Ryan Russell Named Legal Elite

Ryan Russell

Ryan Russell, partner at Allison MacKenzie Law Firm, was recently announced as one of the Top Attorneys in Northern Nevada by Nevada Business Magazine. This year, the Legal Elite process is in its 12th iteration, and the publication releases its Legal Elite list highlighting the top attorneys in the state.

Polling for the 2019 publication began in mid-February, and nearly 5,000 nominations were submitted by licensed attorneys within the state. Each submission then went through an extensive verification and vetting process resulting in the top attorneys selected their peers.

The Legal Elite list includes only the top 3 percent of attorneys in the state broken down by location. In addition, Legal Elite includes special lists ranking Nevada’s best “Up and Coming” and best government attorneys. The process is rigorous and each nominee must navigate several levels of scrutiny before obtaining final approval to appear on the list. After closing the nomination process, each ballot is individually reviewed for eligibility and every voting attorney is verified with the State Bar of Nevada.

Ryan joined Allison MacKenzie in 2004 and has dedicated his career to serving the communities of Northern Nevada. He has served the community as a Judge Pro Tem for the Carson City Justice and Municipal Court, and serves as Carson City’s representative on the State Bar of Nevada’s Board of Governors. Further, he volunteers his time to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada and served as President of the Board of Directors in 2009. He is also active in the Carson City Rotary Club and coaching youth sports.

Ryan offers his clients a comprehensive background of practice areas. As an attorney and partner with the law firm, he practices in the areas of litigation, administrative law, business law, and family law. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2000. He then pursued a degree in law and graduated from University of Nevada’s William S. Boyd School of Law in 2003. That same year he was admitted to practice law in the State of Nevada.

Congratulations to Ryan and for his accomplishments and being selected as 2019 Legal Elite.

Service and Emotional Support Animals: What Property Owners Need to Know

Part I

By Jennifer McMenomy

For many, the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal can be confusing. Business owners who operate residential properties must understand the difference in order to determine if they can rightfully exclude animals. Additionally, it is necessary to distinguish whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) or Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to a semi-residential property, such as a timeshare or hotel. This distinction is dependent on the character of the unit’s use, nature and extent of use, and transiency of residents or guests on the property. If the nature of the residential use is akin to a “vacation home,” FHA will apply. If the character of the use is closer to that of a hotel or motel, ADA will apply. Similarly, Nevada law generally aligns with federal law.

1. FHA and ADA Service Animal Definitions

The FHA requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services to allow people with disabilities to enjoy a dwelling unit. In 2013, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) declared that housing providers are required to make reasonable accommodations for emotional support animals if 1) the resident has a disability (mental or physical that substantially limits one or more major life activities) and 2) the animal provides assistance to that person.

The ADA is more stringent about what constitutes a “service animal “and states that it is unlawful to refuse a service animal in a place of public accommodation. A service animal under the ADA is defined as an animal that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The ADA does not apply to emotional support animals in general; however, the ADA does make a distinction between psychiatric service animals and emotional support animals.

Under the ADA, a place of public accommodation is required for a service animal unless: 1) the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it or 2) the animal is not housebroken.

2. Does the FHA apply?

Within the jurisdiction of FHA, a “dwelling” is defined as “any building, structure, or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.” While it would appear this excludes a hotel, timeshare, or short-term rental, the Courts have determined a number of factors to determine what a “dwelling” means under the statute.

In Schwarz v. City of Treasure Island, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals identified two principles for determining a dwelling:

1) the more occupants treat a building like their home-e.g., cook their own meals, clean their own rooms and maintain the premises, do their own laundry, and spend free time together in common areas-the more likely it is a ‘dwelling’; and 2) the longer the typical occupant lives in a building, the more likely it is that the building is a ‘dwelling’.

3. Does the ADA Apply?

In general, the ADA does not apply to “a lodging with less than five (5) rooms for rent or hire that is occupied by the proprietor.” However, case law suggests that if the accommodation is similar to or like a hotel it will fall under the ADA. Individually-owned residential condo units are generally not considered public accommodations under ADA; however, if a condominium complex is generally indistinguishable from a hotel, they will be subject to ADA.

While this general rule is from an unpublished decision from the Southern District of Florida, it is similar to case law determining whether the FHA applies. the nature of the complex and whether the character of the association is akin to a residence or a hotel will likely by determinative. It is therefore likely, if the FHA applies, the ADA will not apply and vice-versa.

4. Nevada Discrimination in Housing

Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) define a “dwelling” to mean “any building, structure or portion thereof which is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land which is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure or portion thereof.”

NRS provides that a landlord cannot refuse to rent a dwelling to a person with a disability if the service animal “assists, supports or provides service to the person with a disability.” However, NRS does allow a landlord to ask for documentation.

Ultimately, the characterization of the type of housing will depend on the nature and extent of the use as well as the character of that use in order to determine which law applies. It appears that under all laws, the operator of the property is permitted to request proof and/or documentation to substantiate the claim that an animal is a service or support animal. For individuals utilizing service animals, it is important to ensure your animal is fully compliant and properly designated. Likewise, if you are a property owner who is considering excluding animals, it is vital to confer with legal counsel to discuss the specific ramifications of excluding animals from your property as the applicable provisions are extremely nuanced.

See the article: NNBV

Local Attorneys Mentoring the Next Generation of Legal Eagles

Each year over 30,000 students participate in local high school mock trial competitions throughout the United States, Guam, South Korea, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The State Bar of Nevada provides mentoring for high school mock trial teams throughout the State that compete at the regional and statewide level. The Bar’s statewide program is administered by a volunteer Mock Trial Committee, with assistance from the Washoe County Bar Association.  The top team advances to the National High School Mock Trial Championship.

The program is supported by the Nevada Bar Foundation and an endowment made on behalf of attorney Charles Deaner.  Deaner was an ardent supporter of law-related education and the Mock Trial program. He established a living trust to ensure the continued support of this endeavor. The Nevada State championship round is named in his honor.

Local attorneys, Jennifer McMenomy and Emilee Sutton, associates at Allison MacKenzie Law Firm have volunteered to mentor members of Carson High School’s Mock Trial Club. The two attorney coaches, along with a supervising Carson High School teacher, educate the students about legal processes and courtroom etiquette including: adversarial procedures, rules of evidence, examination of process and more. The program helps participants develop the tools and techniques needed to become effective litigators and worthy competitors in the courtroom.

In November Jennifer and Emilee began meeting with participants to explore facts and procedures regarding a civil case. Weekly, during a course of a few hours, the coaches, teacher and nine students delve into a case that focuses on religious discrimination.

Jennifer said, “Mentoring these kids is truly an enjoyable experience. I just love seeing the students get involved, and appreciate their enthusiasm about future legal careers.  There is this “lights on” moment when they understand principles such as hearsay and what is admissible into court that is irreplaceable.”

Jennifer and Emilee have enjoyed the experience so much that they have committed to mentoring the club again next year.

“They learn what lawyering is all about. How court actually works and the legal process. I participated in mock trials when I was in high school, and it is fun to see it from the other prospective of mentoring. I love being involved with the kids,” Emilee stated.

This year marks Nevada’s 21st year of participation in the High School Mock Trial program. Regional and State Competitions dates are:

Southern Nevada Regional
February 9, 2019Regional Justice Center, Las Vegas

Northern Nevada Regional
February 22, 2019Federal Courthouse, Reno

State Competition
March 15-16, 2019Federal Courthouse, Reno

To learn more about the High School Mock Trial Program visit:

The Right of Employees to Bring Lawsuits for Unpaid Wages:

What Every Business Should Know.

By Emilee Sutton

On December 7, 2017, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a decision settling a previously unanswered question under Nevada law that directly impacts Nevada employers; namely, whether employees have a private right of action against their employers to recover unpaid wages under Chapter 608 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.  The Court answered that question in the affirmative and clarified years of conflicting caselaw and ambiguity.

            Chapter 608 of the Nevada Revised Statutes governs the payment and collection of wages, as well as other benefits of employment.  Specifically, NRS 608.016 governs the failure to pay overtime wages, NRS 608.018 governs the failure to timely pay all wages due and owing, and NRS 608.020 through 608.050 govern payment upon termination.  In addition, NRS 608.180 specifically grants the Labor Commissioner power to enforce the professions described in NRS 608.005 to 608.195.  However, the wage and hour statutes are silent as to whether an employee has a private right of action to enforce their terms.

            Under Nevada law, if a statute does not expressly mention whether an individual may privately enforce one of its terms, an individual may only pursue his or her claims if a private right of action is implied.  In the case of Baldonado v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, the Nevada Supreme Court examined whether NRS 608.160, which prohibits employers from taking employee tips, implies a private cause of action to enforce its terms.  The court concluded that, “in light of the statutory scheme requiring the Labor Commissioner to enforce the labor statutes and the availability of an adequate administrative remedy for those statutes’ violations, the Legislature did not intend to create a parallel private remedy for NRS 608.160.”  Thus, the court found “appellants…failed to overcome the presumption that no private cause of action was intended.”  However, in a footnote, the Baldonado court opined, “a private cause of action to recover unpaid wages is entirely consistent with the express authority under NRS 608.140 to bring private actions for wages unpaid and due.”

            In relevant part, NRS 608.140 provides that “[w]henever an…employee shall have cause to bring suit for wages earned and due according to the terms of his or her employment, and shall establish by decision of the court or verdict of the jury that the amount for which he or she has brought suit is justly due,” the court shall allow the plaintiff to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred for bringing suit, along with the amount found due for wages and penalties.  In light of the Baldonado footnote, employees bringing suit for unpaid wage claims against employers in district court attempted to bootstrap a private right to enforce other provisions of Chapter 608.

            The Baldonado footnote spawned significant discussion by courts and resulted in conflicting decisions.  For example, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada found that “§608.140 does not imply a private right of action to enforce the labor statutes…Instead, §608.140 implies a private right of action to recover in contract only.” 

In a separate case, the court also found, “NRS 608.140 does not create a vehicle for privately enforcing the legal rights conferred by the other provisions of Chapter 608; it merely establishes a fee-shifting mechanism in an employee’s ‘suit for wages earned and due according to the terms of his or her employment.’” 

             Nearly ten years after Baldonado was decided, the Nevada Supreme Court finally put the issue to rest when John Neville, Jr. filed a petition for a writ of mandamus challenging the district court’s dismissal of his NRS Chapter 608 wage claims on the basis that no private right of action exists.  Mr. Neville was employed as a cashier at a Las Vegas convenience store owned by Terrible Herbst, Inc.  Terrible Herbst enforces a time-rounding policy whereby it rounds the time recorded and worked by all hourly employees to the nearest 15 minutes for the purposes of calculating wages.  As a result of the time-rounding policy, Mr. Neville alleged he did not receive wages for work actually performed. 

            On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court discussed the Baldonado footnote and found that NRS 608.140 demonstrates the Legislature’s intent to create a private cause of action for unpaid wages. The Nevada Supreme Court stated, “[i]t would be absurd to think that the Legislature intended a private cause of action to obtain attorney fees for an unpaid wages suit but no private cause of action to bring the suit itself.” Because Neville’s Chapter 608 claims involved allegations that wages were unpaid and due, and he tied his Chapter 608 claims with NRS 608.140, the Nevada Supreme Court found Neville properly stated a private cause of action for unpaid wages. 

             In light of the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision in the Neville case, there will likely be increased numbers of employees bringing civil lawsuits – including class actions – in Nevada courts for unpaid wages and attorneys’ fees.  Because of the unknown outstanding financial obligation to employees and the significant costs of litigation, it is crucial that Nevada employers comply with Nevada’s wage and hour requirements.  Employers are advised to consult with qualified legal counsel to ensure the adoption of policies and practices that comply with NRS Chapter 608.

See the article at NNBV.

Another Piece of Nevada is Lost

in memoriam…of Andrew MacKenzie

Andrew, better known as Andy, was born on his family’s ranch in Yerington, Nevada. He was the fourth of five children of Albert “Burr” and Marion, including Al, Fred, Madeline and Mary Lou.

Andy enjoyed his upbringing in Yerington, making friends, working on ranches, playing football, excelling in scholastics and having more than his share of fun. His accolades from high school included being elected Governor of Boys State and later being inducted into the Yerington High Football Hall of Fame.

Andy’s love of people, good grades and good times continued at the University of Nevada, where he met many more life-long friends as a member and president of Alpha Tau Omega, as Captain of the ROTC and as a member of various social organizations.

After the University, Andy attended and graduated Georgetown Law School in Washington D.C., married (LeeAnn), had a son (Chris), and then was off to serve for two years in the U.S. Army. There, while stationed in both El Paso, Texas and Homestead, Florida, he attained the rank of Captain.

Upon completing his obligations to Uncle Sam, Andy returned to Reno to commence his career as an attorney with the law firm of MacDonald Carano and have a daughter (Katie Paige). After a few years, he and his family relocated in 1972 to Carson City, where he was hired by the law firm of Laxalt, Berry and Allison, which he nurtured and helped lead to become the firm now known as Allison MacKenzie, Ltd.

Along the way, Andy’s love for Nevada and its people shined through. He was a President of the Carson City Rotary Club, a member of the University of Nevada Foundation, a Director on the Reno Rodeo Association, a member of the Nevada State Commission on Judicial Discipline, a Trustee of the Hop and Mae Adams Foundation, a Director on the Nevada Delta Iota Building Association, Wagon Master of Poor Man’s Bohemian Grove, and an officer of the Carson Valley Nut Club. Along the way, he did quite a bit of work behind the scenes for various causes.

Andy truly loved meeting people and getting to know their stories. His happiness and easy laugh were infectious. He loved Nevada, good country music, to spend time with family, to provide sage advice to clients and to throw great parties. He gathered a broad array of very good friends of all ages along the way, and met and married his wife, Karen Peterson, with whom he shared his later years and who provided amazingly loving care as the sun slowly set for him.

Andy is survived by his wife Karen, son Chris (wife Miya), daughter Katie Paige, grandchildren Walker and Reese, sisters Madeline and Mary Lou, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Emilee N. Sutton Joins Allison MacKenzie law firm as Associate Attorney

Allison MacKenzie Law Firm is pleased to welcome their newest associate attorney, Emilee N. Sutton. Emilee joined the firm on August 27, 2018 and will focus her practice on Administrative Law, Business Law, Probate, and Litigation. She is a former law clerk for the Honorable Lynne K. Simons at the Second Judicial District Court in Reno, and extern to the Honorable Howard D. McKibben, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada.

A California native, Emilee double majored in political science and history at the University of California in San Diego. Upon graduation she obtained her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 2017. She was admitted to practice in Nevada and the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada in 2017.

“Allison MacKenzie Law Firm is highly regarded by legal professionals throughout Nevada. Their professionalism and commitment to the community is unsurpassed. I couldn’t be prouder of my new position with such a well-respected and community-minded law firm,” Emilee commented.

Emilee was exposed to legal proceedings as a young child and was intrigued by the processes and complexities of the law. Emilee’s mother was a court reporter in Southern California, and it was here that Emilee “grew up.” She spent many days after school and during summer vacations watching court proceedings, learning from judges, and helping her mother prepare and proofread transcripts. Emilee is enthusiastic to embark on her legal career counseling clients and finding them effective solutions.
Emilee resides in Reno with her fiancé, Mitchell, and future step-son, Austin. The family recently adopted a chocolate lab named Murphy and are very busy with puppy and little-person duties. A former surfer and baseball aficionado, Emilee is looking forward to experiencing Northern Nevada’s fantastic outdoor activities.

The talented legal team of Allison MacKenzie is pleased to welcome Emilee to the organization. The firm is confident she will provide exceptional and compassionate service to clients.

James Cavilia Named 2018 Legal Elite

James R. Cavilia

James Cavilia of Allison MacKenzie Law Firm was recently announced as one of the Top Attorneys in Northern Nevada by Nevada Business Magazine. Each year, the publication releases its Legal Elite list highlighting the top attorneys in the state. After an intense nomination, verification, and voting process, Jim was named as part of the 2018 Legal Elite.

The Legal Elite list includes only the top 3 percent of attorneys in the state broken down by location. In addition, Legal Elite includes special lists ranking Nevada’s best “Up and Coming” and best government attorneys. The process is rigorous and each nominee must navigate several levels of scrutiny before obtaining approval to appear on the list. After closing the nomination process, each ballot was individually reviewed for eligibility and every voting attorney was verified with the State Bar of Nevada. The Legal Elite process is now in its 11th iteration.

Jim is a partner at Allison MacKenzie and has dedicated his career to serving the communities of Northern Nevada. Jim joined the team of Allison MacKenzie in 1992. A native Nevadan, Jim Cavilia graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and then obtained a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1990. Jim was admitted to practice in Nevada in 1990, and in California in 1991. His areas of practice include real estate development law, land use, real estate transactions, administrative law, business law, and water rights law.

Further, Jim is involved with a number of professional organizations including the Washoe County Bar Association, First Judicial District Bar Association and the State Bar of Nevada. His dedication to the local community is evidenced by his participation with the Catholic Diocese of Reno School Board, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School Finance Board, Northern Nevada Development Authority Board of Directors, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Western Nevada Board of Directors from 1994 through 2003, Catholic Community Services of Northern Nevada Board of Trustees, and Bishop Manogue High School Board of Regents.

Congratulations to Jim and all of the distinguished attorneys featured among the 2018 Legal Elite.


Carson City Native Returns to the Area to Pursue Legal Career with Allison MacKenzie Law Firm

Jennifer McMenomy Joins Allison MacKenzie Law Firm as New Associate Attorney

Allison MacKenzie Law Firm is pleased to announce the hiring of Jennifer McMenomy as an associate attorney, effective May 7, 2018. A Carson City native and former Policy Analyst for the Nevada State Legislature – State Assembly, Jennifer joins the law firm and will focus her practice on Administrative Law, Government Affairs, Family Law, Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Probate Law.

After graduating from Galena High School, Jennifer received her undergraduate degree in 2010 from the University of Nevada, Reno. Pursuing a law degree, she attended Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California where she graduated in 2014.

After graduation, Jennifer obtained her law licensing in both California (2015) and Nevada (2016). She was also employed as a Government and Regulatory Affairs Analyst for a solar energy company and worked as an attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area before returning to Northern Nevada.

Commenting on her new association, Jennifer had this to say, “Allison MacKenzie Law Firm is a prestigious and respected organization led by some of the most professional and well-versed attorneys in the country. I was taken in by the firm’s commitment to family and the community. I am delighted to return to the area and join such an outstanding firm.”

Jennifer was drawn to the legal profession as a youngster when she read To Kill a Mockingbird. She began to explore advocacy through the courts and helping others as a career choice. Jennifer is an advocate of civil rights and fair trial proceedings.

Jennifer resides in Reno with her husband and is expecting her first child. She spends her free time running with her four-legged partner named Scout, a German Shepherd, and enjoys time with family, baking, and reading. Committed to empowering youth, for the past 2 years, Jennifer has been a judge for the annual “We the People” competition, an organization promoting civic competence and responsibility among upper elementary and secondary students.

The talented legal team of Allison MacKenzie is pleased to welcome Jennifer to the organization. The firm is confident she will provide exceptional service to the firm’s clients.

For more information about Allison MacKenzie Law Firm, visit www.AllisonMacKenzie.com or call 775.687.0202.

See the article at CarsonNow.org

Is Your Attorney Well Versed in Statutes and Regulations?

The vast majority of Nevada industries are regulated in some way or another, and many of the related regulations and regulatory agencies are obvious. For instance, the Department of Motor Vehicles, in ensuring the safety of our roadways, regulates Nevada drivers and vehicles by issuing permits to qualified drivers, and license plates and registration cards for vehicles meeting DMV standards. Most people can vividly recall the nerves they felt at 16 years of age upon entering and, with luck, the relief upon leaving the DMV to get their first driver’s license.

Other regulatory agencies operate more behind the scenes and Nevadans go about their daily lives without giving much, if any, thought to what those agencies do on a daily basis. For instance, the Gaming Control Board ensures that casino operators stay within rules designed to protect consumers from predatory gaming practices. The Public Utility Commission regulates gas, electric, and other utilities to ensure fair rates for all Nevada businesses and citizens. The State Purchasing Division ensures that the companies and individuals providing goods and services to the State do so under fair and competitive contracts.

In addition, a host of licensing agencies have been created to regulate specific professionals, including doctors, nurses, attorneys, accountants, engineers, land surveyors, and many others. Construction professionals are regulated by the State Contractors Board. The State Contractors Board was created by the Nevada Legislature in 1931 and is authorized to issue licenses to contractors that meet the standards they establish. Contractors may be issued licenses to perform specialized functions, like plumbing or electrical work, or they may obtain licenses as a general contractor.

In all instances, a contractor must pass a licensing exam and go through a rigorous application process that will include the Contractors Board reviewing, among other things, an applicant’s criminal and financial background.

Contractor’s licenses are generally limited in accordance with the financial stability of a contractor. A contractor’s license, which is viewable by the public at the Board’s offices or on its website, will have a monetary limit, meaning that the contractor may only accept projects up to a certain dollar value.
Ostensibly, this creates protection for the consumer. If a contractor’s monetary license limit is $1 million, the consumer can reasonably expect that it can responsibly and capably handle a project up to that value.

One criticism of monetary license limits, however, is that they are tied inextricably to the status of the contractor’s bank account and the Contractors Board is given unfettered authority to reduce a contractor’s monetary license limit when he or she falls on hard times, which was the case for many contractors during the recent recession. Such a reduction operates, effectively, to keep the contractor down by restricting the types of projects he or she is able to accept, regardless of his or her actual skill level and expertise.

In addition to monetary license limits, contractors are generally required to post a bond with the Board. In the event of a valid claim by a homeowner, for instance, the Board may authorize the release of the applicable contractor’s bond to the homeowner as a remedy. Contractors also pay annual fees, and a portion of the fees paid by residential construction contractors are deposited into a fund known as the Residential Recovery Fund, which is also made available to help rehabilitate a homeowner who may have been harmed by a contractor’s negligence or violation of the applicable contract.

Further, the Contractors Board provides processes by which a homeowner may file complaints or claims against a contractor for any number of alleged violations. In such event, the Board may assign an investigator to visit the site of the project and/or sit down with the complainant and the contractor to ascertain whether any violation of Board regulations has occurred. If the investigator and/or other Board staff determine that a violation has occurred, a formal proceeding may be initiated in which the contractor appears to plead his/her case before an administrative law judge, who will make a ruling on the complaint. If a contractor is found guilty of violating Contractors Board regulations, the contractor is subject to several possible penalties, including fines and suspension or revocation of his/her license.

Whether you are a homeowner with a complaint against a contractor who failed to complete your project as expected, or a contractor facing discipline by the Contractors Board, it may be necessary to obtain the services of a qualified attorney to assist you with the process to ensure your rights are protected. In doing so, be sure to look for experienced administrative law attorneys that are well-versed in the statutes and regulations governing proceedings before the Contractors Board.

See the article on NNBV.

Allison MacKenzie partner, Ryan Russell, candidate for Carson City Justice of the Peace, District 2

Ryan Russell

Ryan Russell is a Carson City native and fourth generation Nevadan. After graduating from Carson High School, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno. He went on to obtain a law degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

He was admitted to practice law in Nevada in 2003 and joined Allison MacKenzie Law Firm in 2004. Ryan’s areas of practice have focused on litigation, administrative law, and business law.
Currently, he serves as a Judge Pro Tem (substitute judge) for the Carson City Justice and Municipal Court, and serves as Carson City’s representative on the State Bar of Nevada’s Board of Governors.

Ryan’s impressive legal advocacy has been recognized by Legal Elite – Nevada Business Magazine in 2012, 2013 and 2017. Further, in 2013, Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans honored him with the award for Outstanding Service for the Lawyer in the Lobby Project. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory and his Avvo rating is 10, the highest possible.

Ryan has felt the calling to be a judge since he was an extern with Judges Griffin and Maddox after his first year of law school. This goal has only strengthened over time, especially through his experiences as a Judge Pro Tem on the bench in the position he seeks to fill. Ryan stated, “I have learned that the role of the judge is a humble and critical one which can only be filled properly with an eye toward the rule of law and the fundamental principle of justice.”

By serving on the bench, Ryan hopes to be part of furthering the safety and vitality of the community by ensuring the court is run expeditiously, fairly, and evenly, with each individual in the courtroom afforded the respect and decorum of the court itself.

In relation to Justice of the Peace position, Ryan believes that the biggest issue facing the community is that of addiction. “Addiction is at the core of many crimes, and certainly at the core of repeat offense, and even is an issue in many civil matters. Our court, through a comprehensive team approach in both misdemeanor addiction court and mental health court, is taking huge strides to address the fundamental issue of addiction. The successes of such programs are reducing recidivism; and thus, improving our community,” Ryan said.

Additionally, Ryan volunteers for the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada where he served as President of the Board of Directors, in 2009, and is an active member of the Carson City Rotary Club.

Russell resides in Carson City with Sarah, his wife, and their three children.