I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. My parents moved us west at a very early age, and I grew up in Las Vegas. I attended elementary school through high school here, and ultimately received my undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Afterward, I matriculated at the California Western School of Law in San Diego. There, I served as Lead Articles Editor for the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude.
From law school, I accepted a one-year clerkship with Justice David Zenoff of the Nevada Supreme Court sitting in Carson City, Nevada. At the end of the clerkship, I joined Nevada’s largest private law firm at the time, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, and returned to Las Vegas. Shortly after joining the firm, it opened an office in Reno where I moved to assist in that effort, returning to Las Vegas once the office was established.
After more than a decade as a partner in the Lionel firm, I decided to try something different and joined Mikohn Gaming Corporation as its General Counsel. Mikohn, a worldwide supplier of gaming equipment with offices in the U.S., Europe, South America and Australia, afforded me the opportunity to travel quite extensively. My work at the company involved negotiating and drafting contracts of many types with vendors, customers, consultants, lenders, inventors and others. It also involved negotiating and drafting contracts for the acquisition and disposition of businesses, business units and business assets, including a large number of intellectual property transactions. I drafted many form contracts for the company’s use in repetitive transactions. A substantial portion of my time was devoted to regulatory compliance (primarily gaming and SEC), overseeing litigation and the work of corporate secretary. During my tenure at the company, I served on the company’s Executive Committee and chaired the Compliance Committee.
In 2003, I left Mikohn to return to private practice. Since then, my focus has been complex commercial litigation and corporate, business and gaming law. In the last several years, I have handled a number of cases involving management control issues and business break-ups, a practice area which I particularly enjoy.
I pride myself on developing solid working relationships with my clients, as well as a thorough understanding of each client’s needs and objectives from both a legal and business perspective.
Recent cases I have handled include:
- Representation of minority shareholders to force inspection of corporate records and to compel a shareholders meeting.
- Representation of a large lender who obtained majority control of a corporation through enforcement of a stock pledge agreement securing a personal guaranty and thereafter replacing the board of directors and corporate management.
- Representation of a large regional high-end shopping mall in an action against a tenant-nightclub to terminate a lease based on security issues related to the nightclub’s clientele.
- Representation of one of four equal partners, all brothers, in the dissolution of a family partnership owning more than 100 shopping centers.
- Representation of a landlord in a multi-million-dollar toxic mold case.
- Representation of a large resort/casino in an action against a nightclub to prohibit the nightclub from offering entertainment that violated lease provisions prohibiting “obscene, nude or semi-nude performances” or other “adult entertainment.”
- Representation of a large resort/casino in an action against a tenant-nightclub to terminate a lease for failure to timely complete tenant improvements and commence operations.
- Representation of a large minority shareholder against a large resort/casino attempting to forcefully redeem the client’s shares for alleged activities deemed unsuitable by gaming regulators.
- Representation of a developer of a billion-dollar condominium/entertainment venue to specifically enforce a letter of intent to purchase real property (golf course) adjacent to the venue.
- Representation of a mezzanine hard-money lender in an action by multiple purchasers of a failed condominium project for fraud and securities law violations.
- Representation of an insurance company lender in an action brought by co-lenders for fraud and conspiracy involving failed multi-billion-dollar casino/resort.
I have held an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell for more than 25 years. Since 2010, I have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in six categories:
- Bet-the-Company Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Corporate Law
- Litigation – Intellectual Property
- Litigation – Real Estate
- Litigation — Labor & Employment
In 2016 and again in 2019 I was named by The Best Lawyers in America as “Lawyer of the Year – Las Vegas” in Litigation – Real Estate and in 2019 as “Lawyer of the Year – Las Vegas” in Litigation – Intellectual Property. I am also recognized by Super Lawyers – Mountain States Region in Business Litigation.
- California Western School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- Member, Board of Editors, California Western Law Review
- University of Nevada, BS Business Administration
- Member, Clark County Bar
- Member, State Bar of Nevada
- Member, Board of Trustees, International Association of Gaming Attorneys, 1999-2003
- Lawyer Representative to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada 2011 – 2014
- State Bar of Nevada
- State Bar of California (Inactive)
- U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court