Attorney General top staff now Nevada lawyers

Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s top staffers are now legitimately licensed Nevada lawyers.

Solicitor General Lawrence VanDyke, Chief of Staff Nick Trutanich and Special Assistant AG Joe Tartakovsky have all been practicing under a section of Nevada law allowing them limited practice certifications. Those certifications are designed to allow public entities like the Attorney General’s Office to hire out of state lawyers and give them some time to pass the Nevada Bar exam.

But that certification is only good for a maximum of two years, which expired this year. The Nevada Supreme Court granted them extensions if they agreed to take the bar exam in July.

They did and, according to the results released Tuesday, all three passed the bar.

Technically, Trutanich’s position doesn’t require him to be admitted to the Nevada Bar. But without that certification, he wouldn’t be able to participate in legal decisions. Trutanich has, however, participated in legal discussions and decisions since he took the position of Chief of Staff when Laxalt took office — doing so legally as a lawyer certified for limited practice.

All three have been previously licensed to practice law in other states before coming to Nevada.

One other top staffer under Laxalt, First Assistant AG Wes Duncan, has been a licensed Nevada lawyer since 2011. Duncan recently resigned that post amid speculation he will run for the Attorney General’s post in the 2018 election.

Laxalt himself has been licensed to practice law in Nevada since 2012.


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