Areas of Practice
- District of Columbia
- All Federal Courts in Nevada & California
- U.S. Supreme Court
- J.D., University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, 1976
- B.S., University of Nevada, Reno, 1973
William Magrath serves as Chair of the Complex & Commercial Litigation Practice. He focuses on complex construction, business, contract, and commercial litigation. His first-chair courtroom experience before juries, judges, and arbitrators and his devotion to advocacy have resulted in honors from national organizations and leadership positions in bar associations and community groups.
Mr. Magrath has represented a wide range of clients, including publicly traded corporations, national and regional companies, the Nevada System of Higher Education, national and local construction firms, hotel casinos in Nevada, and individuals and families. He served as a special counsel appointed by the Nevada Attorney General to lead a team of lawyers representing the Nevada System of Higher Education in a multi-faceted seven-year federal civil rights lawsuit, which was successfully concluded with an award of $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees to NSHE, the denial of all appeals, and a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Magrath’s reported cases include his successful federal injunction request on behalf of a contractor against the Nevada Public Works Board prohibiting further construction of a $28 million prison project. This resulted in new standards for Nevada public works bidding practices in Nevada. Mr. Magrath was one of several McDonald Carano attorneys representing a general contractor in a $500 million litigation related to the construction of Las Vegas’ 76-acre CityCenter urban complex and the Harmon Hotel.
He also has expertise in estate and trust litigation with recent trials resolving disputes over fiduciary duties, fraud, unjust enrichment, neglect, and exploitation of older and vulnerable persons. Mr. Magrath regularly appears before the state and federal courts in Nevada and California, representing clients in administrative matters and on appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court, and before various state and local governmental agencies and boards.
Before joining the firm in 1980, William served as a deputy district attorney in Washoe County, where he successfully prosecuted multiple criminal jury trials, including murder. He began his legal career in 1976 as a law clerk to the Honorable William N. Forman of Nevada’s Second Judicial District Court. William is also an owner of a building materials business and property management partnership in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Awards and Recognition
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated (Since 1996)
- The Best Lawyers in America – Bet-the-Company Litigation (2010-2024), Commercial Litigation (2009-2024), Construction Law (2009-2024), Construction Litigation (2011-2024), Trust and Estates Litigation (2021-2024), Corporate Law (2022-2024)
- The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” – Construction Litigation (2023, 2019, 2015, 2012)
- The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” – Bet-the-Company Litigation (2023, 2020, 2018, 2016, 2013)
- The Best Lawyers in America “Lawyer of the Year” – Construction Law (2023, 2021)
- Mountain States Super Lawyers – “Super Lawyer” (2013-2017)
- Nevada Business Magazine – “Legal Elite” (2012, 2013)
- Past President and Director, Washoe County Bar Association
- Past President and Master Emeritus, Bruce R. Thompson Inn of the American Inns of Court
- Past President and Director, Volunteer Lawyers of Washoe County
- Past President and Trustee, Washoe County Access to Justice Foundation
- Association of Defense Counsel of Northern Nevada and California Defense Research Institute
- Past Member, University of Nevada Alumni Council
- Past President and Director, Caughlin Ranch Homeowners Association (21 years)
McDonald Carano proudly announces that 21 of our Reno office lawyers have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and two…
McDonald Carano proudly announces that more than half of our Partners, Of Counsel, and Senior Counsel have received the Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ for achieving “the highest level…
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…
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