Hon. Philip M. Pro (Ret.)

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Class Action/Mass Tort

Hon. Philip Pro (Ret.) served as a United States District Judge beginning in 1987 and presided over numerous class actions, collective actions, and Multi-District Litigation actions in a variety of complex tort, securities, wage and hour, and antitrust actions. Judge Pro’s experience in handling such matters throughout his nearly 35 years on the federal bench coupled with his reputation for active case management qualify him to assist parties in the mediation or arbitration, or as Special Master with respect to all facets of complex, multi-party litigation.

Notably, seven weeks after taking office as Nevada’s only full-time Magistrate Judge in October 1980, eighty-six people lost their lives in the MGM Grand Hotel fire in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thus commenced what was at that time the largest Mass Tort case in U.S. history, the MGM GRAND HOTEL LITIGATION, MDL NO. 453. Over the ensuing 3 years, Judge Pro conducted 135 weekly discovery hearings to successfully manage pre-trial discovery, and assisted in settlement efforts which resulted in settlement of all claims.

Representative Matters

  • Antitrust
    • Held that Natural Gas Act preempts state-law claims challenging alleged industry price fixing practices that directly affect wholesale natural gas market. In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1566 
    • Multi-district litigation (MDL) case alleging antitrust conspiracy to artificially inflate energy prices and seeking remand to state court. In re California Retail Natural Gas and Electricity Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1406 
    • Adjudicated gasoline retailers antitrust action against competitor alleging predatory pricing of gasoline in violation of Sherman Act and Clayton Act. Rebel Oil v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 957 F.Supp. 1184 (1997)
  • Employment/Labor
    • MDL action related to allegations that nationwide retailer systematically failed to pay overtime hours and altered employees time records. In re Wal-Mart Wage and Hour Employment Practices Litigation, MDL 1735
    • Former employees’ class actions alleging systematic wage and hour violations under federal and state law
    • Multiple collective actions and class actions brought under Fair Labor Standards Act
    • Actions involving employee group health coverage claims under ERISA
  • Intellectual Property
    • Class action by investor partners against patent owner alleging breach of fiduciary duty and of partnership agreement as result of alleged failure to enforce royalty agreement
  • Product Liability
    • Mass tort pertaining to pet food from China
    • Mass Tort concerning surgically implanted abdominal mesh screens
    • Numerous mass torts relating to injuries and complications arising from pharmaceutical products
  • Securities
    • Class action alleging securities fraud, insider trading, and pendent state claims for common-law fraud and negligent misrepresentation
    • Actions alleging securities fraud through issuing false or misleading statements about reserves, revenues, and income. In re Stratosphere Corp. Securities Litigation, 66 F.Supp.2d 1182 (1999)
    • Securities fraud class action alleging price-fixing
    • MDL action for securities fraud brought by investors who purchased stock
  • Torts/Personal Injury
    • Court trial adjudicating claims of former workers at Nevada nuclear test site alleging negligence in protecting workers engaged in atmospheric and underground nuclear testing

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Appointed, Nevada Gaming Commission, 2015-2019
  • Recognized in Nevada Law Journal 511 (2012) Saluting Judge Pro’s Quarter Century of Nevada District Service
  • Board Member, Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the Boyd School of Law, 2006-present
  • Participated in “Rule of Law” programs with foreign judiciaries in over 20 countries including Hungary, Georgia, Bosnia, Netherlands, Spain, South Africa, Malawi, Jordan, Pakistan, Norway, Indonesia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Latvia, and Columbia, since 1999
  • Chair, State Bar of Nevada Law Related Education Consortium, 2010-2014
  • Board, Federal Judicial Center, 2007-2011
  • Chair, Ninth Circuit Wellness Committee, 2005-2010
  • Co-moderator, U.S. Department of Justice Colloquium for Iraqi Jurists in Washington, D.C., 2003
  • Member of the Ninth Circuit Jury Instructions Committee, 1987-2002
  • Vice President, Federal Judges Association, 1997-2001, and Board Member, 1992-2001
  • Co-chair, Founding Advisory Board, William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, 1997-1999
    • Member, Boyd Law School Advisory Board
  • Chair, United States Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System, 1993-1998
  • Founding Member, Howard McKibben Nevada American Inn of Court
    • President, 1988-1990
  • Publications:
    • Co-author, “Measured Progress, the Evolution and Administration of the Federal Magistrate Judges System”, The American University Law Review, 1995
    • Author, “Misunderstanding Judging,” Nevada Law Journal, 2007

Background and Education

  • Judge, United States District Court, District of Nevada, 1987-2014
    • Senior United States District Judge, 2012-2014
    • Chief Judge, District of Nevada, 2002-2007
  • Magistrate Judge, United States District Court, District of Nevada, 1980-1987
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Reno, 1980
  • Deputy Attorney General, Gaming Division, State of Nevada, 1979-1980
  • Partner, Semenza, Murphy and Pro, 1977-1979
  • Assistant United States Attorney, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1975-1977
  • Deputy Public Defender, Clark County, Nevada, 1973-1975
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable William P. Compton, Eighth Judicial District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, 1972-1973
  • LL.M., Duke University School of Law, 2014
  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 1972

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