LAS VEGAS – (Feb. 1, 2019) James J. Pisanelli and Todd L. Bice, founding partners of Pisanelli Bice, PLLC, announce that Jordan Smith has rejoined the firm as of counsel. Mr. Smith joined the firm in 2012 and now returns after serving as Deputy Solicitor General of Nevada. He will represent the firm in matters related to appellate and complex litigation.
“I am pleased to be rejoining the firm and look forward to advocating for our clients,” said Smith. “It is an honor to be a part of one of the leading law firms in Southern Nevada.”
Mr. Smith has more than eight years of experience in appellate and complex litigation. He has argued 18 times in various state and federal appellate courts on a range of issues, including business disputes, administrative law, bankruptcy, habeas corpus, and the death penalty.
While at the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, Mr. Smith represented the state in many constitutional cases and matters of statewide or national importance. He was lead counsel in the state’s first method of execution challenge since 2006, won a nationwide injunction against an unlawful federal regulation in a multi-state lawsuit, and successfully defended the state in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit against an effort to jump-start the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project.
Mr. Smith has been recognized by his peers as one of Nevada’s leading litigators, including being named by Best Lawyers as the “Appellate Practice Lawyer of the Year” for Las Vegas, a “Legal Elite” by Nevada Business Magazine, “Appellate Practice Rising Star” by Mountain States Super Lawyers, and a “Top Lawyer” in litigation by Desert Companion Magazine.
“We are excited to welcome Jordan back to our legal team,” said Pisanelli. “He returns to us with an impressive record of litigating in the state and federal courts, and we know that he will serve our clients well and with the highest skill level they have come to expect from Pisanell Bice.”
Mr. Smith is a member of the State Bar of Nevada and the Federalist Society and regularly argues pro bono appeals in conjunction with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. He has published several scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals on issues of gaming law and statutory interpretation. Mr. Smith also engages in continuing legal education presentations and other speaking engagements.
2016 Best Lawyers in America. The list of Best Lawyers in America for 2016 includes the following from Southern Nevada, listed in alphabetical order by firm:
• Todd Bice, appellate practice, commercial litigation, litigation – First Amendment, litigation – land use and zoning, litigation – mergers and acquisitions
• James Pisanelli, bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, construction law, litigation – construction and litigation – real estate
• Debra Spinelli, commercial litigation
• Jordan Smith, appellate practice
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Appellate advocacy is the art of persuading, through oral and written communication, a majority of the judges or justices hearing your case to rule in your client’s favor. To be effective, a mastery of the relevant law and policy is not always enough. As Judge Richard A. Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has explained, “a sense of the audience is the key to an advocate’s rhetorical effectiveness. The advocate must think his way into the brains of the audience.” Despite the creation of the new Court of Appeals, the Nevada Supreme Court remains the primary audience for the Nevada business community’s appeals, as matters originating in business court are presumptively retained by the state’s highest tribunal.1 Thus, an appellate practitioner representing Nevada’s businesses must place himself or herself inside the minds of the Nevada Supreme Court Justices by knowing how they vote in addition to the rationale set forth in the Court’s opinions explaining why they voted in the manner that they did.
One innovative way for an advocate to study the appellate audience is by tracking the voting relationships between Nevada’s Supreme Court Justices; think of it as a form of appellate “moneyball” or “jury research.” For example, the following charts represent the level of agreement between Nevada Supreme Court Justices in published en banc cases during the 2014 calendar year. The cells represent the percentage of time that each of the Justices agreed with each other in full, in part, or in judgment in a majority, concurring, or dissenting opinion.
James J. Pisanelli and Todd L. Bice, founding partners of Pisanelli Bice PLLC, announced that five lawyers from the firm have been recognized on the 2015 list of Mountain States Super Lawyers, a renowned ranking of outstanding attorneys across the region.
Pisanelli and Bice were both among the select attorneys honored on this year’s list of top 100 lawyers in the Mountain States Super Lawyers. Pisanelli and Bice, as well as Managing Partner Debra L. Spinelli and attorney Jarrod L. Rickard, were also each recognized on the 2015 Mountain States Super Lawyers list of attorneys from more than 70 practice areas.
In addition to the aforementioned litigators, Pisanelli Bice attorney Jordan T. Smith was named in the Mountain States Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” category. Smith was recognized as a rising star for the third consecutive year.
LAS VEGAS – (June 1, 2014) James J. Pisanelli and Todd L. Bice, founding partners of Pisanelli Bice PLLC, announced today that eight attorneys from the firm were recognized on the prestigious list of Legal Elite 2014 by Nevada Business Magazine. The annual list highlights the state’s most outstanding attorneys.
Pisanelli and Bice were both among select attorneys honored on the Legal Elite list of Southern Nevada’s Top Attorneys. Attorneys Eric Aldrian, Magali Calderon, Christopher Miltenberger, Jarrod Rickard, Jordan Smith and Managing Partner Debra Spinelli were also recognized. In addition, Aldrian, Calderon and Smith were named to the publication’s Best Up and Coming attorneys list as well.
Legal Elite is an annual list honoring the most exceptional attorneys in Nevada. Lawyers are selected for Legal Elite based on peer nominations, and ranked according to where votes originated. This year’s Legal Elite polling had more than 6,400 unique votes submitted. The attorneys featured on Legal Elite 2014 garnered the top voting scores throughout the state.