Brett J. Schwartz and Michael T. Nixon Join Messner Reeves LLP
LAS VEGAS, NV (APRIL 17, 2017) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce Brett J. Schwartz and Michael T. Nixon join our Las Vegas office as members of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.
Brett J. Schwartz - Brett was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He graduated with his B.A. from the University of Georgia, and he received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia, where he was the recipient of a merit scholarship and named to the Dean's list in five semesters. At Mercer, Brett completed the Certificate in Advanced Legal Writing, Research, & Drafting. Upon graduation, he was selected for induction into the Brainerd Currie Honor Society for outstanding academic achievements and service to the law school community.
A member of the Mercer Law Review, Brett was elected Articles Editor, Winter 2014 Volume 65, Number 2. Brett was also selected as a member of the Mercer Habeas Project. The Mercer Habeas Project is a small team of third-year law students who work on pro se post-conviction appeals. As a member, Brett worked on appeals before the Georgia Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and on a petition for writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States.
As a law student, Brett clerked at Cozen O'Connor, in the Atlanta office, working closely with attorneys specializing in complex commercial litigation, subrogation and recovery, insurance coverage, and the defense of products liability, toxic tort, and construction cases. In addition, Brett clerked at Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook, and Brickman, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, assisting in Class Actions, Pharmaceutical Drugs and Medical Devices, and Products and Premises Liability cases.
Upon completing law school Brett moved to the Las Vegas area to begin his career as an associate practicing civil litigation.
Michael T. Nixon - Michael Thomas Nixon began his pursuit of a legal career in high school, where he competed on Brookwood High School's Debate Team as well as the inaugural Mock Trial team, serving as captain and leading the team to the regional competition. During this time, Michael also represented Brookwood's soccer, football, and track & field teams. Thereafter, Michael attended and graduated from Georgia Southern University, majoring in Justice Studies while completing a minor in Philosophy. While at GSU, Michael was a founding member of the local pre-law chapter of Phi Alpha Delta, one of the most prominent legal fraternities in the world, serving on the executive board in almost every capacity, as well as serving on the executive board of Alpha Tau Omega. Michael was a HOPE scholar and was honored by being named to the Dean's List.
After graduation from Georgia Southern, Michael delayed pursuit of his long-awaited legal career and worked in industrial supply and sales for well over a year before enrolling at Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law. There, Michael was again honored by being named to the Dean's List, earning a position on the Mercer Law Review, and competing on multiple Moot Court teams at national competitions. While completing his studies, Michael interned for Bibb County Superior Court Judge Philip Brown, worked part time at the law library for two years, and during his third year, worked as a law clerk for Adams & Jordan, P.C., a sophisticated law firm specializing in complex litigation, including medical malpractice and civil rights claims, in addition to municipal defense. Michael again served on the executive board of Phi Alpha Delta, while participating in several other student organizations. Michael also completed Mercer University's Legal Writing Certificate Program, and was awarded the CALI Award for Excellence by receiving the highest honors in Advanced Legal Writing. Michael also received the highest grade awarded in Appellate Practice & Procedure during his final semester at Walter F. George School of Law.
Partner Michael Edwards presenter at 2017 Construction Management Association of America
April 3, 2017
Messner Reeves Las Vegas Partner, Michael Edwards, recently presented an educational seminar at the 2017 Capital Projects Symposium held by the Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) in New Orleans, Louisiana. During this three-day high-level conference, Mr. Edwards lead a panel discussing the topic of Managing Your Risk in Our Cyber Society covering cyber security issues that dominate today's construction management environment on large scale projects. This session instructed Construction Managers and Owners involved in Design-Build and Design-Bid-Build projects on how to identify risks, implement risk management practices, and navigate and understand cyber insurance needs in today’s technology-dependent world of modern construction. Mr. Edwards shared his experience in defending CMs and Owners in construction litigation identifying tools and procedures that will help safeguard and limit liability in an electronic world. Mr. Edwards also included expertise from leading Cybersecurity Insurance Broker, Cobbs Allen, as they delved into the substantive issues of litigation, contract claims/defenses and coverage on large scale projects and data breaches.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Bradley G. Grumbley to Litigation Practice Group
DENVER, CO (March 29, 2017) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce Bradley G. Grumbly has joined our Denver office as members of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.
Bradley G. Grumbley is a member of the Messner Reeves litigation group. Before joining Messner, Brad worked for an international Am Law 100 firm where he gained experience litigating on behalf of numerous Fortune 500 companies, including: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, State Farm Insurance, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Allstate, and others. He also served as the Managing Director for a non-profit litigation firm founded to increase access to the justice system. Brad is experienced in all phases of civil litigation with particular focus on property damage matters and Labor & Employment disputes.
Brad earned his law degree cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law. While in law school, he participated as a member of the San Diego International Law Journal, the USD National Mock Trial Team, earned the CALI Award in Remedies, served as a Teaching Assistant for a first-year Contracts class, interned for the United States Attorney’s Office, Civil Division, and externed for the Honorable Janis L. Sammartino of the United States District Court, Southern District of California. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Florida.
Brad is admitted to practice law in California, Nevada, and Florida. In addition to zealously advocating for his clients, Brad is a licensed private pilot, avid motorcycle enthusiast, and proud father.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Jesús M. Vázquez as Partner in Denver Office
March 10, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to welcome Jesús M. Vázquez as a Partner in our Denver office. Mr. Vázquez’ practice focuses on a variety of intellectual property, complex corporate, business and construction litigation, and international matters, including representation of companies in both federal and state courts. Mr. Vázquez has significant experience in arbitration and mediation proceedings, most often under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association. Mr. Vázquez received an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University and his J.D. from University of Denver College of Law.
Messner Reeves Names Three New Partners
DENVER, CO (March 9, 2017) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce Aaron S. Motschenbacher, Mark B. Collier, and Renee M. Finch have been promoted to partner. Mr. Motschenbacher, Mr. Collier, and Ms. Finch are all members of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group.
Aaron S. Motschenbacher is a Nevada and California civil litigator having direct, practical experience advising and defending numerous entities and individuals involved in the hospitality and services industries, including hotels, resorts, restaurants, nightclubs, supermarkets, department stores, and others. In addition, Mr. Motschenbacher has advised and provided defense for contractors and subcontractors in construction defect related matters and has defended and represented professionals in a variety of industries including real estate appraisers, special inspectors, and others. Having adjusted commercial general liability and auto claims for larger insurance carriers and a third-party administrator prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Motschenbacher scrupulously attends to detail in representing clients so as to ensure timely and accurate reporting and effective representation during all stages of litigation.
Mark B. Collier is a member of the firm's Litigation and Healthcare Practice Groups. His practice focuses on litigation counsel, advice, and risk management in medical, dental, and mental health care. Mr. Collier represents practitioners and health-related entities in malpractice cases and assisting professionals in front of licensing boards including the Colorado Medical Board, Board of Dental Examiners, Board of Nursing, and the mental health boards. In addition, Mark has represented clients with matters involving the Colorado Department of Public Health, Colorado Division of Civil Rights, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HIPAA complaints). Mr. Collier also assists clients with other care related matters and business concerns. Mr. Collier began his career representing patients in complex litigation, where he was involved in numerous high-value jury trials and depositions. He leans upon that previous experience to give his clients an honest and straightforward evaluation of their case or issue, including the likelihood of outcomes and possible resolutions of the case to effectively represent his clients’ interests.
Renee M. Finch is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. After graduating from South Dakota State University in 2005, Ms. Finch began her career as a claims employee with Farmers Insurance in 2006. Following her initial exposure to insurance defense as a claims professional, Ms. Finch enrolled in and attended law school at William S. Boyd School of Law. In 2013 Ms. Finch began her legal career as an in-house litigation attorney for Farmers Insurance and ultimately came to Messner Reeves in 2015. Given her background in claims investigation, Ms. Finch places a heavy emphasis on claims client satisfaction and fraud prevention. As every claims professional knows, attention to detail is the background of a successful defense. She specializes in sudden stops, staged commercial accidents and examinations under oath. Ms. Finch is a skilled advocate who regularly participates in defense of high-exposure personal injury cases from inception through trial.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Tanner J. Walls to the Litigation Practice Group
March 06, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is thrilled to announce Tanner J. Walls has joined our Denver office as an Associate. Tanner Walls is a trial lawyer who focuses on complex civil litigation. Tanner primarily represents corporations and businesses in civil disputes, with an emphasis on product liability actions and commercial litigation. In this capacity, Tanner regularly represents large corporations and small businesses in contract disputes, premises liability cases, subrogation matters, business torts, trade secret actions, and consumer claims of all kinds. He has also served on national and regulatory counsel teams in large multi-district pharmaceutical litigation pending in federal courts as well as statewide coordinated proceedings across the country. Additionally, Tanner has defended professional liability claims and represented physicians and attorneys in regulatory and disciplinary matters.
Tanner's versatility as a trial lawyer and breadth of experience provides a unique background that informs his approach to every case and trial, as well as his role as a trusted advisor to his clients.
Tanner is a frequent lecturer and speaker on the role of trial lawyers sustaining the legal profession through mentorship on behalf of the Colorado Supreme Court's Attorney Mentor Program (CAMP) and the Colorado Defense Lawyers Association. He has also presented on issues related to legal malpractice at seminars and continuing legal education courses.
Tanner also devotes his time to professional organizations and local charities through his involvement with the Colorado Poverty Law Project and represents indigent clients pro bono in housing-related matters, helping at-risk individuals and families stay in their homes.
When he is not in the office, Tanner is either on his bike or snowboard somewhere in the mountains of Colorado. He lives in Denver with his wife Alicia and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Barkley.
Bruce A. Montoya named President of American Board of Trial Advocates - Colorado Chapter
DENVER, CO (February 23, 2017) The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Colorado Chapter has named Messner Reeves' partner, Bruce A. Montoya, as President. He assumes the role from outgoing president Sonny Flowers. Mr. Montoya was sworn in at the chapter's annual business meeting on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.
Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a prestigious national organization of judges and civil trial lawyers dedicated to preserving the constitutional vision of equal justice for all Americans and our civil justice system. ABOTA is an invitation-only organization consisting of lawyers who have tried civil jury trials as lead counsel to conclusion.
Mr. Montoya manages the Litigation Practice Group at Messner Reeves and has over thirty years' experience as a trial lawyer. In 2006, Mr. Montoya was elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates and was named president-elect for 2016.
Messner Reeves Welcomes Four New Attorneys
January 24, 2017
Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four highly regarded attorneys to the firm, namely Michael M. Edwards, Nicholas L. Hamilton, JohnPaul Fortin and Jean E. Smith Gonnell. This exceptional team will contribute to the firm's litigation and corporate practice areas.
Mr. Edwards joins our Litigation practice group as a partner in our Las Vegas office. His practice focuses on the defense and trial of Professional Liability, Business and Commercial Disputes, Product Liability Matters, Environmental Litigation/Remediation, Construction Litigation, all areas of General Liability/CGL/Tort Litigation and Employment issues. He often lectures to insurance company claim departments, design professionals and corporate clients on risk prevention, contracts, insurance issues and related employment matters.
Mr. Hamilton joins Messner Reeves LLP as an associate and has practiced law for approximately ten years in both Nevada and Texas. He has been a member of the Nevada State Bar since 2008. Nick has represented clients in cases involving personal injury, premises liability, construction defect, business litigation and employment discrimination and has successfully argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Nick received his Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University in 2002 and his J.D. from Drake University Law School in 2005.
Mr. Fortin joins our Litigation practice group as an associate. Mr. Fortin was admitted to Practice in Nevada in 2000, California in 2001 and Washington in 2003. Mr. Fortin practices in the areas of construction defect, community association law, business litigation and contract disputes. Mr. Fortin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Northern Arizona University in 1992 and his J.D. from the University of Arizona School of Law in 1999.
Ms. Smith Gonnell joins the Denver office as Of Counsel and is one of the nation's leading cannabis practitioners. where she practices cannabis commercial/administrative litigation, specializing in all facets of Colorado marijuana law. Ms. Smith Gonnell also routinely provides advice to cannabis industry businesses about medical/retail/recreational marijuana, licensing, regulatory compliance, general business transactional law, and the intersection of state and federal law. Ms. Smith Gonnell's clients include a number of businesses both in and out of the marijuana industry, as well as individuals and those facing a variety of legal proceedings at the District level. She has served the cannabis industry full time since 2012.
Messner Reeves’ Bruce A. Montoya, Douglas C. Wolanske, and Michelle L. Harden named 2017 Top Lawyers by 5280 Magazine
DENVER, CO (January 05, 2017) – Messner Reeves LLP is pleased to announce partners Bruce A. Montoya, Douglas C. Wolanske, and Michelle L. Harden have been named Denver’s Top Lawyers 2017 by 5280 Magazine. The three attorneys from Messner Reeves were selected for inclusion as Top Lawyers in Medical Malpractice: Defense. The list is in its third edition and is made up of more than 400 of the best attorneys across 50 legal specialties in the Denver metro area. The ranking is based on a peer-review process, as well as the magazine’s own research.
This is the third consecutive year Mr. Montoya and Mr. Wolanske have been selected to the Top Lawyers list, and the second consecutive year Ms. Harden has been selected. For more information on the Denver’s Top Lawyers 2017 list, please visit 5280.com.