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Abraham G. Smith

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Abe is the 2019 John P. Frank Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year and a member of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group, together with Dan Polsenberg and Joel Henriod. Abe has briefed scores of appeals, writ petitions, and other petitions in Nevada’s appellate courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in five published opinions. He has also argued before the Nevada Court of Appeals.

Abe regularly handles some of the largest and most high-profile litigation in Nevada, including the cases arising from the hepatitis C outbreak among Las Vegas endoscopy clinics in the late 2000s and the ongoing cases surrounding the opioid-abuse crisis. He has experience representing clients in a variety of industries, such as education, health care, state and local government, insurance, commercial shipping, trucking, retail, and gaming and hospitality. Their cases are similarly varied: mass tort, product defect, construction defect, staged accident, insurance bad faith, utility rate-setting, public records, civil rights, and commercial-lease disputes, to name a few.

Abe uses his appellate expertise to help clients and their trial counsel at all stages of a dispute: to guide the legal strategy in framing or responding to a complaint, to create and preserve issues during discovery and at trial, and to navigate the complex world of post-judgment proceedings and appeals, from obtaining a stay of the judgment to petitioning for rehearing. He thinks creatively about appellate issues such as preclusion doctrines or jurisdiction to maximize value for the client. In addition to winning appeals, the clear and effective framing of appellate issues helps clients achieve favorable settlements.

Abe strongly believes that access to justice should not depend on one’s ability to pay. With Dan Polsenberg, he is the 2018 recipient of the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s Award of Excellence. Abe has represented dozens of children in appeals and writ petitions through the Legal Aid Center’s Children’s Attorneys Project and has assisted indigent Nevadans in their lawsuits and appeals.

Before joining the firm, he served as a legal intern for the U.S. Department of State in the Office of the Legal Adviser in Washington, D.C.

More About Abraham G. Smith


  • J.D., magna cum laude,  Duke University School of Law, Order of the Coif, 2013
  • LL.M., magna cum laude, Duke University School of Law, Order of the Coif, 2013
  • B.M., with high distinction, with honors, Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, 2010

Bar Admissions

  • Nevada

Representative Matters

  • Foley v. Foley: Obtained a reversal of a contempt order in a case against an indigent father who was imprisoned despite his inability to pay child support. Abe enlisted amicus support from the ACLU of Nevada and Professor Elizabeth Patterson, an expert in poverty law and debtor’s prison.
  • Khoury v. Seastrand, 132 Nev. 520, 377 P.3d 81 (2016): Helped clarify the law regarding strikes for cause in jury selection and the admissibility of a testifying doctor’s medical liens to establish bias.
  • Coastline RE Holdings NV Corp. v. Willin: Helped obtain a reversal in a deficiency-judgment action based on federal preemption.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America, "Ones to Watch," Appellate Practice, 2021-2022
  • Vegas Inc., Top Lawyers, Appellate, 2021
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Appellate, 2020-2021
  • Faculty Award, International, Transnational, and Comparative Law
  • ELSA Moot Court Competition, Best Orator in the North American Preliminary Rounds, WTO Law
  • Duke Journal of Comparative International Law, Articles Editor
  • Lewis Roca Awarded for 100% Participation in Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada's 2019 Associate Challenge


  • Presenter, "Canaries in the Coal Mine: The Travel Bans and Comey," May 17, 2017 (presentation on legal issues surrounding executive orders restricting travel from certain countries)
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