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Jones Vargas > Firm Details


3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, 3rd Floor South ,
Las Vegas, Nevada - 89169



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Jones Vargas, one of Nevada’s oldest and most prestigious law firms, announced today that 15 attorneys with the firm were chosen by their peers as The Best Lawyers in America 2007. Two attorneys, Kirk Lenhard and Janet Chubb have received this honor for 10 years and real estate lawyer Michael Buckley has received it for 20 years. Edward Garcia received recognition in two different practice areas; Government Relations Law and Land Use & Zoning Law.

Following is a complete list of attorneys from Jones Vargas who were named The Best Lawyers in America 2007:

Michael G. Alonso – Government Relations Law
Joseph W. Brown – Government Relations Law
Michael E. Buckley – Real Estate Law
Janet L. Chubb – Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law
Douglas M. Cohen – Personal Injury Litigation
Edward M. Garcia – Government Relations Law and Land Use & Zoning Law
Gary R. Goodheart – Commercial Litigation
Jodi R. Goodheart – Real Estate Law
Paul A. Lemcke – Family Law
Kirk B. Lenhard – Commercial Litigation
Ann Morgan – Labor and Employment Law
Albert F. Pagni – Alternative Dispute Resolution
Tony F. Sanchez – Government Relations Law
John P. Sande III – Government Relations Law
James L. Wadhams – Government Relations Law

Founded in 1981 and first published in 1983, Best Lawyers is the oldest lawyer-rating publication in the United States. Every year lawyers are asked to vote on other listed lawyers in their area. Over 50% of Best Lawyers’ 24,000 voters nationwide complete and return their ballots. Each voting lawyer is asked the same question, “If you could not handle a case yourself, to whom would you refer it?”.

“We are extremely proud to have 15 lawyers within the firm receive this honor,” said Gary Goodheart, Managing Partner of Jones Vargas. “We are well aware of our partners’ strengths, but to have their capabilities recognized by their peers in this publication is quite a mark of distinction.”

Jones Vargas represents local, national, and international clients in business, litigation, government relations, gaming, corporate, municipal finance, real estate, bankruptcy, estate and probate, tax, zoning, health care and domestic matters. In certain areas of practice, such as complex financing transactions and multi-state or multi-district litigation, Jones Vargas is one of the most experienced firms in Nevada. The law firm offers a full range of services to all clients, from handling everyday matters and preventive counseling to dealing with difficult, complex transactions and litigation.

With five months before the 2007 Legislature is scheduled to convene in Carson City, some of Nevada's biggest law firms are gearing up to represent their clients' interests before the lawmakers.

While lobbyists from the law firms Lionel Sawyer & Collins and Jones Vargas have dominated the political lobbying landscape in recent sessions, Phoenix-based Snell & Wilmer recently hired one of the Silver State's top independent lobbyists to stake a claim to its share of the lobbying action.

Sam McMullen has been involved in the Nevada political scene for four decades. In early September, Snell & Wilmer hired him to launch a lobbying and government-issues practice for its Nevada operations.

""I actually have a pretty damn successful track record,"" said McMullen, who last missed a legislative session in 1975. ""I'm sure they looked at me and thought, if they're going to get into the game this is the way to do it.""

McMullen brings experience from 17 sessions, along with a list of 15 to 20 clients, including the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, HCA Sunrise, Bank of America and the Retail Association of Nevada. Founder of the McMullen Strategic Group in 1990, he brought his entire team with him to the new law firm. McMullen will also be hiring additional help to monitor the 120-day session. When the new session begins, McMullen says he will travel to Carson City with a team of five professionals, not including clerks and secretaries.

""This isn't the first law firm that has talked to me,"" said McMullen, who termed the move ""an easy marriage. But this was the one that made a real clear case to me that they'd use my services correctly, and that I'd continue to be full service for clients.""

While Lionel Sawyer & Collins declined to disclose how many lobbyists the firm will have in Carson City in 2007, Jones Vargas is expected to have its regular team of five lobbyists to service its clients in the capital city. In the past these have included Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nevada Development Authority, Sierra Pacific Resources and Harrah's Entertainment.


While there will be many issues on the table for the 74th session of the Nevada Legislature, the outcome of the Nov. 7 general elections will shape the lawmakers' agenda.

The arrival of a new governor in Carson City will also affect the Legislature. Although outgoing Gov. Kenny Guinn was an outsider to the legislative process, both Republican Jim Gibbons and Democrat Dina Titus would come to the governor's mansion with long experience in Carson City as legislators.

Gibbons served three terms in the Assembly before being elected five times to Congress. In the early 1990s, he authored the amendment to the state Constitution that requires a two-thirds majority to implement any new tax or increase current taxes.

Titus, who is still the minority leader in the state Senate, has already sent 14 bill draft requests for the 2007 Legislature, covering a range of issues, including rural economic development and eminent domain.

One of the biggest changes will be the retirement of Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins (D-Henderson). Barring unforeseen political upsets, current Assembly Majority Leader Barbara Buckley (D-Las Vegas), will be the new speaker. Perkins, a veteran of the Henderson Police Department, geared towards homeland security issues in the last two sessions, while Tony Sanchez, a partner with Jones Vargas in the government affairs division, says he expects Buckley to be more consumer oriented. She currently chairs the Commerce & Labor Committee.

While lobbyists from the three top lobbying firms agree that while the usual issues -- health care, transportation funding, education, affordable housing, energy, eminent domain -- will vie for legislative attention, nothing has emerged as the key issue facing the Legislature. According to Sanchez, renewed interest in the payday-loan and mortgage industries might be ""hot-button issues,"" especially if the housing market continues to cool or foreclosures rise in the five months before the session.

As of Sept. 25, 707 bill draft requests had been submitted, about half the number that will emerge following the election. Legislators, state agencies or municipalities can all submit draft requests but lobbyists often consult with the requesters on behalf of clients, to help shape draft legislation for the upcoming session.

""As we look at the BDRs, we'll look and see if there's anything that catches our eye,"" said former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, a government-relations expert and shareholder at Lionel Sawyer & Collins.

Although the Nevada Legislature meets for 120 days in odd-numbered years, many lobbying clients retain the firms' services over the 20 months following the Legislature and leading up to the next session. Many negotiate two-year contracts that pay an incremental fee for a continuation of service that could include representation, analysis of the issues and preparation -- strategic planning and positioning on the issue -- for the session.

""I think we have the largest government-affairs practice in the state,"" said Sanchez of his firm Jones Vargas. ""We represent folks whose respective business is politics, and politics is business. So it's all interrelated, from that standpoint.

Primary Practice Areas

Litigation,Bankruptcy & Creditors Rights,Government Relations Group, Administrative Law, Election Law, Energy and Natural Resources Law, Gaming and Liquor Licensing, Insurance Law, Legislation and Lobbying, Planning, Zoning and Land Use, Public Utility Law, Transportation Law, Litigation Group, Appeals, Banking Litigation, Bankruptcy, Civil Rights Litigation, Commercial and Real Estate Litigation, Construction Law and Litigation, Criminal Law, Eminent Domain, Employment Law, Family Law and Domestic Relations, Insurance Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Mediation, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Medical and Professional Liability Defense, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury, Products Liability, Sales and Property Tax Litigation, Transactional Group, Banking and Financial Services, Business and Commercial Transactions, Condominium Development, Corporate Law, Economic Development Law, ERISA, Health Care, Insurance Transactions, Mergers and Acquisitions, Municipal Finance, Probate, Trust and Estate Planning, Real Estate, Securities and Corporate Finance, Tax.

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