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UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
Boyd Briefs: October 10, 2013

From Dean Dan

This week was a great week for meeting with our terrific alumni. We celebrated the 10-year reunion with the class of 2003 and the 5-year with the class of 2008, and I was struck by the outstanding contributions these young alumni have made in Las Vegas, Reno and around the state in a short time. I also made my third trip to Reno and Carson City since becoming dean, and every time I go I am reminded of the special role we play as the law school for the state of Nevada. Our alumni in Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City and around the state are leaders of the bar as state legislators and judges, partners in law firms, public defenders, district attorneys, public interest lawyers, law professors, and clerks for state courts, U.S. District Courts, the Ninth Circuit, and the Nevada Supreme Court. I will continue to reach out across the state (I have been to Fallon and met with alumni there and around Churchill, Washoe and Lyon counties). Next week I am headed to Phoenix and in November to Salt Lake City. I want very much to hear from our alumni and appreciate all they do to support and stay connected to Boyd. I look forward to meeting you soon, wherever you are.


Dean & Richard J. Morgan Professor of Law

Ngai Pindell


Ngai Pindell is a leader whose insight, creativity, and equanimity are leveraged to great effect for the Boyd School of Law. As the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dean Pindell is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the law school’s academic program. Although this position requires management of extensive ongoing operations with students, staff, and faculty, Dean Pindell also uses the position to articulate and implement a vision for Boyd’s next phase of excellence—including, for example, expanding the law school’s gaming programs. Dean Pindell’s leadership skills are renown, in high demand, and generate national visibility for Boyd; for example, he has been the Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers for the past two years.

Dean Pindell is also a scholar. He recently co-edited a book, "Regulating Internet Gaming: Challenges and Opportunities," published in 2013. The contributing authors (including Adjunct Professor Anthony Cabot and Professor Marketa Trimble) are leading experts on internet gaming.

Dean Pindell’s expertise in gaming law developed over the past several years as a natural complement to his initial scholarly interests: property, land use, and economic development. This year Pindell also published the essay, "Nevada’s Residential Real Estate Crisis: Local Governments and the Use of Eminent Domain to Condemn Mortgage Notes." In this article he suggests that local governments could play a more aggressive role in tackling the consequences of the mortgage crisis. Specifically, he contemplates the possibility of local governments seizing mortgage notes through the power of eminent domain. He focuses on the plight of Nevada communities in particular, and thus, on Nevada law. Although the state of Nevada has enacted statutory and constitutional reforms that restrict the ability of communities to use the power of eminent domain, Pindell’s parsing of that language suggests that eminent domain to condemn mortgage notes is defensible under existing law.


Erik Foley


As the world geopolitical landscape becomes more complex and as domestic and international security become more difficult to maintain, the value of our military personnel becomes more real and personal to us all. That those in our armed forces train for myriad scenarios and daily carry out assignments essential to our preparedness is to be commended; that many of them do so while undertaking opportunities for personal and professional development that many find daunting under far less demanding circumstances is truly to be admired.

With that in mind, meet Master Sergeant Erik Foley.

By day, Master Sergeant Foley serves in the United States Air Force and as an Avionics Service Technician. “In my current position, I oversee the maintenance and safe operation of 16 F-15 Strike Eagle aircrafts,” he says. “To accomplish this, I manage more than 60 individuals and allocate various equipment and supply resources to meet mission requirements.” Master Sergeant Foley is stationed at Nellis Air Force Base located in southern Nevada, a key training installation for strike forces that include every type of aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory and that houses air and ground units of the Army, Navy, Marines, and air units from allied nations.

By evening, Erik joins his fellow second-year part-time students in pursuit of a juris doctor degree. As he predicted in the personal statement he submitted with his application materials, the problem-solving abilities acquired through his work in aircraft maintenance have served him well in his legal studies. Furthermore, he notes, “The Air Force has given me leadership experience and has taught me how to manage enormous responsibility through determination and self-discipline.”

Master Sergeant Erik Foley has excelled in his USAF service and in his studies at the Boyd School of Law, outcomes that seem more than mere coincidence.



Ogonna M. Atamoh '01


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Ogonna M. Atamoh '01

As a graduate of Boyd’s charter class, Ogonna M. Atamoh ’01,  will never forget the unique experiences at Paradise Elementary, where parking was easy and the setting very tight-knit and collegial. She enjoys returning to the beautiful current facilities of the law school for OCIs, the student mentorship program, and a number of other presentations and programs.  Ogonna is always impressed with the cadre of students she meets when interviewing at the law school and is proud to be an alum. She is named partner with the law firm of Cotton, Driggs, Walch, Holley, Woloson & Thompson and has been with the firm since her summer clerkship.

After serving as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ogonna has practiced law for more than 10 years in the areas of bankruptcy and commercial litigation, appearing predominantly in Las Vegas and occasionally in Reno, before the State and Federal Courts, Bankruptcy Court and Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court. Ogonna handles a bifurcated practice in State and Federal Court on one hand, and Bankruptcy Court on the other hand, largely consisting of a creditor-based clientele.

She remains committed to community service, whether it is offering her pro bono services to the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, mentoring a law student in a pro bono case for the Partners in Pro Bono Program, chairing the Motion Practice Subcommittee for the proposed amendments to the Local Rules of Bankruptcy Practice for the District Court for the District of Nevada, serving as the treasurer for the Bankruptcy Section of the Nevada Bar Association, or serving on the Board of the Southern Nevada Association of Bankruptcy Attorneys.  Ogonna is most excited about her new three-year term as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. A key component to her role as a Lawyer Representative is to receive input from attorneys to submit to the judges for consideration to improve the administration of justice within the circuit. Ogonna is also assisting with implementing the annual 2014 District Conference program with the Nevada Bar scheduled for May 8 in Reno.

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