Michael Cristalli

Michael Cristalli, Partner Cristalli

Michael Cristalli is an accomplished trial attorney, representing clients in complex criminal, corporate, and civil litigation matters. Mr. Cristalli is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, as well as a legal analyst for MSNBC.

He has successfully litigated some of the most high profile cases in the State of Nevada, representing clients nationwide and internationally. He is regarded as one of the premier trial attorneys in Nevada.

Representative Cases:

  • Successfully defended Sandy Murphy in the nationally covered 2004 re-trial accusing Murphy of murdering casino heir, Ted Binion.
  • Recognized before the Nevada courts as death-qualified to provide representation in capital murder cases; the past five high-profile death cases that he represented have successfully reached resolution in non-death sentences.
  • Successfully preserved a defendant’s Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel in State v. Ryan. This case is currently the recognized holding dealing with conflict waivers in the State of Nevada, and relied upon by Nevada courts.
  • Provided legal representation resulting in substantial monetary awards for multiple plaintiffs in 1983 civil rights matters.
  • Successfully challenged the legality of the legislation making it illegal to dispense marijuana to those possessing a legal medical marijuana card. Mr. Cristalli represents medical marijuana dispensaries in both State and Federal Court, and continues to advocate for the rights of those legally authorized to possess and dispense prescribed marijuana.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Cristalli was a shareholder at Gordon Silver and partner of Law Office of Michael V. Cristalli. While attending law school, he served a clerkship with the New York Supreme Court as a second year law student, and the New York Court of Appeals as a third year law student. After moving to Las Vegas in 1995, he was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge Bonaventure (1995-96) and a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge Douglas (1996-96).

Mr. Cristalli created and starred in a documentary called “The Defenders,” which highlighted his practice. The documentary was developed into a CBS network drama entitled “The Defenders” starring Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell. Mr. Cristalli served as an executive consultant on the show and consulted extensively on scripts in collaboration with the writers.

Mr. Cristalli has made multiple guest appearances on national and local television shows. He is a legal analyst for MSNBC, and has been interviewed on Larry King Live, Greta Van Susteren, and Good Morning America, as well as Fox and Friends in the Morning. His cases have been featured on Dateline NBC, CBS 48 Hours, Lifetime, and Snapped.

He previously hosted the “Real Defenders” radio show on CBS radio, and currently hosts the “Legal Hour” at KDAWN radio.

Additionally, Mr. Cristalli was named a Mountain States Super Lawyer® in 2014.

Mr. Cristalli is also the author of a column entitled “On the Stand On with Attorney Michael Cristalli.” He is a guest columnist for The Travel Joint, providing insight on the legal aspects for marijuana laws.