Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mount Rushmore

A reader wants your input on who you think are the best defense bar trial attorneys in Las Vegas. It seems like we hear about Eglet the best plaintiff's bar advocates all the time. There are a million defense attorneys in this town and they can't all be good. The reader would genuinely like to know, from other attorneys in town (on both sides of the bar), who is on your Mount Rushmore (top 4) of defense trial attorneys in Las Vegas? 

81 comments:

  1. I've heard Ranalli is a good defense trial attorney, can't say that i have heard the same about his personal character though..

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    1. Ranalli doesn't go to trial unless it's a guaranteed win for him, he won't take the risk of losing (smart). Also, he's too busy running his billing empire.

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    2. The carrier and client often determine if the case goes to trial. The attorney in insurance defense is often just the "Messenger."

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  2. Second to Bill Terry. Richard Wright is also really good as well.

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  3. Conversely, who would you avoid like the plague? Jason J. Bach, whose unpaid income tax liens and court sanctions were put on blast on Scribd, would top my list.

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  4. I hear Dennis Prince is incredible.

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    1. Dennis is Plaintiff's counsel now. Sadly, yes he is good which is why most are not happy about him switching sides.

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  5. Craig Anderson and Dale Hayes. Hot in and out of court.

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  6. Pisanelli is amazing in court, very cool and collected. Nick Santoro is very good. On the criminal side, I've heard that Mike Sanft is really strong as a younger, up and comer.

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    1. Sanft IS an excellent attorney, but the use of the words "up and comer" and especially "younger" are hilarious.

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    2. When compared to Bill Terry, OK

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  7. Kumen Taylor does great work and is always above the bar.

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    1. Didn't Kumen just get run by Prince for a multi-million dollar verdict?

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    2. It was a settlement for about 40-times Kumen's pretrial offer. Better or worse than a verdict?

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    3. Kumen was throttled by Dennis!Aria escalator case on cvn.com last month. Dennis doesn't go to trial without knowing that he's going to mop the floor with any defense attorney dumb enough to think at that point they can get a defense verdict! I think defense clients and insurers think that they can get the actual plaintiffs themselves to crack for a lower settlement but, that strategy fails when you have someone like Prince or Eglet. Worked out good for Kumen as he got all those billable hours in litigation and four days billable trial work and still was able to save some face even if a $3 million settlement was what it took the day before the case went to the jury.

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    4. The jurors said they would have found for defendants in that case. Shouldn't have settled.

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  8. Has anyone seen Dennis Kennedy in Court? Is he worth his (purported) $1,000 hourly rate? Does he actually collect $1,000, or is that a Kohl's-type pricing method where his "going rate" is $1,000, but just for you, he'll reduce it to the low low price of $600? If he actually collects $1,000, doesn't that automatically make him the defense side winner? Just like the proof is in the pudding with Eglet's verdicts, isn't the proof in the pudding by Kennedy's ability to demand his rate?

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    1. Unless he regularly get defense friendly verdicts, he aint worth 1,000. period.

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    2. I've seen him in action first hand, and that rate must be higher by now because it was close to $1000/hour a few years ago. Worth every cent if you can afford it.

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    3. Nobody else over at his office is any great shakes. Act like they are.

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    4. If you have a legal malpractice issue, Dennis is worth the cheese.

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    5. Don't hire Mike Warhola, he is an idiot.

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  9. With sealing of criminal records, does anyone know what specific department in justice court you file in? The record is purged.
    Thank you!

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  10. What about Riley Clayton? He's not my favorite person, but the guy tries a ton of cases...

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    1. tons of cases?

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    2. At least 2,000 pounds worth of cases.

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  11. You file in the court that had the original arrest or conviction. It is considered civil, so you don't have to use the same case number on your petition.

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  12. It surprises me the number of attorneys in this town who have never even tried a bench trial. A lot of them are judges.

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  13. I've been practicing 8 years now (4 of that as a solo attorney), and I've tried about 7 bench trials. Never had a jury trial, though. That's what scares me. I'll be puking my guts out before my first jury trial.

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  14. I would love to see how many of the anonymous posts above were attorneys naming themselves.

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  15. WTH is Craig Anderson?

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    1. John Mowbray is older than dirt and when is the last time he tried a case? He's "old guard" LSC now Finnemore Craig managing director. I know he is house counsel for Allegiant Air and personal attorney for Phyllis Frias among others. The only real public work I've seen out of him was when he escorted Phyllis Frias to a settlement conference over the Mark James CEO of Frias Corp fiasco and had her write out a "YUGE" check on that one! I think he was up against Nice. No way Mowbray is even close to top 4 defense trial attorneys in town. Overall trial defense bar is very weak in Vegas. Bunch of "billing mills" who settle cases out because of the jury bias in Clark County is definitely pro plaintiff and anti-business, anti-insurance. Same can be said for most judges at RJC.

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    2. Said yet another bitter insurance defense attorney.

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    3. Don't worry defense lawyers let's all dream together of happier times:
      https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/litigation/b/litigation-blog/archive/2014/05/23/nevada-state-court-jury-returns-defense-verdict-in-2-plaintiff-actos-cancer-trial.aspx?Redirected=true

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  17. The NV Bar site is spectacularly down. Quick, someone finish the wordpress install!

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    1. It's 8:35am and it's still down. I clicked the next button but am not about to do the rest!

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  18. Nick Santoro, Scott Bogatz, Mark Ferrario - all extremely talented in the courtroom.

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    1. Scott Bogatz?? You're funny!!

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    2. Scott Bogatz? Are you serious? Nick and Mark are good. Peek is good (asshole but good). The interesting thing is how define "Defense Attorney." Santoro, Ferrario, Backus, Peek--good trial attorneys but there is no defined line of Plaintiff/Defense in business litigation so I am not certain you can define them as defense attorneys.

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    3. Put Bogatz in Odyssey and take a look. Whether you like himor not, it's a fact that plaintiffs never get quick or easy victories against him.

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    4. Win, lose or draw, Plaintiff is going to spend a lot of time and money if Bogatz is defending.

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    5. Also B.S. Bogatz is a weak writer and even weaker in court. Once you get through all of the name-dropping, he says nothing.

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    6. You're an idiot if you think any of the attorneys named on this thread still write their own briefs.

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    7. You're also an idiot if you don't think it matters who you know, especially in this town.

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    8. Silly boy! You are talking about "drafting" -- I am talking about "writing."

      The attorneys named in this thread review and revise the briefs that are "drafted" by their associates heavily before filing and they don't trust anyone to submit briefs to the court under their name without reviewing them first (that's part of what makes them good). The end product is a brief "written" by the named attorney.

      And when it comes to Bogatz, if you are going to drop a name, drop of name of (1) someone who matters; and (2) someone who has heard of you. Bogatz fails on both accounts. Sorry Scott.

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    9. And I apologize that I didn't work the word "idiot" into my response. I'll try harder next time.

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    10. Don't worry, your responses had plenty of "idiot" in them.

      More to the point though, I disagree with your opinion about Bogatz' writing and oral advocacy skills. Those skills and qualities are subjective too. What is less subjective, and what most clients really care about, is results. In this category, as a few of the earlier commenters pointed out, Bogatz is up there with the best of them in this town.

      writing and oral advocacy are important to an extent, but they aren't always what gets results.

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    11. We shall agree to disagree.

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  19. If I needed some insurance defense expertise, what about Phil Goodheart?

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    1. That is a good man right there.

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  20. Extremely confused by this post. "Defense bar trial attorneys" doesn't articulate what you are asking. Assuming your reference to "plaintiffs bar advocates" I can only assume you are talking about civil practice. However, others have posted on this string regarding criminal practice. I work for a judge and we have a split calendar. One stack civil and one criminal, alternating. I can tell you this. The good civil defense lawyers never go to trial. The good criminal ones have to. According to my judge, there aren't any good civil defense trial attorneys, as the good ones know when to force a resolution. Also, there are only a couple good criminal defense attorneys. Bill Terry and Rick Wright are amazing attorneys but haven't been to trial in decades. Our department thinks there are a couple very good public defenders, but the only lawyer that anyone that can't qualify for the public defender should hire is Josh Tomcheck. It seems like all lawyers and police officers that get arrested hire him and none of his client's go to jail. The other criminal lawyer we love is Chris Oram. On the civil side we haven't seen a good defense trial lawyer in years. We have however seen some horrible ones. I could name names.

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    1. It's Tomsheck. Not Tomcheck. You can't recommend him and not know how to spell his name. But, agreed.

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    2. Tom Pitaro for criminal defense. None better in Las Vegas over the last 20 years or so.

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    3. Rick Wright hasn't been to trial in decades? Did you sleep through the Dipak Desai trial?

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    4. How did Desai do?

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    5. My apologies... I was awake for that one. Where the good Dr was convicted? I meant to say he hasn't WON a trial in decades. Whereas others have. Tomsheck (sorry about the misspelling), Chris Oram, Pete Christiansen, Norm Reade from the PDs office, have all gotten not guilty verdicts or hung juries on cases that were "unwindable." Agree on Pitaro... Missed that one. He may not be as sharp as he once was but he cross examines as good as anyone.

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    6. 9:25, so who are the best civil attorneys in your opinion (understanding that plaintiff/defense means less on the civil side)? Inquiring minds want to know!

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    7. Ok, ok, ok. I am a public defender. We get phenomenal training by Jordan Savage and others. Josh Tomsheck's cases always comes up as part of our training. My question is, is he that good? Or is he just that good looking? Either way, I'd hire him. Damn.

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    8. Sometimes it is better to have an attorney who can get you a great deal. Chesnoff and Wright come to mind. Just because Wright lost the Desai trial doesn't make him good. The lawyers referenced are good, but they would have lost too. Wright did a great job of delaying and keeping Desai out of prison for as long as he did.

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    9. @7:02pm - Tomscheck? I’ll give you that he’s a great attorney. Just ask him, he’ll tell you. But good looking??? Although I understand why your judgment is skewed if your baseline is the low-quality selection of meat at the PD’s office. There’s not a hot one in the bunch over there. I have a practice that’s pretty evenly split between criminal and civil. For good looking I prefer the civil bar. Or the crossovers like Pete Christansen….yummy.

      As far as skills, I think the good [male] criminal defense attorneys have been named. For civil, Campbell and Kemp are the only noticeably missing [male] superstars.

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    10. Perhaps "superstars" Campbell and Kemp weren't mentioned because they aren't civil DEFENSE attorneys.

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    11. 3:46: Thank you for your contribution to this debate on good defense attorneys. I personally know all the attorneys you discussed. Frankly, I have something in common with all the attorneys mentioned in your post. Namely, neither, they, nor I, care what you or anyone else thinks of them or their performance. They are simply too busy and successful to worry about weird opinions cast from the distance of mediocrity. However, admittedly after 2 glasses of merlot, I have to respond. This is because you have an opinion as to defense attorneys and named two who aren't. And that was following your opinion about two attorneys for whom you aren't even bright enough to spell their names. I don't practice criminal law or care to do so, but I know how to spell and which side of the courtroom a lawyer stands on. Good luck in your future career as a practice that is evenly split between criminal and civil and appliance delivery.

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    12. $1.67 for who can point out the grammar errors from the douche post.

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    13. If anybody orders merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any fucking merlot!

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    14. What do I win for identifying the author as Sean Claggett? The merlot line gives it away.

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    15. Clagett drinks wine from a box.

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    16. 9:53-- do you tuck or tape that douchenozzle when you are in court? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  21. Evidentiary question: are settlement agreements with other parties admissible? What is the link for the attorney that is exclusively evidence? I appreciate it.

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  22. If we're talking about insurance defense lawyers, I'd go with Tom Winner and Steve Rogers.

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  23. 1:11 name names!

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  24. North Las Vegas Muni Court update - http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/north-las-vegas-judge-barred-re-election-run-suspended-without-pay

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    1. Mini-Halverson?

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    2. She got nailed on pretty much every single issue presented to the commission. Agreed to not run for re-election as well.

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