Biography Photo of John P Desmond

John P. Desmond

Member and Division Director, Litigation
John P. Desmond is a member in the firm’s Reno office. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation and appellate work. He regularly represents and counsels clients in commercial and business litigation matters involving contract disputes, buy/sell agreements and disputes over intellectual property. He has also represented physician groups in regard to compliance and contractual matters. His representation of clients includes a significant number of matters before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Education & Credentials


Thomas M. Cooley Law School

J.D., 1994
  • magna cum laude

University of Nevada, Reno

B.A., 1990

Bar Admission

  • Nevada
  • California


  • Benchmark Litigation United States 
    • United States (National) and Local Litigation Star, 2024
  • Mountain State Super Lawyers ®
    • Commercial & Business Litigation, 2021-2022
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Dispute Resolution - General Commercial Disputes, 2020-2024
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business
    • Commercial Litigation, 2017-2024
  • Best Lawyers of America® 
    • Appellate and Commercial Litigation, 2016-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year," Appellate, 2022, 2024
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Certification Rating
  • Nevada Super Lawyers®
    • Commercial & Business Litigation, 2013-2021
    • "Top 100 Lawyers in Nevada," Commercial Litigation, 2018
  • Nevada Business Magazine
    • Top Ranked Attorney (formally Legal Elite) 2013-2019, 2021-2022
  • Master, Bruce R. Thompson Chapter of the American Inns of Court

Representative Clients

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
  • Google, Inc.
  • State of Nevada
  • Cal PERs

Prominent Assignments

Successfully represented a full service securities broker dealer firm in a case of first impression in which the Nevada Supreme Court recognized the enforceability of arbitration clauses in the employment context. Kindred v. A.G. Edwards, 116 Nev. 405, 996 P .2d 903 (2000)

Obtained dismissal of a false claims complaint seeking damages of nearly $100 million, the first case argued under Nevada’s qui tam statute, before the Nevada Supreme Court. International Game Technology, Inc. v. Second Judicial District Court, State of Nevada, 127 P .3d 1088 (Nev. 2006)

Represented client in a case of first impression to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals involving the First Amendment rights of anonymous bloggers on the Internet (2010).

Obtained a judgment for the largest gas station and convenience store operator in Nevada in excess of $100 million on claims for fraud and misrepresentation after an eight-week trial, with the court awarding both compensatory and punitive damages.

Successfully represented a large manufacturer on a certified question to the Nevada Supreme Court as to whether Nevada recognizes a cause of action for medical monitoring in products liability action.

Professional Involvement

  • Nevada Supreme Court Supervised Practice Task Force, Nevada Bar Licensing Commission, Member
  • Washoe County Bar Association, Past President
  • State Bar of Nevada, Board of Bar Examiners
  • Washoe Legal Services, President, Board of Directors
  • Nevada Supreme Court Jury Improvement Commission (Inactive), Member
  • Nevada Supreme Court Bench-Bar Committee, Member
  • Nevada Supreme Court Statewide Access to Justice Committee, Member
  • Supervised Practice Task Force - Chair

Community Involvement

  • Reno Cancer Foundation, Former Member of Board of Directors
  • University of Nevada-Reno Foundation, Board of Trustees Executive Committee Member


  • Presenter at the Dickinson Wright and Nevada Dispensary Association Marijuana Policy Forum Event, Reno, Nevada, June 6, 2018  
  • Presenter at the Dickinson Wright and Nevada Dispensary Association Marijuana Policy Forum Event, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 30, 2018
  • Interview, “Views From The Corner Office,” YLS Newsletter, March 2014
  • Interview, “In his own words: John Desmond, Gordon Silver shareholder,” Northern Nevada Business Weekly, 2012
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