LAS VEGAS -- September 8, 2020 – Cozen O’Connor today named trial lawyer Karl O. Riley — who for the past two years has served as law clerk to the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, in Las Vegas — as the new office managing partner of its Las Vegas office. One of the first African Americans to be named office managing partner for an Am Law 100 firm in Nevada, Riley joins the firm as a member within the firm’s Commercial Litigation department. Additionally, Riley will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Class Actions, and Appellate practice groups.
As a clerk, he assisted with courtroom proceedings; conducted legal research and briefings; and drafted bench and en banc memoranda, orders, opinions, and memorandum dispositions. He also published opinions on matters ranging from antitrust, constitutional, immigration, criminal, and environmental disputes, to cases involving commercial, intellectual property, labor and employment, civil rights, and habeas corpus issues.
Prior to that, Riley worked at Snell & Wilmer LLP in Las Vegas, where he advised and litigated on behalf of a range of corporate-level clients in the global telecommunications, e-commerce, retail, gaming, banking, and construction industries. There, he gained trial experience under the current Nevada Attorney General; litigated and defended various wrongful foreclosure and consumer fraud claims to protect millions of dollars in real estate assets on behalf of global banks; and defended a range of employment disputes in state and federal courts on behalf of a global timeshare company and a national home improvement enterprise.
“Since we opened the office in 2018 our goal in Las Vegas has been to provide comprehensive, national representation to Nevada’s thriving gaming, technology, education, and real estate sectors,” said Vincent R. McGuinness, Jr., Cozen O’Connor’s president and managing partner. “As an attorney with clients in all of those industries—including several in gaming technology—Karl is the ideal choice to lead our Las Vegas office. I’m both pleased and excited he’s chosen to join our firm.”
“Karl brings to us impeccable credentials, both for his work with Judge Rawlinson and as a corporate trial lawyer,” added James H. Heller, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department. “His clients run the proverbial gamut and he represents them from complaint through appeal in federal, state, and appellate courts, and in arbitration. Suffice to say I’m very happy to welcome him to our practice.”
A previous chair of the State Bar of Nevada’s Young Lawyers Section and widely recognized as one of Nevada’s top up and coming lawyers, Riley has been named “Young Lawyer of the Year” by the State Bar of Nevada, a “Rising Star of Business” by the Las Vegas Business Press, and an “On the Rise” Top 40 Young Lawyer by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division.
“I chose Cozen O’Connor because I wanted to bring my practice to a full-service firm with a national litigation department. I can now provide a one stop shop for my clients regardless of the type or location of their dispute,” Riley said. “In addition, the firm has also fully embraced the legal profession’s diversity initiatives, which is not only important to me, but to my clients as well.”
Riley earned his J.D. at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and his B.S. in Business Administration from the Washington University (St. Louis) Olin School of Business.
About Cozen O’Connor
Established in 1970, Cozen O’Connor has over 750 attorneys who help clients manage risk and make better business decisions. The firm counsels clients on their most sophisticated legal matters in all areas of the law, including litigation, corporate, and regulatory law. Representing a broad array of leading global corporations and middle market companies, Cozen O’Connor serves its clients’ needs through 31 offices across two continents.
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