Bar Admissions
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law, Tony Patino Fellow, 1997
  • B.A., History and Business Administration, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993
Bar Admissions
  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law, Tony Patino Fellow, 1997
  • B.A., History and Business Administration, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993

Professional Background

Michael Pagni’s practice focuses primarily on real estate and land use law, water resources law, administrative law and government relations. Mr. Pagni serves as outside counsel to several large public agencies in Northern Nevada, and served as general counsel to Governor Jim Gibbons in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign.  Prior to law school, Mr. Pagni served as a legislative intern for Senator Harry Reid in Washington, D.C.  During law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Melvin Brunetti, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Honorable Howard D. McKibben, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.

Real Estate & Land Use Planning

Mr. Pagni has represented a number of major real estate development projects in Northern Nevada in connection with acquisitions, land use entitlements, securitization, financing, development and sales.  Mr. Pagni’s real estate practice includes residential and commercial development, planned unit developments, and mixed-use projects. Mr. Pagni’s practice includes government relations and administrative practice before jurisdictional agencies, land use planning and representation before local government planning commissions, city councils, county commissions and regional planning agencies, and litigation on land use entitlement issues.

Water Resources

Mr. Pagni serves as general counsel to one of the largest municipal water purveyors in Nevada, several irrigation companies and the Washoe County Water Conservation District.  Mr. Pagni’s representation of water resources issues includes administrative agencies and state and federal courts, including matters related to the implementation of the Truckee River Operating Agreement before the Nevada State Engineer, California Water Resources Board and federal courts.

Business Entities & Transactions

Mr. Pagni is experienced in the formation, operation, financing, disposition of businesses, private companies and other enterprises, focusing primarily on real estate developers and industrial property owners, and has significant experience in negotiation and documentation of commercial leases and related matters.

Representative Engagements

  • StoneGate Master Planned Community
  • Somersett Master Planned Community
  • Damonte Ranch Master Planned Development
  • Daybreak Master Planned Community
  • Eldorado Resorts
  • Truckee Meadows Water Authority

Awards and Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rating
  • The Best Lawyers in America©  – Corporate Law, Land Use and Zoning Law, Real Estate Law (2021)
  • Super Lawyers Magazine “Mountain States Rising Star – Real Estate, Energy and Natural Resources, Land Use/Zoning, Government Relations, Business/Corporate (2009, 2011)
  • National Registry of Who’s Who
  • Nevada Business Magazine “Best Up and Coming Attorneys” (2008)
  • Nevada Business Magazine “Legal Elite” (2017)

Community Engagement

  • Member, City of Reno Charter Review Committee, 2012
  • Member, Meritas Leadership Institute, 2010‒2011
  • Appointed, State of Nevada Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics and Election Practices, 2009; elected vice-chair, 2010; appointed chair, 2011
  • Member, Governor Gibbons Water Transition Team, 2006‒2007
  • Judge, We the People Elementary and High School Programs
  • Board Member and Founders Club Member, Nevada Discovery Museum
  • Board Member, Child Advocacy Center

Attorney News

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August 20, 2018 – McDonald Carano is pleased to announce new recognition in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.  Attorneys recognized include: Matthew C. Addison, Partner, Commercial…

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