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Hon. Peggy A. Leen

Hon. Peggy A. Leen (Ret.)

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Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Business & Commercial
Civil Rights
Employment Law
Federal Law
Health Care
Intellectual Property
Personal Injury/Torts
Professional Liability
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Hon. Peggy A. Leen (Ret.) joins JAMS after serving more than 18 years as a United States magistrate judge in the District of Nevada, where magistrate judges are utilized to the full extent of their jurisdictional authority. Magistrate judges in the District of Nevada conduct 100% of the district’s alternative dispute resolution, and as a result, Judge Leen has conducted more than 900 settlement conferences and early neutral evaluations over the last 18 years, settling hundreds of cases. Before appointment to the bench, she was a trial lawyer for more than 20 years, during which time she litigated both civil and criminal cases. As a civil trial lawyer, she litigated primarily multi-party, complex litigation, including construction, product liability, mass disaster, toxic tort/PCB, nuclear radiation, employment, insurance/insurance bad faith, eminent domain, malpractice and commercial/business matters.

Judge Leen has developed a reputation as an effective settlement judge who is always fully prepared, with a firm grasp of the facts, legal issues and applicable law involved in each case. She is known for innovative approaches to complicated cases and ability to tactfully but firmly handle emotionally charged and difficult cases. She is evaluative, candid and direct about the strengths and weaknesses of parties’ cases, while still willing to listen and make sure that parties feel they have been heard and understood. As a settlement judge and mediator, she is thorough, organized, empathetic and focused on realistic resolutions. She excels in assisting counsel to manage the expectations of their clients about realistic outcomes, both in litigation and settlement.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

Served as a federal magistrate judge. Presided over trial, evidentiary hearings, a wide variety of civil cases. She was automatically referred all case management, discovery and non-dispositive motions in all civil cases to which she was assigned.

Conducted in excess of 900 settlement conferences and early neutral evaluations involving a wide range of civil disputes, including those in the following areas:

  • Antitrust
  • Business/Commercial
  • Class Actions
  • Civil Rights: excessive force, wrongful death, First and Fourth Amendments, conditions of confinement
  • False Claims Act
  • FLSA Collective Actions
  • Employment and Labor
  • Intellectual Property: copyright, trademark, patent, unfair competition
  • Insurance/Insurance Bad Faith
  • Malpractice: architectural, engineering, medical, legal
  • Multi-District Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Products Liability

Representative Matters

  • Business & Commercial
      • Nine-figure global settlement of multi-party litigation filed in multiple federal districts and related bankruptcy involving the development of Lake Las Vegas
      • Global settlement of multi-party litigation brought by investors and lenders alleging breach of contract, negligent and fraudulent representation and other claims arising out of plan to convert golf course to residential development
      • Suit brought by corporate officer and general counsel of a technology consulting firm for breach of contract, negligent and false representation, fraud, retaliation and other claims against firm alleging failure to pay agreed compensation and benefits and provide equity interest in company
      • Multiple cases involving breach of commercial lease agreements
      • Several Miller Act and payment and performance bond cases
  • Civil Rights
      • First Amendment and due process suit brought by plaintiff circulating petition for automatic voter registration challenging public library’s time, place and manner restrictions on circulating petitions
      • Lawsuit against City of Las Vegas alleging First Amendment and due process violations arising out of city ordinance and enforcement practices regulating and restricting street entertainers’ activities at the downtown Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas
      • Wrongful death/excessive force claims brought by mother and fiance against police department arising out of shooting death during execution of a search warrant
      • Multiple cases against police departments and individual officers for alleged excessive force, false arrest/imprisonment, abuse of power, due process and search and seizure violations
      • Multiple cases filed by parents of children with autism and other disabilities against school district and individual employees for alleged failure to provide a free and adequate public education
      • Multiple lawsuits against school district and individual employees filed by parents of autistic children alleging physical and emotional abuse of their children
      • Lawsuit against county, individual defendants employed by department of family and juvenile services and owner/operators of group home for violation of the Fourteenth Amendment/duty to protect arising out of the sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy in foster care at a group home by an older foster child with whom he was housed
      • Numerous cases brought by pretrial detainees and convicted persons and representatives of their estates against department of corrections and municipalities operating local jails and detention centers alleging deliberate indifference/failure to provide adequate medical care for serious medical issues
  • Employment Law
      • Dozens of cases brought under Title VII and related state statutes alleging race, sex, religious and national origin discrimination and retaliation
      • Dozens of cases brought for sexual harassment
      • Dozens of age discrimination cases
      • Dozens of cases brought under the ADA
      • Multiple lawsuits filed by the EEOC on behalf of charging parties and similarly situated employees seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages for alleged violations of Title VII brought against gaming industry employers, cab company, automobile dealership and other employers
      • Multiple collective and class action lawsuits brought under the FLSA and related state and federal wage and hour laws for alleged violations by gaming industry employers, timeshare companies, limousine service, security guard company, retail chain and other employers
      • Several collective bargaining agreement scope-of-work disputes between different unions
      • Multiple lawsuits brought by union trust funds to compel required trust fund contributions
  • Health Care
      • Suit brought by Department of Justice against pain management specialist claiming systematic overbilling of Medicare and Medicaid
      • Resolved multiple cases management and discovery disputes in case brought by relator and Department of Justice under the False Claims Act against a large national health care provider alleging pervasive and systematic false/unlawful certification of nursing home patients for end-of-life hospice care
  • Insurance
      • Multiple lawsuits involving coverage disputes over the duty to defend and/or indemnify underlying third-party litigation in construct defect, personal injury, defamation and other tort cases
      • Multiple lawsuits involving coverage disputes in first-party litigation
      • Multiple lawsuits involving disputes among insurance carriers litigating each company’s equitable share contribution to settlements or judgments
      • Dozens of cases alleging breach of contract and/or bad faith for failure to settle first party personal injury, defamation, homeowners’ claims and UM/UIM claims
  • Intellectual Property
      • Copyright infringement action brought by architectural firm alleging owner of project unlawfully converted and appropriated architectural plans for use on another commercial project
      • Patent infringement action against gaming equipment manufacturer involving sales of card-shuffling devices used in live casino table games
      • Several patent infringement cases involving software applications/methods of playing casino games
  • Personal Injury/Torts
      • Suit brought by patron of strip club who alleged he was beaten and rendered a quadripalegic by club bouncer
      • Product liability action brought by U.S. Air Force airman against aviation company/government contractor for severe and disfiguring burn injuries sustained while performing airplane maintenance on base
      • Action filed by U.S. Marine against commercial trucking company, truck driver and driver of the vehicle in which she was a passenger for life-threatening, permanent injuries and loss of Marine career suffered in multi-vehicle accident
      • Negligence and malpractice claims brought by parents for failure to detect fetal distress during hospital admission allegedly resulting in death of the unborn child
      • Negligence and malpractice claim brought by parents of an infant who died of an IV overdose of prescription medication administered at hospital
      • Negligence and malpractice action brought against law firm former by former client alleging failure to timely assert potentially case dispositive claims and defenses
      • Suit by mother of severely autistic 13-year-old against school district for negligence and negligent supervision arising out of child’s assault by teaching aid convicted of lewdness with a minor
      • Suit by parents of 17-year-old student against school district for negligent hiring and supervision arising out of a sexual relationship between school coach and student
      • Multiple premises liability cases brought against hotel/casinos, apartment complexes and commercial business establishments for failure to provide adequate security resulting in personal injury and/or loss of property
      • Multiple slip and fall cases brought by patrons of grocery store and retail chains

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Member/Fellow, International Society of Barristers, 1994–present
  • Member/Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1998–present
  • Member/Fellow, American Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1999–present
  • President, Howard D. McKibben Nevada American Inn of Court, 2002–2004
  • Member, Magistrate Executive Board, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2012–2015
  • Judicial Participant, Duke Law/EDRM and Bolch Judicial Institute effort to develop technology-assisted review (TAR) guidelines for judges and lawyers (requested to review and comment on draft proposed guidelines)
  • Judicial Participant, Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies Program,  Implementing the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, San Francisco, 2017
  • Panel Member, Roundtable on Intellectual Property and Trade Shows; USPTO Office on Trade Show Infringement; Alexandria, VA; 2017

Background and Education

  • Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, District of Nevada, 2001–2019
  • Chief Deputy District Attorney, Nevada District Attorneys’ Office, Clark County, 1996–2000.
  • Associate, Shareholder and Managing Shareholder; Thorndal, Backus, Maupin & Armstrong; 1981–1995
  • Deputy Public Defender, Nevada Public Defender’s Office, Clark County, 1979–1981
  • Law Clerk and Student Intern, Nevada Public Defender’s Office, Clark County, 1976–1979
  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law, 1979
  • B.A., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 1976


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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