WILLIAM S. BOYD SCHOOL OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS
- Dean's Award
- Pro Bono Honors
- Carl W. Tobias Excellence in Writing Award
- Public Interest Fellowship
- Academic Scholarship
- President of the Child Advocacy Law Association
- Kids' Court School Outstanding Student
- Juvenile Justice Clinic
- Nevada Law Journal
- Partners in Pro Bono Program
- Student Ambassador
- Community Service Committee
- LACSN Educational Surrogate Parent Program
- Upward Bound Mock Trial Program
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Bachelor of Arts
Major: Criminology & Psychology
- Nevada State Bar
- United States District Court, District of Nevada
- United States Immigration Court
- Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice (NACJ)
- Rising Stars, Super Lawyers
- Top 100 Lawyers, MYVEGAS Magazine
- Top 40 Under 40, National Trial Lawyers
Rethinking the Nevada Campus Protection Act: Future Challenges & Reaching a Legislative Compromise, 15 Nev. L.J. 389 (2015).
Five Things You Should Know About Starting Your Own Law Firm, Communiqué, The Official Publication of the Clark County Bar Association (January 2019).
Why do you practice criminal law?
I attended law school to become a Judge Advocate General with the United States Marine Corps. I started my application for Officer Candidates School but was forced to withdraw after I tore a muscle in my shoulder. I joined the Clark County Public Defender as a law clerk the following summer and discovered a new mission: protecting those accused of a crime. I spent the next two years defending those accused of a crime, including children, and lobbying for criminal justice reform in the Nevada Legislature. After my judicial clerkship with the Honorable Michael P. Villani, it felt natural to practice criminal defense and protect the Constitution.
Why practice in Nevada?
After completing my Bachelor of Arts at the Ohio State University, I traveled throughout the United States to explore a love for photography. During my travels, I always enjoyed my trips to Las Vegas, the transient and colorful community, and the abundance of state and national parks. Months later, I chose to attend law school and my first choice was the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Rejecting law school admissions throughout the United States, I settled in Las Vegas to attend a young law school with a brilliant faculty and great resources in the local community. Nevada quickly became my home.
What does the attorney-client relationship mean to you?
As an attorney, my job as an advocate is to explore equitable and legal arguments for my clients. However, I take my role as a counselor very seriously and immediately begin educating clients about their constitutional rights and the possible outcomes for their case. I waste no time and like to establish realistic expectations. Most clients feel overwhelmed after an arrest, so I use my experience in the courtroom to dispel the uncertainty of what may occur and how the case may unfold. I take my role as both an advocate and counselor very seriously.
What makes you different from other attorneys?
I invest the time, attention, and care into every case to achieve the best result possible for the client. I take a personal interest in the outcome of each case and the satisfaction of each client. I do not pass my cases to a junior attorney or an outside or contract attorney. The most frequent complaint by clients about their attorneys is poor communication, which is why my clients have my personal cell phone at their disposal day and night. I respond personally to all client communication and answer calls on a first name basis. After a court appearance, if the client's presence was not required, I personally call, text, or email each client with any developments. I seek to resolve my cases in a timely fashion, although if circumstances prolong a favorable result, I settle in for the long haul and refuse to let the case languish.
What is your favorite type of case?
Battery domestic violence. As an attorney for one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State of Nevada, I handled nearly seventy-five percent of all battery domestic violence cases at the firm. These cases were difficult to negotiate due to the prosecuting attorney's statutory inability to dismiss the case under most circumstances. I noticed that many attorneys did not give these cases the time and attention to negotiate a favorable outcome before trial. I also noticed that the police often conducted a hurried or incomplete investigation, which frequently left me representing-in my professional opinion-the wrong person. With emotions high, the wrong person accused, and an incomplete investigation, I took the representation of battery domestic violence cases very seriously. I sought to provide the absolute best defense for these clients and obtain a favorable outcome for each one. Although exhausting, battery domestic violence cases remain my favorite because of the enormous collateral consequences that my clients and I must avoid together.
Is there one case you will always remember?
As a Student-Attorney for the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic, I represented a young girl in Juvenile Court accused of battery domestic violence. While a simple case on paper, trouble at school and home were the true source of her delinquency. Working with various therapists in Clark County, I obtained individual and family therapy for her and developed an Individual Educational Program to address her academic shortcomings. This case will always remind me of the individualized and holistic approach I take with each case to ensure that my clients do not reoffend. All joking aside, I do not hope for "repeat business" as a criminal defense attorney. I fight for my clients to have an opportunity at long-term success so they can avoid future entanglements with the law.
How do you prepare for a difficult case?
If I suspect that a case may go the distance, I work with my client to prepare for trial on day one. I immerse myself in the discovery and then sit down with my client to investigate every angle to advocate for a possible resolution, exploring both equitable and legal arguments. I personally meet with all witnesses, known and unknown to the prosecuting attorney, and prepare my client for direct examination and to withstand cross-examination by the prosecuting attorney.
What advice do you frequently give your clients?
Relax. It's understandable to be stressed or anxious. I am available day or night to talk about your concerns and will do my best to achieve a favorable outcome for you.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The satisfaction of my client. A friend once stated that people attend law school for one of three reasons: (1) the money, (2) the knowledge, or (3) the client. For me, this job is about the client. This job is about service. It's about the handshake. The hug. The sigh of relief. It's knowing that there is nothing more I could do to earn my clients' trust and respect. I love my job.