Dan Baldwin 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Bailey Kennedy A Corporate Culture of Exceeding Client Expectations “Our firm’s culture is based on exceeding client expectations and striving for excellence. We engage in this practice from a teamoriented perspective, at all times trying to produce the best quality work we can,” says John R. Bailey, co-founder of Las Vegas-based Bailey Kennedy. On any given day the firm’s attorneys may be involved in local and national matters related to such diverse issues as health care, product liability defense, medical devices, electronic gaming devices, insurance, government affairs, and any number of consumer or business products. Exceeding client expectations requires gaining an in-depth knowledge of the clients and their individual needs. Co-founder Dennis L. Kennedy says, “One of the first things we do is learn their business and what they do. Then we make it a point to be flexible in terms of financial arrangements, fees, and costs.” Bailey and Kennedy founded the firm when Kennedy joined the Law Offices of John R. Bailey in 2006. Two other attorneys are now partners in the firm - Joshua M. Dickey and Sarah E. Harmon. The firm’s practice areas are litigation; appellate advocacy; administrative and gaming law; hospital and healthcare law; ethics and professional responsibility law; business and corporate law; and sports, entertainment and leisure industry law. The firm not only defends corporations, organizations, and individuals against claims, but pursues claims on behalf of its clients. Bailey Kennedy is a self-described “boutique” law firm. “We’re very focused in the areas of legal services that we provide to clients. We don’t do the whole gamut,” Bailey says. The firm prefers to remain within its established fields of complex commercial litigation and administrative law. Their niche approach is recognized widely and welcomed within the legal community. Approximately 80 percent of the firm’s business comes from referrals by other law firms and attorneys. Bailey Kennedy has been recognized by numerous business publications, including the Las Vegas Business Press, Nevada Business magazine, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, and Benchmark: Litigation and Best Lawyers in America. Stability and Longevity Through Mentoring One of the many reasons Bailey Kennedy maintains its leadership position in its practice areas is its long-term stability, which is in large part due to a mentoring process begun before the firm was even formed. All four partners began their legal careers and their professional relationships at what was then one of the largest firms in Nevada. Bailey, who had served a summer as a law clerk in 1984, joined that firm as an associate in 1985, the year he graduated from law school. Kennedy was his mentor. Bailey says of the experience, “My first legal experiences were at the hands of Dennis. The training and the experience I received under his guidance were invaluable. Back then and today, Dennis is regarded by his peers as one of the best lawyers in the state and country. He understands what needs to be done from an ethical standpoint as well as the nuts and bolts of practicing law.” They quickly developed what many would call an ideal teacher/student relationship. Dickey was recruited by Bailey out of law school to work at the prior firm. Bailey and Kennedy served as Dickey’s mentors and Harmon was mentored by Kennedy. The four did not realize it at the time, but the foundation of a future team had been created. In 2001, after serving 16 years at the firm, Bailey decided to leave. He says, “I wanted to do things a little differently and set my own course. I wanted to have an environment best suited for my abilities and the practice of law. It wasn’t that I was unhappy. There was no disagreement or acrimony. I had just reached a point in my life where I wanted to try it on my own.” Kennedy says of the departure, “I was very sad and sorry when he decided to leave, but I understand why he did it.” Alice O’Hearn, who had been Bailey’s assistant for 13 years, left with him and the two became the entire management and staff of the Law Offices of John R. Bailey. O’Hearn is still with the firm and now serves as Bailey Kennedy’s legal administrator. One of the first persons Bailey hired was Joshua Dickey who joined the firm in 2003. When Kennedy decided to make a change in 2006, he joined his former mentee and the firm of Bailey Kennedy, LLP was formed. Harmon followed the same path and joined the firm one month later. Harmon was made a partner in 2011. Kennedy says of the arrangement, “Sometimes you find law partners who become friends, and with John and me, we were great friends who became partners.” The team has worked smoothly and effectively and has expanded just as efficiently to meet the needs of a growing client base. Keeping the Client’s Best Interest in the Foreground The mentoring process begun at their previous law firm is one of the key factors in the success of Bailey Kennedy. Mentoring is how the partners met, how they grew to know and respect each other, and how they keep a successful law firm on a continuing path to even more success. Clients and other observers notice that the attorneys and the staff really are passionate about the law and client service. O’Hearn states, “John has been practicing law almost 30 years and Dennis almost 40 years and they’re still like kids at Christmas when a new case comes in.” The firm calls itself a “teaching law firm” in the best sense of that phrase. Associates are paired with partners so that they can learn and experience the law and the legal profession at the side of experts in the field. This benefits not only the associates and the firm, but also their clients who enjoy a greater level of service and increased savings. The client gets the best of both possible worlds. Management practices a legitimate open-door policy. Harmon says, “(the policy) strives to give associates the opportunity to accompany the partners along every step of the process – client consultations, depositions, hearings, and trial. It’s not a hierarchy where they do nothing but research. We want to make this an atmosphere where we are able to impart wisdom and experience.” Dickey says, “When you involve associates, they’re in and they’ve got a stake in the outcome as well. The whole firm is empowered. When I came and joined John, I knew what I had to say was listened to.” One way of serving the clients’ best interests is the firm’s rejection of the “eat what you kill” ethos found in some law firms in which partners and associates are compensated only from those projects and clients they bring to the firm. Bailey Kennedy prefers to match the best partner and best associate or associates to the specific needs of individual clients regardless of who brought in that client. Every challenge is met by a staff best suited to that challenge, which is a tremendous benefit to all clients. The firm recruits primarily right out of law school so that their attorneys can be brought up in the Bailey Kennedy philosophy of practicing law and handling business. Partners who are involved in a legal matter do not hesitate to share their knowledge with the associates. Again, in the long-run the client is always the ultimate beneficiary. Most of the firm’s attorneys had other work experience prior to law school. This real-world experience often proves invaluable when working with a variety of businesses and individuals in a variety of legal matters. Kennedy says, “We like to hire people who understand how the world works. We’re not looking to hire Thurston Howell, III” (the wealthy socialite from TV’s “Gilligan’s Island”). The partners have no desire to build a huge law firm; therefore, their marketplace growth is organic and based on talent rather than a perceived need to add personnel. Talent more than anything determines the next new hire. Community Involvement The firm is committed to community service with the staff, associates, and partners all believing in a responsibility to share their individual and corporate success. Each year the firm and individuals in the firm donate hundreds of hours of service to community and civic organizations. These include: Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, Nathan Adelson Hospice, Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada, Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, Rose Regatta Dragon Boat Festival, and Shoes That Fit. Exceeding Expectations – A Continuing Process Exceeding client expectations is the continuing goal of the Bailey Kennedy team. Anyone who has contact with the partners, associates or the staff soon realizes that exceeding client expectations is also a matter of continuing professional satisfaction. The team boasts that they are truly a group of lawyers who enjoy and thrive on the opportunities and benefits they provide to their increasing list of satisfied clients. Through a process of mentoring, careful recruitment, hands-on training, and a total commitment to putting the clients’ needs in the forefront, those clients find their experiences with Bailey Kennedy professional, comfortable, and ultimately rewarding. In fact, Bailey Kennedy has been the recipient of multiple “Best Place to Work” awards. Limited Practice Areas Mean Unlimited Client Service Bailey Kennedy limits its practice areas so as to provide the best possible service, experience and expertise to its clients. Litigation The firm and its attorneys have earned a reputation for success in high-stakes litigation before state and federal trial and appellate courts in such diverse areas as contract and commercial dis- putes, corporate and partnership disputes, antitrust and unfair competition matters, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, theft of confidential information, and trade secrets. Appellate Advocacy The firm’s attorneys have also created a record of success before the Nevada Supreme Court and federal appellate courts. Clients represented in this field are assured of experienced support in all stages of litigation. The firm’s attorneys have an in-depth understanding of substantive and procedural issues, and of appellate oral advocacy. They have mastered the necessary analytical and writing skills targeted to persuading appellate judges. Administrative and Gaming Bailey Kennedy attorneys have built a reputation of excellence in representing clients before local, state and federal administrative bodies and in appeals of those bodies’ decisions. The firm’s experience includes gaming control law and licensing; liquor control law and licensing; privileged, regulated and general licensing and permitting; professional licensing boards and commissions. Hospital and Healthcare Bailey Kennedy has provided coordinated representation, advice, and guidance in numerous areas of hospital and healthcare law, including physician discipline, insurance, capitation, employment, medical records, and vendor contracts. Individuals and organizations represented include, hospitals, hospices, health systems, medical groups, physicians, physician organizations, health insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, rehabilitation centers, and extended and elder care facilities. The firm has more than 30 years’ experience in the healthcare and related fields. Business and Corporate Corporations and other entities needing advice in conducting their legal affairs turn to Bailey Kennedy, including boards of directors and individual directors who seek guidance as to their legal obligations to employees, shareholders, and the public. While Partner Joshua M. Dickey focuses the majority of his efforts representing clients in litigation, he also works with individuals and small companies to provide advice on non-compete issues, trade secrets and general business practice. Ethics and Professional Responsibility The firm has represented clients in all types of professional responsibility matters, including bar admissions, character and fitness for the bar, disciplinary defense, unauthorized practice, advertising, fee disputes, disqualification, sanctions, malpractice (plaintiff and defense), disciplinary expert testimony (prosecution and defense), and malpractice ex- pert testimony (plaintiff and defense). Kennedy, who has been practicing in this area for more than 25 years, is frequently involved in defending lawyers accused of wrongdoing either by the bar in professional misconduct cases, or defense of malpractice cases. Kennedy says, “I view it as the highest professional compliment when a fellow professional is in trouble and he or she comes to me for representation.” Sports, Entertainment and Leisure Services in this area include contract negotiation, handling endorsement opportunities, and protecting the right of publicity. Clients are assisted in coordinating all business and legal aspects relating to a professional career. Exceeding Client Expectations - The Bailey Kennedy Business Culture For the attorneys and the support staff of Bailey Kennedy, exceeding client expectations is more than just a statement in a brochure, a comment in a speech, or a platitude to be tossed off in conversation. Exceeding client expectations is their way of conducting business day to day, week to week and year to year. Each member of the team firmly believes excellent service transcends the definition of work. As Kennedy says, “We consider it an honor and privilege to help good people resolve bad problems.” • Founding partners: John R. Bailey and Dennis L. Kennedy • Practice Areas: Commercial litigation; appellate advocacy; healthcare administrative law; business and corporate law; ethics and professional responsibility law; gaming law; sports, entertainment and leisure industry law • Partners: John R. Bailey, Dennis L. Kennedy, Joshua M. Dickey and Sarah E. Harmon • Associates: Joseph A. Liebman, Joshua P. Gilmore, Kelly B. Stout, Mark E. Hesiak, and Paul C. Williams • Of Counsel: Scott A. Eaton • Established 2001, 25 member firm with local, regional and international clients • Represents top healthcare facilities, publicly traded corporations, gaming companies, financial institutions, travel and tourism leaders, public entities, real estate developers, athletes, entertainers and entrepreneurs • Practices "open door" style of management • Classifies itself as a "boutique" law firm • Active in community service • Recognized as a "Best Place to Work in Nevada" by Vegas Inc and Las Vegas Business Press
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