Dan Baldwin 2013-03-28 00:14:11
Walking The Walk at Jimmerson Hansen The key to a successful law practice and home life is balance, says James J. Jimmerson, founder of the law firm, Jimmerson Hansen, P.C. “You can’t get anywhere in this field without working hard. That’s important. But the second thing is not to sell your soul. Aristotle talked in terms of optimum activity of the soul as the aim of all human action to achieve happiness and well-being – the “all things in moderation” attitude. I believe that’s true. I think you need to remain ethical and just. I think you need to spend time with your spouse and family. I think balance is a big key, because if you have your home life secure, it allows you to get out in the morning and take on the dragons every day,” Jimmerson says. His philosophy has seen his firm grow from a sole proprietorship to a firm of five lawyers handling some of the most complex and highest profile legal matters in Las Vegas and Nevada. Founded in 1983, today Jimmerson Hansen, P.C. is a full-service legal firm skilled in the practice areas of administrative and regulatory matters; business law- corporate, partnership and LLC; construction law and construction defect; entertainment law; estate planning and probate; family law; gaming law; health care, malpractice, and professional liability; civil litigation; medical malpractice and insurance defense; personal injury; and real estate law. Although Jimmerson did not necessarily set out to specialize in the area of family law, early on he represented the wife of a very well-known, very wealthy local business owner in a divorce case where the resolution of the case was entirely in her favor. She was appreciative of the firm’s work on her behalf and, as Jimmerson says, “She spoke well of us and suddenly I was receiving inquiries from the most prominent families and about the highest profile cases and was forced to become experienced in the field of family law.” One of those matters was the divorce case of a prominent Las Vegas entrepreneur. The celebrity attorney has since been recognized as an expert in the field and is among the most prominent and sought after divorce and business litigation attorneys in Nevada and the western United States. It was by consensus and with multiple recommendations of Jimmerson’s peers that the Attorney At Law Magazine publisher felt he should grace the cover of this Family Law issue. “Our firm appeals to clients who have the more difficult cases both in terms of custody and division of property and assets. I would say that we have been very fortunate to be counsel for both the rich, and poor alike, with many, many celebrities, businessmen and businesswomen and entrepreneurs. We’ve had the good fortune to have represented many people around the community,” he says. Their aggressive and creative approach has paid off. The firm has a solid track record of success with such difficult cases, both in and out of the courtroom. One high profile client recently said of Jimmerson: “He is absolutely the best - hardworking, smart, with integrity and guts.” Former District Attorney and District Court Judge Stewart Bell says, “Jim Jimmerson is one of the finest lawyers I have ever encountered. I’ve had cases where he’s appeared in front of me as a judge. I’ve had cases with him and I’ve had several dozen cases against him. When you have a case against Mr. Jimmerson, you’d better bring help and a lunch because you know you’re going to be in for a long hard battle.” Jon Saraceno from USA Today said about Jimmerson’s representation of Mike Tyson in regaining his boxing license before the Nevada Athletic Commission, “Those strategies were the genius of lawyer Jim Jimmerson, whose picture should forever reside in Webster’s above the word ‘shrewd’.” His expertise in family law, however, has not diminished his success in civil and business litigation. He has won or settled more than two dozen seven-figure and eight-figure jury cases. Jimmerson’s last jury verdict, resulted in a $16,500,000 decision for his client in a stockholders derivative suit. Jimmerson declined to name any of his present or former clients, but news reports and Court records disclose his representation of such high profile individuals as Steve Wynn, Wayne Newton, Gary Primm, Robert Maheu, Fletcher Jones, Jr., Terry Fator, Jim Rhodes, Mike Tyson, Rich Little, Floyd Mayweather, and dozens of other celebrities and notable persons in Nevada. Corporate clients have included Caesars Palace, Trump Taj Mahal, Granite Gaming, Bob Stupak, Vegas World, Herb Pastor Casino Enterprises, University Medical Center and Health South. “We have had the opportunity to be involved in several high-profile civil actions, — zealously advocating on behalf of our clients whether they be plaintiffs or defendants — and have had a wide range of work in the last 37 years created through the demand of our clients. While we are also one of the strongest family law firms in the City, I believe that is a product and outgrowth of all the jury work and civil work we continue to do,” Jimmerson says. Attracting the Most Competent Lawyers Jimmerson Hansen seeks to attract the most competent lawyers whose primary goal is to provide clients with prompt and satisfactory conclusions to legal matters. In addition to Jimmerson, the firm boasts a compliment of diverse and accomplished attorneys. Lynn M. Hansen, Jimmerson’s law partner of 23 years, received her legal education at McGeorge School of Law after receiving a Bachelor of Science - Nursing from the University of Maryland and a master’s from the University of Washington. She served on, and was published in, the Law Review while attending McGeorge School of Law and was a staff writer for the Pacific Law Journal. Hansen is also a former psychologist and registered nurse who served on the faculty of Arizona State University and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Her primary emphasis in her practice of law is Medical Malpractice Defense, Insurance Law and Health Care Law. She is a member of the State Bars of Nevada (1985) and California (1984), the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1987) and the American Bar Association. She has served as a member of the State Bar Disciplinary Committee, the Board of Bar Examiners and Nevada’s Medical Legal Screening Panel. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of USAA Savings Bank and is associated with the Nevada Law Foundation and the Association of Managed Care Lawyers. Jimmerson says of his partner, “She is an outstanding trial lawyer in the health care field. She has represented hospitals, doctors, rehabilitation centers – the full range of healthcare professionals. She is one of the pioneers of healthcare law in Clark County. Lynn started out as a nurse with an emphasis in psychiatric work, but she understands medicine thoroughly. She even does her own review of medical records. She has not only seen it from the medical side, which gives her a huge edge over our competitors, but also having tried several jury trial cases in the medical field, she understands how that translates to the courtroom.” Shawn M. Goldstein earned his B.A. in Psychology from UNLV where he received the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award in Psychology. He attended Southwestern University School of Law where he was awarded the Paul W. Wildman Scholarship, the highest honor granted to an entering first-year student. While attending Southwestern, Mr. Goldstein developed a passion for family law and was awarded the Max Goodman Scholarship for his excellence in the study of family law. “Shawn is an outstanding family law attorney. Undoubtedly in the next four to five years he will become one of the most preeminent family law lawyers in the city. He is already in a circle of very few of the very best in the city and with the work he has done with our firm he’s truly an outstanding individual. He specializes in representing clients with high net worth and complex factual and legal cases. He works side-by-side with me, and on his own too, on our most high-profile cases and handles the pressures of such cases with aplomb. He is ethical, hard-working and very bright. He specializes in family law,” Jimmerson says. James M. Jimmerson is an associate who concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation and currently represents clients involved in stockholder litigation, antitrust suits and governmental regulatory proceedings. He is a native Nevadan. Prior to joining Jimmerson Hansen, he was an associate in the New York office of Winston & Strawn, LLP, where he worked on a broad range of issues from consumer fraud to investigations into commodity futures manipulation. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in History from Cornell University. He attended Columbia Law School where he was awarded the Jerome Michael Cup and was named a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He is admitted to the State Bars of New York and Nevada as well as the U.S. District Courts in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, and the District of Nevada. Confessing to be “totally biased,” Jimmerson, Sr. says, “My son, Jim, joined the firm last year in July, and that was the proudest day of that year for me. He’s smarter than I am. He’s better looking than I am. And he’s extremely honest, and hard working. He is an outstanding talent and has an unlimited future. He emphasizes complex civil and business litigation, and his research and trial skills are very advanced.” Carrie J. Primas clerked for the Honorable T. Arthur Ritchie, Eighth Judicial Court for the Family Division Department H for two years following passing the Nevada State Bar. She specializes in family law, and is also expanding her work to include a substantial civil trial practice. She wrote many of Judge Ritchie’s opinions and many bench memos that were a source of his opinions. Ms. Primas is a native Las Vegan. She earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of Nevada and attended Case Western University School of Law, where she earned a position on the Dean’s Honor List and sat on the executive board of the Student Bar Association. She is admitted to the Nevada State Bar (2010) and the U.S. District Court of Nevada (2010). “She has a keen intellect regarding family law, and she is a welcome addition to our firm. Like all of our younger attorneys, she, too, will become a star,” Jimmerson says. Behind every successful attorney is an exhausted paralegal, and Jimmerson Hansen currently boasts two: Shahana Polselli, a native of New York City, transitioned into entertainment law with The Marshall Firm in 1999 after a career in film and music publicity and promotions. She worked with attorneys in entertainment law, family law, and business contracts and disputes in New York, before relocating to Las Vegas in 2007. Since joining Jimmerson Hansen in 2008, she has worked closely with Jim Jimmerson primarily on complex family law cases involving custody, divorce, and financial issues. Polselli provides personal attention to the clients of the firm and assists in guiding them through the often difficult litigation process. Haunani D. Magalianes began her legal career in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a legal secretary to in-house counsel for an escrow and title company in 1981. In 1986, Magalianes relocated to Plattsburgh, New York, where she worked for a private practice attorney specializing in bankruptcy law, family law, and real estate law. She returned to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1987, and began her career in family law. Magalianes obtained her Paralegal Certificate from University of Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1994, and has worked almost exclusively in family law for more than 25 years. The Law is a Jealous Mistress Jimmerson, a native Las Vegan, realized he wanted to be a lawyer while a junior in high school. He attended George Washington University and worked for then Senior Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada and worked on Capitol Hill 20 hours a week at the same time. Jimmerson later attended the American College in Paris, and Columbia Law School. He was admitted to the Nevada Bar, the Nevada and U.S. District Court of Nevada in 1976; to the California Bar in 1977; the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit in 1978; the U.S. District Court, Central District of California in 1981; and to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1982. In May, 2012, he won the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award given to a select few each year from around the world. He has authored several articles for legal periodicals on subjects ranging from business torts to family law, and representation of celebrities and professional athletes. Jimmerson also has served as a moderator and panelist for the American Bar Association’s annual meetings on business torts litigation and family law litigation, and has spoken throughout the United States on the law, including trial skills, cross-examination, and the art of taking depositions. He is a former long-time member of the State Bar of Nevada Board of Governors and served as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He has been a Member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, and has been selected to be in The Best Lawyers in America and Pre-Eminent Lawyers in Martindale-Hubbell. He has been recognized annually by Super-lawyers, in Business Litigation, and has been awarded for years annually, “The Top 100 Lawyers” by the American Trial Lawyers Association. He was the first Southern Nevadan admitted into the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), and, is a Fellow of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, whose membership is limited to 100 outstanding family law trial lawyers in the United States. He is a member of the Family Law Section of the ABA and the State Bar of Nevada and is a former past President of the Family Law Section of the Nevada State Bar. He also is a mediator and arbitrator for both the AAML and the American Arbitration Association, and has taken the bench as a Pro Tempore Discovery Commissioner, Child Support Commissioner and Dependency Commissioner and served as Chairman of the Nevada Taxicab Authority. His decision has been a rewarding one and he says the law is the greatest field of endeavor. But he also notes that if you want to be in the law business and be successful, you must accept that the law truly is a ‘jealous mistress.’ The lawyers who do not do well do not commit themselves to the practice. The practice is harder now – harder in the sense that because of regulations and the like there is a fair amount more bureaucratic entanglements and delays, and it’s more difficult to get into court. “It’s more tedious today than it was 37 years ago when I started. It’s harder now and requires attention to detail and a lot of hard work, requiring more than a commitment of 40 hours a week.” “I have every plan to continue practicing until I ‘die in the saddle.’ I still enjoy the practice, and most importantly, we’re still providing the very best results for our clients,” Jimmerson says. We Do a Better Job The size of the firm and the quality of the advocates bring to the client a strong and creative team. The clients receive personal attention and a thorough analysis of their case. They have been able to settle the most difficult cases and, when that has not been possible, provided aggressive and serious representation at trial. The firm’s competitive edge is in the field of trial law. Jimmerson’s extensive jury trial experience (which most of his family law opposing counsels do not have) is a bonus for his clients. “The best part of the job is being in the courtroom. We love the contest. We love the battle. We love the competition. And we care about our clients. We care about their lives. We care about their children, spouses and we try to do right by them. We care about their business matters. We believe we try a superior case over our opponents. There are many fine lawyers who are very bright and hard-working, and certainly have more talent than I do and are smarter than I am. But, I think when it comes to proving the case, articulating the case, setting forth the theme of the case - what I call the ‘sex appeal’ of the case - we do a better job, we apply common sense, and we’re more convincing to the Court,” he says. Hansen states one of Jim’s strengths differently, “On cross-examination, he is devastating. I’m glad he’s on our side.” Jimmerson says, “For me, while winning is certainly wonderful, I really hate losing. Hating losing is a much more important standard in my psyche than a win. You have to have the self-confidence and the selflessness to know that when you win you have a few minutes to enjoy it, but it’s then on to the next case. I work very hard to make sure that clients get their money’s worth with our firm, and I do my level best to make sure that their goals can be attained. I attack this with a fair amount of zealousness and pride. We’re not a cheap firm. We charge a reasonable rate, but on the higher end for the community, and our clients deserve excellent representation.” He advises lawyers just entering this field to practice law in an ethical manner, recognizing that the law is a privilege and not a right, and that attorneys must respect it. Jimmerson says, “Look forward to the day when you will have to fire a client, recognizing that the client cannot and should not compromise your ethical responsibilities to the Bar, to the client, and to the community and the Court. Recognize too, that day will be a good day, and not a bad day, because you will be in a position to have enough confidence in yourself to free yourself from an unscrupulous client or a client who makes unreasonable demands.” He adds, “Privately, to me it’s a matter of ‘walking the walk.’ There are so many people who can ‘talk the talk,’ but can’t deliver … whether it be in terms of their own personal morality or in meeting goals requested by their clients, or a matter of being decent human beings with each other. I have, over the years, been in scrapes and fights - and one of the things I’ve learned through all of the tussles of a varied practice for 37 years in civil litigation and trial work is that you need to try to be a better person. You need to always err on the side of appropriateness and caution, to be respectful of the Courts and your colleagues alike.”
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