of Lewis & Roca, LLP. His primary focus is in the area of creditors’ rights and secured transactions. Beesley has represented clients in several major bankruptcy actions in Nevada, including serving as co-counsel with Squire Sanders & Dempsey for Amerco (U-Haul) in its successful reorganization and as co-counsel representing a major creditor in the Stratosphere bankruptcy. He has also co-counseled with Goodwin Procter in representing the major creditor in the PTI Holding Corp. (London Fog) bankruptcy and served as counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Carson Furniture bankruptcy.
Todd L. Bice
Commercial Litigation – Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Las Vegas
Todd L. Bice is a shareholder in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Litigation Group in the Las Vegas office. His practice centers on commercial litigation, civil rights, constitutional disputes, election law, and contested administrative matters involving gaming and land use. Bice represents a broad spectrum of clients including large corporations, municipalities, public agencies, and private individuals. As part of his practice, Bice represents several of Nevada’s largest gaming companies in corporate governance contests, commercial litigation, and gaming disputes.
Business Law – Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders, Las Vegas
Kurt Bonds is a partner at Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders specializing in corporate law, transactions, real estate matters, homeowners’ associations, and estate planning. He received his Juris Doctorate in 1996 at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He has been practicing law in Nevada since being admitted to the Bar in 1997. Bonds is a member of various bar associations and professional organizations in the state.
Government & Administrative – Lewis & Roca, LLP, Las Vegas
Anthony Cabot is a partner and chair of the Gaming Law practice group of Lewis & Roca, LLP. His practice emphasis is on gaming law and Internet gaming, sweepstakes and contests, which also encompasses administrative law. Cabot is the immediate past president and founding member of the International Masters of Gaming Law Association, co-editor-in-chief of the Gaming Law Review, founding editor of The Internet Gambling Report V and adjunct faculty for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Boyd School of Law and William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.
Donald J. Campbell
Civil Trial – Campbell and Williams, Las Vegas
Donald J. Campbell is a senior partner in the Las Vegas firm of Campbell & Williams. In 1981, Campbell was named assistant United States attorney and went on to become Chief of the Organized Crime and Drug Task Forces. In 1986, he went into the private practice of law. Since then, Campbell has lead counsel in a long list of well-publicized jury trials, having represented Donald Trump, The Wall Street Journal, the Las Vegas Review Journal, Agassi Enterprises, many professional athletes and Nevada’s leading political figures. His service to the bench and bar has included a three-year term as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and a four-year term as Disciplinary Chairman for the State Bar of Nevada.
Laurel E. Davis
Bankruptcy & Workout – Fennemore Craig, P.C., Las Vegas
Laurel E. Davis is a director at Fennemore Craig, P.C. in Las Vegas, where she practices in the areas of business bankruptcy, debtor rights, creditor remedies, business and commercial litigation, workouts and restructures. Davis is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtors Rights, and she has an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest such rating available to any individual lawyer. In 2008, she became a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Honorary Society. Since 1993, she has held a business bankruptcy certification from the American Board of Certification.
Robert T. Eglet
Civil Trial – Mainor Eglet Cottle, Las Vegas
Robert T. Eglet is a senior partner with Mainor Eglet Cottle where he focuses his practice on trying wrongful death and serious complex injury cases. He has the distinction of being the firm’s most experienced trial attorney having tried more than 80 civil jury trials. In 2004, Eglet was the recipient of the “Badger Award” for his service to the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association and to the People of Nevada. He has achieved the AV rating from Martindale-Hubble, the highest such rating available to any individual lawyer. Eglet is also included in the Martindale-Hubble Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyer. He is the president of the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association and has been a member of its Board of Governors since 2002.
Commercial Litigation – McDonald Carano Wilson LLP , Reno
John Frankovich is a managing partner in the Reno office of McDonald Carano Wilson LLP. His practice focuses on real property development and transactions, litigation, and public utilities law. Frankovich is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Nevada and California, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has represented a number of major real estate development projects in Northern Nevada in connection with acquisitions, entitlements, financing and sales. Frankovich also handles commercial litigation, including bench and jury trials involving business and commercial disputes, encompassing construction disputes, real estate transactions, employment law and condemnation.
Commercial Litigation – McDonald Carano Wilson, LLP, Las Vegas
Andrew Gordon is a partner in the Las Vegas office of McDonald Carano Wilson LLP. His practice focuses on commercial litigation including general business disputes, shareholder derivative actions, construction, real estate and title disputes, landlord/tenant issues, employment disputes and securities claims. Gordon is a commercial, construction and employment arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association and serves as a private arbitrator and mediator. He is chair of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Lawyer Representative Coordinating Committee, and is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Nevada and Arizona, the Ninth Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Michael D. Haight
Personal Injury – Henness and Haight, Injury Attorneys, Las Vegas
Michael D. Haight is co-founder and co-owner of Henness and Haight, Injury Attorneys. Immediately after law school, he immersed himself in trial work. As a defense attorney, Haight originally defended drivers who caused accidents, and he thus gained experience and insight into how insurance companies work. In 1998, he made the decision to represent injured victims and exclusively handles only personal injury claims. Haight is a member of the Clark County and Nevada Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice in all Nevada courts, in the Ninth Federal District Court, and before the United States Supreme Court. He is a sustaining member of the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, and he has been a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association since 2001.
Israel “Ishi” Kunin
Adoption, Marital & Family – Kunin & Jones, Las Vegas
Ishi Kunin is the owner of the law office of Kunin & Jones. She has practiced solely in the area of domestic relations and probate for the past 24 years. Prior to this, she was a Deputy Attorney General for the Welfare Division, dealing with child related issues. Kunin is one of two Nevada attorneys who belong to the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. She has an active practice representing both birth parents and adoptive parents, and has many interstate, as well as some inter-country adoptions. Kunin’s practice has expanded into the area of assisted reproduction. In May of 1997, she was appointed by the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada to serve as a Settlement Judge, and in March of 1999, designated as a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Charlie H. Luh
Insurance – Luh & Associates, Las Vegas
Charlie H. Luh is the managing partner of the Las Vegas law firm of Luh & Associates, which he founded in early 2003. Luh devotes his practice to insurance defense litigation, construction defect litigation, commercial litigation, and consumer bankruptcy. He has represented subcontractors on more than 150 litigated matters and has participated in one of the first construction defect trials in Clark County.
George F. Ogilvie
Commercial Litigation – McDonald Carano Wilson, LLP, Las Vegas
George F. Ogilvie is the managing partner of McDonald Carano Wilson’s Las Vegas office. Practicing primarily in construction and commercial litigation, he is a member of the firm’s construction law group and litigation department, and regularly appears before the state and federal bench in Nevada. Ogilvie also frequently appears before various municipal boards and governmental agencies in Southern Nevada. He represents publicly traded, multinational corporations, national and regional construction companies and medium-sized to large local businesses. His litigation experience includes frequent hearings seeking and opposing injunctive and extraordinary relief, jury trials and arguments before the Nevada Supreme Court.
Insurance – Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders, Las Vegas
Nathan Reinmiller is a partner at Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders, engaged in the practice of civil litigation with a primary focus on professional liability. He has experience with insurance coverage litigation, including bad faith and primary versus excess insurance disputes, and has obtained favorable verdicts in significant bad faith cases. Reinmiller’s practice also includes products liability cases on behalf of many national and international companies ranging from electrical manufacturers to asbestos related manufacturers and distributors. Reinmiller also represents numerous law firms and attorneys in malpractice claims.
Civil Trial, Alverson – Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders, Las Vegas
LeAnn Sanders is a partner at Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders who specializes in civil litigation, insurance law, employment law, and medical malpractice defense work. She joined the Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders law firm in 1985, and became the firm’s first female partner in 1991. Sanders is an associate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and currently serves as the Las Vegas Chapter Secretary/Treasurer. Sanders is recognized as one of the top trial lawyers in Las Vegas. In the fall of 2007, she was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Frank A. Schreck
Government & Administrative – Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Las Vegas
Frank A. Schreck is chair of the Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s gaming law group and member of the firm’s corporate & securities group. Schreck has represented many of the premier public and private gaming companies in licensing matters and all other aspects of regulatory compliance such as Wynn Resorts, Ltd., MGM Mirage, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. and Station Casinos.
Ellen L. Schulhofer
Business Law – Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Las Vegas
Ellen L. Schulhofer is the managing shareholder for the Las Vegas office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and a member of the firm’s executive committee. She is primarily responsible for the corporate & business group in Las Vegas. Her practice involves handling corporate and commercial transactions on behalf of the firm’s gaming and non-gaming clients. Schulhofer supervises the firm’s representation as local Nevada counsel for public company clients involved in equity and debt offerings. She also handles the review and rendering of advice with respect to Nevada corporate and gaming law issues in proxy statements and other filings made under federal securities laws.
Ambrish S. Sidhu
Bankruptcy & Workout – Sidhu Law Firm, Las Vegas
Ambrish S. Sidhu is the principal member of the Sidhu Law Firm, LLC with practice focusing on representation of individual and corporate debtors and creditors in bankruptcy matters, immigration and naturalization matters, commercial litigation and business transactions, and landlord/tenant disputes. Sidhu commenced his practice in Nevada as an associate with the law firm of Gordon & Silver, Ltd. where he was a member of the litigation and bankruptcy departments. While at Gordon & Silver, he represented clients in commercial litigation matters in the Eighth Judicial District Court and corporate debtors in Chapter 11 cases and adversary proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada.
Richard M. Trachok
International Gaming & Regulatory Law – Bruce & Trachok, P.C., Reno
Richard M. Trachok, II is a partner in the Reno law firm of Bruce & Trachok, concentrating in international transactions, international regulatory issues, and gaming and regulatory law. His is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, School of Law, where he teaches international business dispute resolution. Trachok is a member of the Board of Directors of Gauselmann AG, a German conglomerate, and chairman of the Gaming and Regulatory Committee of Lottomatica SpA, an Italian publicly traded company.
Top Up and Coming Attorneys
Business Law – T. James Truman & Associates, Las Vegas
Stephen Dixon was born and raised in Las Vegas. He is an attorney at T. James Truman & Associates. Dixon’s primary areas of practice include business and corporate law, liens, wills, trusts and estate planning. He also has a background in family law. Dixon counsels individuals and businesses on all facets of real estate, corporate and litigation issues. He also represents clients before state administrative agencies. Dixon helps clients with landlord tenant issues, real estate transactions, asset protection, lien rights and business associations. He also represents clients before the state and federal courts of Nevada and has experience in probate litigation, and the Nevada District Court’s for Clark County and Nye County.
Michael V. Infuso
Commercial Litigation – Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Las Vegas
Michael V. Infuso is an associate in Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Las Vegas office and a member of the firm’s litigation group. His practice focuses on commercial, trademark, construction, mechanic’s lien, ERISA, ADA and civil rights disputes. Infuso has worked extensively defending suits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has also represented several employee benefit trust funds in suits to obtain delinquent employer contributions. His most recent work has included enforcing and protecting trademarks in connection with events held in Las Vegas, and ADA-related matters.
Josephine Binetti McPeak
Commercial Litigation – McDonald Carano Wilson, LLP, Las Vegas
Josephine Binetti McPeak is an attorney with the Las Vegas office of McDonald Carano Wilson LLP. McPeak concentrates her practice in state and federal courts, and in private mediations and arbitrations, focusing on general commercial litigation and construction disputes. She is also a member of the firm’s appellate practice group. McPeak assists clients from the pre-stages of litigation through the appellate process. She frequently counsels clients in contract disputes and fraud and tort claims. In addition, McPeak represents owners, developers, contractors and material suppliers in construction litigation, including residential and commercial construction defect litigation and mechanic’s lien disputes.
Real Estate Transactions – McDonald Carano Wilson, LLP, Reno
Michael Pagni is a partner in the Reno office of McDonald Carano Wilson LLP. His practice focuses on real estate and water law, corporate and transactional law, administrative law and government relations. Pagni serves as outside counsel to several large public agencies in Northern Nevada, and served as general counsel to Governor Jim Gibbons in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign. He is admitted to practice in all Nevada state courts, as well as the United States District Court for the District of Nevada and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Transportation Law – Alverson Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders, Las Vegas
Karie Wilson is a partner at Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders. She specializes in civil litigation, with a focus on products liability and transportation law. Wilson attended the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law in San Diego, and was admitted to the Nevada State Bar in 2001. Wilson is licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Nevada and the U.S. Supreme Court, and is a member of the Defense Research Institute and the Supreme Court Historical Society.
Top Government Attorneys
Mark A. Clayton
Nevada Gaming Control Board, Las Vegas
Mark A. Clayton is one of three members of Nevada’s State Gaming Control Board, the regulatory authority that grants gaming licenses to casinos and individuals as well as monitors compliance with Nevada’s Gaming Control Act. Governor Kenny Guinn appointed Clayton to the Gaming Control Board in February 2005. Prior to his appointment to the board, he worked with Caesars Entertainment, Inc., responsible for all company corporate transactions; Aladdin Hotel & Casino, overseeing the property’s legal affairs from its financing, construction, opening, commencement of operations and Securities and Exchange Commission filings; and Showboat, Inc., responsible for the company’s corporate transactions. He is also an instructor at the Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
North Las Vegas , City Attorney
Mike Davidson has been practicing law in Southern Nevada since 1979 after receiving his Juris Doctor, with distinction, from the University of Arizona, College of Law, where he served as executive editor of the Arizona Law Review. Following 20 years as a private practice civil and criminal trial lawyer, he joined the Clark County District Attorney’s Office as Assistant District Attorney from 1998-2003. After a brief return to private practice, Davidson was named Chief Deputy City Attorney, Criminal Division for North Las Vegas in 2004. Davidson is a member of the State Bars of Nevada and Arizona and is admitted to practice in all Federal Courts including the United States Supreme Court.
C.W. “Bill” Hoffman
Clark County School District
Bill Hoffman is the general counsel of the Clark County School District, the 5th largest district in the United States. He provides legal advice to district employees – teachers, superintendents and elected members of the Board of School Trustees – on a variety of legal matters, including employment law, personal injury, civil rights, business transactions, public construction law and education law. Hoffman also practices in both state and federal courts, as well as administrative bodies such as the Nevada’s Employee Management Relations Board. He is a member of the Nevada and California bars and serves on Nevada’s Commission on Judicial Discipline, which is responsible for the investigation of complaints and discipline of judges.
North Las Vegas, City Attorney
A North Las Vegas resident, Carie Torrence was hired by the City of North Las Vegas in 2002 and appointed City Attorney in February 2007. Since 2003, the City of North Las Vegas has been one of the top three fastest growing cities and in 2007 was named the fastest growing large city in America. Torrence is a member of the State and Local Government Section of the American Bar Association and in 2007 received the Jefferson B. Fordham Up and Comers Award by the Section. She also serves as the Nevada State Chair for the International Municipal Lawyer’s Association.
Robert T. Warhola
City of Las Vegas, Deputy District Attorney
Robert T. Warhola has been employed as a Deputy District Attorney in the civil division of the Clark County District Attorney’s office since 1996. Warhola counsels the Clark County Board of Commissioners and county staff primarily on matters related to zoning and land use planning. He has drafted multiple ordinances and development agreements encompassing a variety of zoning and land use issues. Warhola has litigated zoning and eminent domain cases before the Supreme Court of Nevada, the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada and the United States District Court, District of Nevada. He has prepared and presented articles on issues covering zoning, land use planning, the Nevada Open Meeting Law and the Nevada Ethics in Government Law.