Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Nevada
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1998
  • B.A., Santa Clara University, History, 1995
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • Nevada
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1998
  • B.A., Santa Clara University, History, 1995

Professional Background

Josh Hicks leads McDonald Carano’s Government Affairs and Advocacy Group.  A veteran lawyer with deep roots in Nevada, Josh focuses his practice in four main areas.

Government Affairs

Josh leads a statewide team of lawyers and lobbyists representing clients before the Nevada Legislature, local governments, and state government agencies. The team’s clients include builders, contractors, developers, tech companies, trade associations, professional sports organizations, renewable energy providers, healthcare providers and professionals, education providers, and relocating and expanding businesses, among others.

State and Local Taxation

Josh represents clients on issues ranging from litigated tax disputes to advanced tax planning on a variety of state and local tax issues, including property tax, sales and use tax, live entertainment tax, transient lodging tax, gaming tax, commerce tax, modified business tax, tax abatements and incentives, and business license fees.

Real Estate and Land Use

Josh represents property owners, developers, and investors on all types of real estate projects, including residential and commercial/industrial projects, entitlements, and zoning issues. Josh’s background as a lawyer and a government affairs professional provides a unique skill set that focuses on a practical and pragmatic path to success for clients.

Election and Campaign Finance

As a former state attorney for the Secretary of State, Josh works with clients on a variety of issues in the electoral arena, including the drafting and defending of ballot petitions and advising on compliance with Nevada election and campaign finance laws.


Before joining McDonald Carano, Josh served as General Counsel and Chief of Staff to Governor Jim Gibbons. Prior to his work in the Governor’s Office, Josh was a Senior Deputy Attorney General for Attorney Generals Frankie Sue Del Papa, Brian Sandoval and George Chanos, representing the Nevada Department of Taxation, the Nevada Tax Commission, and the Nevada Secretary of State. Upon graduation from law school, Josh served as a law clerk to the Nevada Supreme Court and the United States District Court. Within the firm, Josh serves as the Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. A fourth-generation Nevadan, Josh, and his family reside in Reno.

Representative Matters

Josh has argued cases in front of various Nevada District Courts, the Nevada Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He has been lead counsel on several published cases and numerous unpublished cases. Published cases include:

  • Malecon Tobacco v. Department of Taxation, 118 Nev. 837 (2002)
  • Meridian Gold v. Department of Taxation, 119 Nev. 630 (2003)
  • Department of Taxation v. DaimlerChrysler, 121 Nev. 541 (2005)
  • Herbst Gaming v. Heller, 122 Nev. 877 (2006)
  • Nevadans for the Protection of Property Rights v. Heller, 122 Nev. 894 (2006)
  • Nevadans for Nevada v. Beers, 122 Nev. 930 (2006)
  • The Education Initiative PAC v. Committee to Protect Nevada Jobs, 129 Nev.Adv.Op. 5 (Jan. 31, 2013)


  • American Bar Association Property Tax Deskbook – Nevada: Co-Author
  • American Bar Association Sales Tax Deskbook – Nevada: Co-Author

Awards and Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America – Government Relations (2018-2023)
  • Super Lawyers Magazine “Mountain States Rising Stars” – Government Relations, Legislative and Government Affairs, Lobbying, Tax/Business (2012)
  • Nevada Business Magazine “Legal Elite” (2016)

Community Engagement

  • Nevada Representative, American Property Tax Counsel
  • Board Member, Nevada Taxpayers Association
  • President, Catamount Fund
  • Youth Mentor, Maison T. Ortiz Youth Outdoor Skills Camp
  • Manager, Reno National Little League

Attorney News

Reno Office Attorneys Ranked Among Best Lawyers in America 2023

McDonald Carano proudly announces that 20 of our Reno office lawyers have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Three of…

2022 Nevada Primary Election Results Guide

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Group would like to share a summary of the 2022 primary election results. For partisan offices, the primary winners will face off in the general election…

Nevada Newsmakers Interviews Josh Hicks

Josh Hicks, Chair of McDonald Carano’s Government Affairs & Advocacy Group, was interviewed on Nevada Newsmakers about critical and controversial issues of the day. Nevada Newsmakers is the premier state-wide…

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