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LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report  
Photo of D. Lee  Roberts Jr.

D. Lee Roberts Jr.

Partner

Lee Roberts is one of the top trial lawyers on the West Coast.  He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. In 2011, he was elected as an Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”) Las Vegas Chapter.  At the time he was inducted, only 31 lawyers out of over 14,000 members of the bar in Nevada had been elected to this elite organization. 

In 2013 and again in 2018 Lee was voted Las Vegas “Lawyer of the Year” for Construction Litigation by Best Lawyer, recognition from his peers as the top construction litigator in Las Vegas.  He is also recognized as a Best Lawyer in Commercial Litigation and a “Super Lawyer” – first in Georgia and now in Nevada and the Mountain States.  He is well respected among the bar, and was appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court to the Board of Trustees of the Nevada Law Foundation, and served in that position for four years. He received his B.A. from the University of Virginia in Economics, and his J.D. from the College of William and Mary. 

Although twice recognized as the top construction litigator in Las Vegas, over 70% of his work is currently in other fields. Lee has been involved in some of the most high profile trials in Nevada, including obtaining a defense verdict in the highly publicized David Copperfield trial in 2018.  Lee has also obtained defense verdicts in a number of other high stakes cases, including (i) a $73 million toxic tort case in San Diego, (ii) a $20 million wrongful death by electrocution in Las Vegas, (iii) an $8 million professional negligence case in Nashville federal court, (iv) a $20 million business tort case in Washington DC, (v) a $180 million indemnity claim, and a dozen of construction cases in Nevada and around the country. 

Since 2004 when Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial opened their Las Vegas office, Lee has tried up to 4 cases per year to verdict.  He is often brought in shortly before trial once it becomes apparent that the case is not going to settle and experienced trial counsel is desired. Although he has certainly taken a few large verdicts, he excels at preserving the appellate record and his clients have never paid the full amount of a verdict in a case where he has acted as lead counsel.

Education

University of Virginia, B.A., 1983
Echols Scholar

College of William and Mary Law School, J.D., 1986

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of Nevada
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Nevada
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Federal Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Representative Experience

In 2018, successfully defended David Copperfield’s production company and obtained a jury trial defense verdict in a traumatic brain injury case.

Also in 2018, he limited the plaintiff to a jury verdict of only $524,000 in a traumatic brain injury case.  He beat his client’s offer of judgment by nearly two million dollars, with the plaintiff ultimately recovering only 1.5% of his requested damages.

Defense verdict in a $73 million toxic tort case in San Diego, where the plaintiff claimed to have developed tracheobronchomalacia as the result of exposure to chemicals at the workplace.

Defense jury verdict in a $20 million wrongful death by electrocution against an electrical contractor in Las Vegas.

Defense jury verdict in an $8 million professional negligence case in Nashville federal court.

Defense jury verdict on a $20 million business tort case in Washington DC federal court.

Directed verdict on $180 million indemnity claim in Las Vegas state court.

Summary Judgment on a $132.5 million claim in Los Angeles, California arising out of a train crash.

Served as lead counsel for renowned Las Vegas casino and resort in the longest civil jury trial in Nevada history; defended against thousands of individual claims. Jury verdict was $58 million less than final pre-trial demand. Defense verdict on construction manager's claims for delay damages, extended home office overhead and punitive damages.

Served as lead counsel for internationally acclaimed circus troupe following a catastrophic injury resulting from alleged product liability at Las Vegas venue; five-week jury trial resulted in favorable settlement after closing arguments of $18 million less than final pre-trial demand.

Extensive arbitration experience, including defense awards on a $72 million claim in 2012 and an $8 million claim in 2004.  Settled a $60 million claim for $2 million in 2010 following closing arguments before a three arbitrator panel.

Awards & Recognitions

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates ("ABOTA"), Las Vegas Chapter

Best Lawyers®
 2018 & 2013 - Litigation - Construction "Lawyer of the Year" in Las Vegas

Best Lawyers®
2020 - 2021 Commercial Litigation

Best Lawyers® 2010-2021 - Litigation - Construction

Super Lawyers Magazine, Mountain States Super Lawyers List, Construction Litigation (2017-2019)

Nevada Business Magazine, Legal Elite Southern Nevada (2016)

Intercontinental Finance Magazine, Leading Lawyer 500, Construction Law (2014)

The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2013)

Lawyer Monthly, Construction Lawyer of the Year - USA (Finalist 2013)

Who's Who Legal, Construction (2012)

Corporate Counsel Top Lawyer (2011)

Super Lawyers Magazine, Georgia Super Lawyers List, Construction Litigation (2007)

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers (2004)

Professional & Community Activities

CAP Attorney, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada Children’s Advocacy Project.

Nevada Law Foundation, Colleague and Former Member and Vice-Chair of Board of Trustees

Former Co-Chair of State Bar IOTLA Committee

News & Publications

D. Lee Roberts, Scott R. Lachman, Timothy A. Mott, ACA's Impact on 'Most Likely' Cost of Future Care, Law360 (February 2, 2017), https://www.law360.com/health/articles/886958/aca-s-impact-on-most-likely-cost-of-future-care.

Nevada Attorneys and Banks Work Together to Help Those in Need, BY Trevor L. Atkin, Esq. and D. Lee Roberts, Jr. Esq., Nevada Law Foundation Trustees and IOLTA Committee Co-chairs. Nevada Lawyer (May 2012). (https://www.nvbar.org/wp-content/uploads/NevLawyer_May_2012_Banks_Attorneys-1.pdf).