NV 8 Dept 17 2020

Villani got the nod from our legal panel. One said he has “a good temperament.” Another said “you know you’ll get a fair shake” in his courtroom. Yet another said he is “the clear choice.” A couple of panelists said they did not know Albertson. 

Albertson has been the founder and managing partner of Legal Angel for over 6 years. Previously, she was an associate attorney for a number of law firms that focused on civil litigation, family law and personal injury. She has been practicing law for 14 years. All of her self-reported cases involve personal injury litigation where she represented both plaintiffs and defendants. None of her cases reviewed by the law school team were particularly legally significant but did demonstrate her ability to be an excellent attorney with good writing and advocacy skills. 

Villani was appointed to the bench in 2007 and has been the judge for Department 17 for the last 13 years. Prior to becoming a judge, he was a private attorney specializing in criminal defense, personal injury, and insurance law. While in private practice Villani was appointed to be an Alternate Municipal Court Judge, Justice of the Peace Pro Tem, Small Claims Court Judge, Certified Court Arbitrator and a member of the State Bar of Nevada’s to the Fee Dispute Committee and Disciplinary Board. While on the bench, Villani has been a leader for the National Judicial College’s “Advanced Ethics For Judges” and “Advanced Search and Seizure Law” courses. 

Villani has presided over more than 9,000 civil cases and more than 1,000 criminal cases. In one self-reported case, Haley v. District Court, a physician agreed to pay damages for wrongful death and personal injury to a minor child and the father after the mother died during childbirth and the baby suffered severe brain damage because of oxygen deprivation. Villani accepted the settlement but chose to modify the distribution of the money to better benefit the child and its needs. The Supreme Court of Nevada upheld Villani’s decision. 

Villani also presided over the high-profile case of attorney Alexis Plunkett, who was charged with providing a cell phone to an inmate with whom she was romantically involved. During a hearing on Plunkett’s motion to dismiss, Villani dismissed the charges after determining that the subsection of the law she was charged under only applied to prisoner’s conduct within a prison. However, he noted that she could be charged under different subsections of the law. Plunkett ultimately pled guilty and received three years’ probation, community service, and was disbarred. Of all the Villani’s appealed rulings, 75 percent have been upheld. (He provided us with a list of all his appealed cases and their outcomes.) Villani has never received any reprimands, had any grievances filed against him, nor been forced to recuse himself from a case.