ARDENT ADVOCACY. SERIOUS COMMITMENT.
Hejmanowski & McCrea represents more than our clients’ interests. We represent results. Each of our member attorneys has practiced in Nevada for more than 35 years, with a focus on complex civil cases, labor law, and employment disputes. Our experience means we know Nevada, its laws, judges, lawyers, and business community. We’ve built these relationships due to our commitment to communication, and client availability.
Hejmanowski & McCrea is ranked with U.S. News & World Report in the first tier of Nevada’s Best Law Firms. Each of the firm’s Members is listed in the current issue of The Best Lawyers in America, as well as the list of Mountain State Super Lawyers. Additionally, our members are all AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Though our focus may primarily be on business and civil matters, we offer a full range of legal services. If you’ve got challenges, we’ll help you tackle them.
Each of Hejmanowski & McCrea’s member attorneys is seasoned, experienced, and dedicated to client relationships. We fight tirelessly for what’s right, and advocate for our clients’ interests in every way that we can.
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Paul R. Hejmanowski
Paul R. Hejmanowski
I am a long-time trial lawyer with a penchant for complex civil litigation. The cases I like the most are those that introduce me to new industries or fields of endeavor and that put a premium on preparation and efficiency. To litigate these cases requires an in-depth personal knowledge of all the facts, the witnesses and the law. It keeps the mind and spirit wonderfully engaged.
My career provides me the opportunity to work with clients in many different fields. I am currently involved in a very protracted proceeding concerning a $15 billion project to transfer huge amounts of water from Northern Nevada to Las Vegas. I represent a large ranch which is contesting action taken by the State Engineer with respect to the project. A six-week administrative law hearing was followed by judicial review at the district court and now the Nevada Supreme Court. A crash course in geology and hydrology culminated in being able to pronounce facultative phreatophyte.
For several years, I was involved in cross-border litigations involving 10,000 acres of development property in Baja, California. I conducted extensive litigation in Nevada and coordinated with the efforts of an excellent Mexican attorney who safeguarded the clients’ interests there.
I represented the federal receiver of failed financial institutions in litigation over large fraudulent investment packages foisted upon financial institutions that probably should have known better. One such case turned into a five and one-half month jury trial.
I recently concluded two separate proceedings that concerned serious disputes among second generation siblings over the fate and direction of very substantial family businesses and fortunes. In each case, the first generation had created significant business empires of great value. Unfortunately, they each passed away without a structure that would prevent irreconcilable conflicts among the next generation.
Boxing often generates intense litigation in a highly compressed timeline with a big emphasis on injunctive relief. Las Vegas has always been a popular venue for big fights. This has given me opportunities to represent some of the best known boxing promoters and boxers.
Disputes among real estate developers are not uncommon. That led to my representing some major national development companies in extensive litigation over ownership of property and the failure of joint venture projects.
I have defended a manufacturer of medical implant devices. In one case, a whole knee replacement patient had a left knee joint incorrectly inserted into his right knee. The subsequent corrective surgeries led to further injuries and very significant damage claims. In another case, an orthotic device was prescribed with possibly insufficient instruction and ultimately caused significant injury to a patient.
There was a time when mold was the subject of a lot of fears and claims. The molds themselves are commonplace in our environment. But there was a concern that any concentration of molds in an enclosed environment could cause significant health issues. I successfully defended substantial wrongful death and personal injury claims arising from exposure of ministers to mold in a church.
For many years, I was Chairman of the Southern Nevada Panel of the State Bar Disciplinary Committee. I am now a member of the State Bar Ethics Committee and occasionally write and lecture on trial techniques, legal ethics, and the avoidance of malpractice claims. Once in a while, I act as an expert witness on ethical and malpractice issues.
In 2015, I was involved in mediations, arbitration proceedings, proceedings in Federal and State trial courts and appellate arguments before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In 2016, I concluded an arbitration that resulted in an award of over $28,000,000 to my construction company client against the owner of the Bishop Gorman High School Facility.
Honors and Recognitions
I am a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a professional association of lawyers and judges particularly skilled in trial practice. Membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers is by invitation only and is limited to not more than one percent of the lawyers licensed to practice in a state.
I have been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for more than 25 years in categories including “Bet the Company Litigation,” commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation, construction litigation and real estate litigation.
For a number of years I have been recognized by Chambers & Partners for expertise in a broad range of complex commercial disputes. I am listed in Nevada Super Lawyers for business litigation and have an AV rating from Martindale Hubble.
I was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. This is where I learned about the sensitive, caring side of management.
I studied Mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois. To date, I blame quantum mechanics for my winding up with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin. That, in turn, led to a law degree from the University of Wisconsin in January of 1972. But my real education began when I joined Lionel Sawyer & Collins in the spring of 1972 and had the opportunity to work and learn under the tutelage of the legendary Sam Lionel.
I am an avid reader, principally in history, science fiction, and mysteries.
I held a United States Coast Guard license to operate commercial vessels up to 100 tons. As many boat owners who do their own maintenance must be, I am a certified scuba diver. In the rest of my spare time, I try to convert various hardwoods into furniture in my woodshop. Even though I have been doing this for decades, I still have all my digits (but a few scars). My wife and I enjoy subjecting houses to extensive remodeling. Swinging a sledge hammer releases a lot of tension.
I was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. In 1967 I married the former Charlotte Werth. Together we produced two sons, both of whom became lawyers. Each son was responsible for a fine granddaughter. Symmetry seems to rule.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio. My parents moved us west at a very early age, and I grew up in Las Vegas. I attended elementary school through high school here, and ultimately received my undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Afterward, I matriculated at the California Western School of Law in San Diego. There, I served as Lead Articles Editor for the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude.
From law school, I accepted a one-year clerkship with Justice David Zenoff of the Nevada Supreme Court sitting in Carson City, Nevada. At the end of the clerkship, I joined Nevada’s largest private law firm at the time, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, and returned to Las Vegas. Shortly after joining the firm, it opened an office in Reno where I moved to assist in that effort, returning to Las Vegas once the office was established.
After more than a decade as a partner in the Lionel firm, I decided to try something different and joined Mikohn Gaming Corporation as its General Counsel. Mikohn, a worldwide supplier of gaming equipment with offices in the U.S., Europe, South America and Australia, afforded me the opportunity to travel quite extensively. My work at the company involved negotiating and drafting contracts of many types with vendors, customers, consultants, lenders, inventors and others. It also involved negotiating and drafting contracts for the acquisition and disposition of businesses, business units and business assets, including a large number of intellectual property transactions. I drafted many form contracts for the company’s use in repetitive transactions. A substantial portion of my time was devoted to regulatory compliance (primarily gaming and SEC), overseeing litigation and the work of corporate secretary. During my tenure at the company, I served on the company’s Executive Committee and chaired the Compliance Committee.
In 2003, I left Mikohn to return to private practice. Since then, my focus has been complex commercial litigation and corporate, business and gaming law. In the last several years, I have handled a number of cases involving management control issues and business break-ups, a practice area which I particularly enjoy.
I pride myself on developing solid working relationships with my clients, as well as a thorough understanding of each client’s needs and objectives from both a legal and business perspective.
Recent cases I have handled include:
- Representation of minority shareholders to force inspection of corporate records and to compel a shareholders meeting.
- Representation of a large lender who obtained majority control of a corporation through enforcement of a stock pledge agreement securing a personal guaranty and thereafter replacing the board of directors and corporate management.
- Representation of a large regional high-end shopping mall in an action against a tenant-nightclub to terminate a lease based on security issues related to the nightclub’s clientele.
- Representation of one of four equal partners, all brothers, in the dissolution of a family partnership owning more than 100 shopping centers.
- Representation of a landlord in a multi-million dollar toxic mold case.
- Representation of a large resort/casino in an action against a nightclub to prohibit the nightclub from offering entertainment that violated lease provisions prohibiting “obscene, nude or semi-nude performances” or other “adult entertainment.”
- Representation of a large resort/casino in an action against a tenant-nightclub to terminate a lease for failure to timely complete tenant improvements and commence operations.
- Representation of a large minority shareholder against a large resort/casino attempting to forcefully redeem the client’s shares for alleged activities deemed unsuitable by gaming regulators.
- Representation of a developer of a billion dollar condominium/entertainment venue to specifically enforce a letter of intent to purchase real property (golf course) adjacent to the venue.
- Representation of a mezzanine hard-money lender in an action by multiple purchasers of a failed condominium project for fraud and securities law violations.
- Representation of an insurance company lender in an action brought by co-lenders for fraud and conspiracy involving failed multi-billion dollar casino/resort.
Honors and Recognition
I have held an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell for more than 25 years and have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in six categories: Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Litigation-Intellectual Property, Litigation-Real Estate and Litigation-Labor & Employment and by Super Lawyers – Mountain States Region in Business Litigation. Additionally, I was named the Best Lawyers’ 2016 Litigation – Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year” for Las Vegas.
- California Western School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
- Member, Board of Editors, California Western Law Review
- University of Nevada, BS Business Administration
- Member, Clark County Bar
- Member, State Bar of Nevada
- Member, Board of Trustees, International Association of Gaming Attorneys, 1999-2003
- Lawyer Representative to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada 2011 – 2014
- State Bar of Nevada
- State Bar of California (Inactive)
- S. District Court, District of Nevada
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court
Malani L. Kotchka
Malani L. Kotchka
I am an experienced labor and employment lawyer who has spent more than 35 years representing employers. I enjoy litigating minimum wage and overtime wage cases where modern workplaces try to apply laws which were originally enacted during the New Deal.
While with Hejmanowski & McCrea LLC, I have advised or litigated on behalf of employer’s covenants not to compete, wage and hour matters, employment discrimination cases, a prevailing wage case before the Nevada Labor Commissioner and an unfair labor practice case before the National Labor Relations Board. I have also served as Pro Bono counsel before the Nevada Supreme Court on behalf of a client seeking unemployment compensation.
In addition to federal and state courts, I have litigated matters before the National Labor Relations Board, the Nevada Employee-Management Relations Board, the Nevada OSHA Review Board and worker’s compensation matters before Nevada Hearing Officers and Appeals Officers.
In wage and hour matters, I have represented a cigar company, companies who provide cable installation and a taxi cab company.
For many years, I have represented self-insured employers in worker’s compensation hearings and recently represented a construction company and a coal servicing company in worker’s compensations hearings. I have also represented the Nevada Self-Insurers Association for more than 25 years.
I have represented public employers in proceedings before the Nevada Employee-Management Relations Board and in Title VII and Americans With Disabilities Act litigation.
I have handled in excess of 25 arbitration hearings before arbitrators appointed pursuant to collective bargaining agreements.
In 2015, I was involved in litigation concerning covenants not to compete in state court, minimum wage litigation in state court, employment discrimination in federal court, writ petition briefs before the Nevada Supreme Court and an appellate brief before the United States Supreme Court.
In the past year I successfully defended EEOC/NERC charges and a Fair Labor Standards Act claim brought up by the U.S. Department of Labor and fought state minimum wage litigation up to the Nevada Supreme Court.
Honors and Recognitions
I am a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a professional association of litigation lawyers. Since 2007 I have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and in Nevada Super Lawyers and Mountain State Super Lawyers for labor and employment law. For 2016, I have been listed in Best Lawyers for Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management, Litigation-Labor and Employment, and Workers Compensation Law-Employers. I was selected to the top 40 or 50 women attorneys in theMountain State Super Lawyers for multiple years. I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. I have received special recognition for my Pro Bono work before the Nevada Supreme Court.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati in 1974, where I graduated summa cum laude. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Wright State University in 1974, where I graduated summa cum laude. I attended the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where I received my J.D. in 1977. I was also a member of the University of Cincinnati Law Review.
My court admissions include the State Bar of Arizona, the Court of Appeals of the Navajo Nation, the State Bar of Nevada, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
I love to travel and enjoy putting together 1,000-piece and 1,500-piece puzzles.
I was born in 1952 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition to a husband, I have two sons and a daughter (who is also a lawyer). I currently have two grandsons.
Linda S. Mabry
Linda S. Mabry
My interest is legal research and writing. I love my work and have decades of Nevada practice experience including a wide variety of legal issues in judicial, arbitration and administrative settings.
My relationship with Nevada began in my second year at the UCLA School of Law with a quarter-away clerkship at the Nevada Supreme Court. As part of my responsibilities as a research assistant to the Court’s Planning and Coordinating Office, I wrote an article published by the State Bar’s July 1976 Inter Alia – “Learning from the Past and Anticipating the Future: Nevada Focuses on the Judicial Council.” The Judicial Council became a reality in Nevada in early 1979 and is now responsible for a wide range of administrative matters from training judges and court staff to maintaining and disseminating a list of Nevada’s dreaded “vexation litigants.”
I returned to Nevada after graduation and began practice at Lionel Sawyer & Collins in 1977. Working frequently with Attorneys Paul Hejmanowski and Charles McCrea, I worked on cases involving Nevada’s most important businesses, gaming, real estate development, gold mining, health care and championship boxing.
I am married to Philip R. Byrnes, Senior Litigation Counsel for the City of Las Vegas City Attorney’s Office, Civil Division. We met at Lionel Sawyer & Collins where we were in neighboring offices and married in 1983. Phil is a graduate of the ASU School of Law. Phil and I do not watch UCLA/ASU sporting events in the same room.
I am rated AV in the Martindale-Hubbell Directory and have been listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
University of California at Los Angeles, J.D., 1977, UCLA Law Review and Moot Court Team
University of California at Los Angeles, B.A., summa cum laude, 1968—Latin American Studies
Phi Beta Kappa honor society
- Member, State Bar of Nevada
- Member, Clark County Bar Association
- State Bar of Nevada
- U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
I was born before dawn on Saturday, November 9, 1946, in Atlanta, Georgia, where my father was attending Georgia Tech after his war-time stint as a Navy pilot. My parents never let me forget that my arrival caused them to miss the Georgia Tech/Navy football game which the Yellow Jackets won 28 to 20. The family moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles where my father worked in flight test engineering at Douglas, McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.
My hobbies include dogs (largely rescues, including the very large rescue, Mr. Lucky, an American Staffordshire-Vizsla mix); reading (science fiction to Latin American politics and history), and gardening (generally futile attempts to make roses bloom in the desert).
Peggy Ann Occhipinti
Peggy Ann Occhipinti
Paralegal – Litigation
As a paralegal, I work primarily in assisting with trial preparation, witness preparation for depositions and trial, and factual investigations.
Professional and Civic Affiliations
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling
- University of California, Los Angeles, Paralegal Certification
- Wilkes University, B.S. in Music Education