Understanding and responding to the business and legal impacts of COVID-19
Bar Admissions
  • Nevada, 1997
Education
  • J.D., University of South Carolina, School of Law, 1997
  • B.S., Business Finance, College of Charleston, 1991
Bar Admissions
  • Nevada, 1997
Education
  • J.D., University of South Carolina, School of Law, 1997
  • B.S., Business Finance, College of Charleston, 1991

Professional Background

Leigh practices in commercial and complex litigation, trust, estate and fiduciary litigation, and employment litigation. Her representation covers all aspects of litigation, from investigation through filing of initial pleadings, discovery, and motion practice, to trial. Leigh is chair of the firm’s Trust, Estate and Fiduciary Litigation practice group. Throughout her career, Leigh has been recognized as one of the best lawyers in America, named a legal elite by Nevada Business Magazine and a Mountain States Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine. She received the Order of the Coif from the University of South Carolina and a Women of Achievement award. She also has an AV preeminent rating with Martindale-Hubbell.

Leigh has extensive experience representing clients in state and federal court. She has represented contractors and developers in construction claims and enforcement of mechanic’s liens; She represents beneficiaries, trustees, adult guardians, conservators, personal representatives, and executors in all manner of estate, trust and fiduciary litigation matters, including will and trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, fiduciary misconduct, fraud, financial elder abuse and adult guardianships.

She also defends discrimination and wrongful termination claims and counsels employers in personnel issues, investigations into illegal harassment complaints, and evaluation of demotion and termination decisions.

Leigh belongs to many professional organizations that focus on improving the legal profession and the knowledge of its practitioners. She is master emeritus of Inns of Court, Bruce R. Thompson Chapter; and member and past president of the Federal Bar Association; Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America; the American Bar Association, Section of Litigation; the Nevada Bar Association; and the Washoe County Bar Association. She is also involved in the community as a trustee for the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada and participates in numerous local charity events for public education and cancer research.

Leigh is licensed to practice in Nevada state and federal courts.

Trust, Estate & Fiduciary Litigation

Cases include the representation of beneficiaries, guardians, personal representatives, trustees, and executors in fiduciary, trust and estate litigation matters, including claims for breach of fiduciary duty, will and trust contests, fiduciary misconduct, fraud, financial elder abuse and adult guardianships.

Commercial & Complex Litigation

Cases include the representation of local, national, and international businesses in claims involving contract disputes, trade secret violations, tortious interference, breach of fiduciary duty, business entity dissolutions, enforcement and defense of non-competition covenants, fraud, misrepresentation, conversion, defamation, unfair trade practices, and appointment of receivers.

Employment

Leigh represents employers and management. This includes defending against discrimination claims and wrongful termination claims in state and federal courts, defending against charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, counseling employers in personnel issues, investigation of illegal harassment and discrimination complaints, and evaluating demotion and termination decisions. Her representation has also included pursuing and defending claims in state and federal court related to enforcement of employment covenants not to compete.

Awards and Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America© – Commercial Litigation; Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Nevada Business Magazine “Legal Elite” – Employment & Labor; Commercial & Complex Litigation; Trust & Estates
  • Super Lawyers “Mountain States Super Lawyers” (Top 50 Women)
  • Super Lawyers “Mountain States Super Lawyers” – Business Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • Women of Achievement Award
  • Order of the Coif, University of South Carolina
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review Rated

Community Engagement

  • Master emeritus, Inns of Court, Bruce R. Thompson Chapter
  • President, Federal Bar Association (Nevada chapter, 2007–08)
  • American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
  • Nevada Bar Association
  • Washoe County Bar Association
  • Board of Trustees, Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (chair, 2016-2017; vice chair, 2014–15; secretary, 2012–13; treasurer, 2011–12)
  • Participation in numerous local charity events benefiting public education and cancer research

Seminars Taught

  • “Non-Competition Covenants in Nevada,” March 30, 2017
  • “Nevada Wage & Hour Hot Topics,” Oct. 12, 2016
  • “HIPAA for Employers,” Feb. 27, 2004
  • “Overtime Requirements in Nevada,” March 18, 2003
  • “Employment-Related Records in Nevada,” Jan. 17, 2003
  • “Payroll Management in Nevada,” Sept. 17, 2002

Attorney News

5 State Marijuana Mandates Throwing Employers for a Loop

November 25, 2019, Law360, by Vin Gurrieri– In Nevada, one issue that Reno-based McDonald Carano LLP partner Leigh Goddard said has created a “huge problem” for employers is a law taking effect…

5 Questions to Ask When Workers Get Called for Jury Duty

October 17, 2019, Law 360, by Vin Gurrieri A recent Fifth Circuit decision allowing a worker to pursue claims that he was illegally fired after jury service shows that missteps related…

McDonald Carano Attorneys Recognized in Best Lawyers Awards

Las Vegas, Nevada, August 15, 2019 – McDonald Carano LLP is pleased to announce new recognition in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. McDonald Carano attorneys recognized…

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