(Office of the Attorney General) – CARSON CITY – Today, Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced the reorganization of his office approved in the 2015 legislative session, as well as the promotion of three division chiefs. The reorganization saves taxpayer money, and creates new executive management level positions designed to increase efficiency in services provided to the state.
“Implementing a cost effective and efficient management structure has been a priority of mine since taking office in January,” said Laxalt. “The creation of this executive level management team is intended to guarantee professionalism and efficiency of work in this office. I am eager to work alongside these dedicated public servants to achieve this vision.”
The following individuals are being named with respect to the reorganization:
General Counsel: Michael Mersch will rejoin the Attorney General’s Office as the General Counsel to the Attorney General’s Office. Prior to this appointment, Mersch most recently served as the Senior Vice President of Business, Legal and Government Affairs and Assistant General Counsel for Zuffa, LLC dba Ultimate Fighting Championship. He previously served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General for the Attorney General’s Office representing a variety of clients such as the Nevada Athletic Commission, Nevada Transportation Authority, Nevada Highway Patrol and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Mersch has been a member of the State Bar of Nevada Character and Fitness Committee and Southern Nevada Disciplinary Panel since 2003. He earned his law degree from Drake University Law School and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Bureau Chief of Litigation: Ann McDermott has been selected as the new Bureau Chief of Litigation. Prior to this appointment, McDermott most recently served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General of the Personnel Division. Previously, she has served as Senior Deputy Attorney General in that division. McDermott’s prior work experience includes serving as the Administrator of the Real Estate Division and providing civil litigation defense. Ann also worked as a manager in the private sector prior to law school in the hospitality and finance industries. In 2011 and 2014, McDermott was recognized with an Attorney General L.E.A.D.E.R. Award. She earned her law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and received his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University.
Bureau Chief of Government Affairs: The Honorable Greg Zunino will rejoin the Attorney General’s Office as the Bureau Chief of Government Affairs. As a Bureau Chief, Zunino will oversee three divisions within the Attorney General’s Office, including Health & Human Services, Transportation, and Taxation. Prior to this appointment, Zunino served as the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Nevada Department of Taxation, having been appointed to that position in September of 2005 by the Nevada Tax Commission. As the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Zunino adjudicated contested cases involving a wide range of Nevada’s tax laws. Previously, Zunino served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General for the Attorney General’s Office. From 2003 to 2005, he was the senior counsel to the Department of Taxation and the Nevada Tax Commission, and from 1998 to 2003, he prosecuted criminal cases as a member of the Attorney General’s Worker’s Compensation Fraud and Special Prosecutions units. Zunino earned his law degree from the University of Utah, and received his undergraduate degree from California State University, Chico. After graduating from law school in 1992, he served four years in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Navy. Upon returning to his hometown of Reno in 1996, Zunino joined the law firm of Bible, Hoy and Trachok, where he practiced in the areas of business law and commercial litigation.
Bureau Chief of Criminal Justice: Jeffrey Segal has been selected as the new Bureau Chief of Criminal Justice. Prior to this appointment, Segal served as the Chief of the Fraud Division. In that capacity, Segal handled a variety of matters, including multi-million dollar investment scams, unlicensed interactive gaming practices and the prosecution of sex trafficking. Previously, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, as well as an attorney for the Southern Nevada Financial Crimes Task Force. Segal is also a past recipient of the Attorney General’s L.E.A.D.E.R. Award. He earned his law degree from California Western School of Law and received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Bureau Chief of Gaming, Business & Industry: Brin Gibson has been selected as the new Bureau Chief of Gaming, Business & Industry. As a Bureau Chief, Gibson will oversee three divisions within the Attorney General’s Office, including Gaming, Boards & Licensing, and Natural Resources. Prior to this appointment, Gibson was the chief of the Gaming Division and advised the Gaming Control Board and Nevada Gaming Commission on all matters. Previously, he worked in the gaming and regulatory department for Lionel Sawyer & Collins, where he finished as a partner of the firm. From 2011 to 2014, Gibson was a member of the Colorado River Commission, where he served by gubernatorial appointment. He has also worked as an associate adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Boyd School of Law where he co-taught water law. He earned both his law and undergraduate degrees from Brigham Young University.
Special Assistant Attorney General, Office of Military Legal Assistance: Nic Danna has been selected as the Special Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Military Legal Assistance. Prior to this appointment, Danna worked as a former prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and served in both the general criminal division and safe neighborhood and gang units. Previously, he defended the Los Angeles Police Department and its officers in civil actions in both state and federal court. He is a Captain in the United States Army JAG Corps, and is a combat veteran of Afghanistan. In 2014, Danna provided military legal assistance to soldiers in Afghanistan and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service. Danna earned his law degree from the University of Southern California and Whittier Law School.
Special Assistant Attorney General, Office of Neighborhood Protection: Patty Cafferata has been selected as the Special Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Neighborhood Protection. Prior to this appointment, Cafferata served as the office’s Director of Communications. Previously, Cafferata served as an assemblywoman, state treasurer and district attorney of Lincoln, Lander and Esmeralda counties. She is also the former Executive Director of the Nevada Commission on Ethics and served as the Chair of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. In the past, Cafferata has written bi-monthly columns in the Reno-Gazette Journal that covers Nevada History. She earned her law degree from Southwestern Law School.
The following individuals were appointed to division chief positions:
Division Chief of Public Safety, Bureau of Litigation: Andrea Barraclough has been selected to serve as the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the Public Safety Division. Prior to this appointment, Barraclough served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Nevada Department of Corrections section of the Litigation Bureau. Previously, she worked as a labor and employment law attorney. Three years later, Barraclough took a job with the Clark County District Attorney’s office. While there, she prosecuted everything from misdemeanors to murders, and was eventually promoted to Chief Deputy District Attorney. After serving Clark County for nearly eight years, Barraclough moved to Northern Nevada with her family. She worked for the Nevada Supreme Court before joining the Attorney General’s Office. Barraclough earned her law degree from Syracuse Law School and is licensed in three states.
Division Chief of Personnel, Bureau of Litigation: Jennifer Hostetler has been selected to serve as the Chief of Personnel within the Bureau of Litigation. Prior to this appointment, Hostetler worked as an attorney at Lewis Roca Rothgerber, LLP, where she practiced primarily in the areas of employment and business litigation. Hostetler’s employment practice focused on the defense of employers in state and federal court against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract and violation of wage and hour laws. Previously, she practiced before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Nevada Equal Rights Commission, representing employers against claims filed by employees under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. She was a member of the Nevada Law Journal, and secured externships for both Judge Kent J. Dawson of the United States District Court and the Juvenile Division of the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. Hostetler has been featured in the 2013-2015 editions of Super Lawyers’ Mountain States Rising Stars, and is currently a member of the editorial board for the Clark County Bar Association Publications Committee. Hostetler earned her law degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Boyd School of Law and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Division Chief of Natural Resources, Bureau of Gaming, Business & Industry: Wayne Howle will replace retiring Division Chief Marta Adams as the Chief of the Natural Resources Division. Prior to this appointment, Howle served as counsel for the Department of Wildlife within the Attorney General’s Office, and has since represented many different state agencies. His practice has included litigation and other legal work in natural resource law, federal Indian law and public land law. Previously, Howle represented the Secretary of State in election law as well as First Amendment cases. He has appeared in tribal, state and federal courts, including appearances in the Nevada and U.S. Supreme Courts. He earned his law degree from the University of Idaho, and received his undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Acting Division Chief of Fraud, Bureau of Criminal Justice: Samuel Kern has been selected to serve as the Acting Division Chief of Fraud. Prior to this appointment, Kern served as a Senior Deputy Attorney General in the fraud unit, and was the primary prosecutor for securities fraud cases. While working in the Attorney General’s Office, he handled a variety of matters, including multi-million dollar investment scams, unlicensed interactive gaming practices and the prosecution of a sex trafficker. Previously, Kern worked in private practice as a civil litigator. He earned his law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Arizona.