Sold Out: Hispanic Leaders in Law: Celebrating Nevada’s Latino Legal Pioneers
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, The Mob Museum welcomes esteemed Las Vegas Latino legal pioneers, including judges Cristina Silva, Adriana Escobar, Vincent Ochoa and general counsel for the Nevada Attorney General’s office Leslie Nino Piro, for a panel discussion on their careers and the growing demand for more Hispanic voices in Southern Nevada’s legal community. Developed in collaboration with the Clark County Bar Association and the Nevada Latino Bar Association, The Mob Museum invites visitors to be a part of this noteworthy conversation to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Sponsored by NV Energy.
NV Energy provides a wide range of energy services to more than 1.4 million customers throughout Nevada and more than 56 million tourists annually. NV Energy actively supports improvements in the quality of life of the communities NV Energy serves through financial contributions and employee volunteerism. Information about NV Energy is available at the company’s website nvenergy.com.
This program will take place in the Museum’s Historic Courtroom.
Judge Cristina Silva
Judge Cristina Silva was nominated by President Biden in 2021 and took the oath of office on April 8, 2022. Prior to taking to the federal bench, Judge Silva was a judge for the Eighth Judicial District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada. She previously served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada from 2011-2019. She was the first woman and Latina to serve as the Criminal Chief for that office. Judge Silva received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College in 2001, and went on to receive her law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington D.C. in 2007. She is a native of El Paso, Texas.
Leslie Nino Piro
Leslie Nino Piro serves as a top legal advisor to AG Ford and the office on a broad range of legal and policy matters.
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Nino Piro was a staff attorney for the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, focusing on federal habeas corpus proceedings. Nino Piro also has private sector experience as an Associate at Holland & Hart LLP in a variety of complex civil litigation, regulatory, and administrative matters. In 2015, she was named a “Rising Star” in business litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine. Nino Piro also served as a judicial law clerk to District Judge Roger L. Hunt and Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen in the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada.
Nino Piro has lived in Las Vegas for over 30 years and is a proud graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the William S. Boyd School of Law. She has a strong record of serving the local community. In law school, she was a founding member of La Voz, the Hispanic law students association, and the Huellas (footprints) Mentorship Program for aspiring Latinx lawyers. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Las Vegas Latino Bar Association and previously served on the Latino Advisory Board for Nathan Adelson Hospice.
Judge Vincent Ochoa
Judge Vincent Ochoa has a breadth of legal experience spanning 40 years. After completing his education at Michigan State University and University of Notre Dame School of Law, he began his legal career in 1978 handling family, civil, and criminal cases as a law clerk for a district judge. He went into private practice the following year handling civil and family law cases. He argued his first family law case in the Nevada Supreme Court in 1981. In 1982, Judge Ochoa had the privilege of representing the citizens of Nevada as a Nevada Deputy Attorney General.
For 31 years, Judge Ochoa managed his own practice in both Las Vegas and Reno representing families in cases including divorce, child custody, child support, and adoption. He represented minors in Juvenile Courts for more than 25 years and parents in Family Court in abuse and neglect cases for more than 20 years, including appeals at the Nevada Supreme Court level.
Judge Ochoa’s experience is not limited to family law; he has argued criminal cases of domestic violence and substance abuse/DUI, and a range of cases at all levels from Municipal Court, Nevada Supreme Court, Federal Court, and appeals to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Ochoa has the respect of the legal community; he was voted by his peers to serve as a member of the Board of Governors for the State Bar of Nevada from 2009 until taking the bench. This Board oversees the practice and policy of law in our state.
Previously, Judge Ochoa has served on the Board of Directors for Southern Nevada Legal Services and was appointed as an Alternate Municipal Court Judge for the City of North Las Vegas. He served as Alternate Hearing Master in Clark County Juvenile Court, Arbitrator for the Clark County District Court, and Alternate Domestic Violence Commissioner.
- Appointed in 2017 to the Nevada Permanent State Commission on Guardianship
- Elected to the Nevada Bar Board of Governors in 2009
- Court Appointed Arbitrator for Clark County District Court for 16 years
- Elected to the District Court, Family Court Judge, Department S, in November of 2010 and reelected in 2014
- Appointed in 2017 to the Nevada Permanent State Commission on Guardianship
- BA from Michigan State University 1975
- University of Notre Dame School of Law JD 1978
- Law Clerk for District Judge 1978-79
- Alternate Municipal Court Judge for the City of North Las Vegas
- Nevada Deputy Attorney General 1982
- Appointed to the Nevada State Welfare Board 1983-84
Public Attorney for Las Vegas Municipal Court, to Department 5, appearing before Honorable Judge Kerns 2007 – 2009
Judge Adriana Escobar
Judge Adriana Escobar has been a practicing attorney since 1991. She was appointed to the District Court by Governor Sandoval on June 26, 2012 after being recommended for appointment by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection. She took the bench August 6, 2012 following the retirement of Judge Donald Mosley.
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Escobar worked as a Deputy Attorney General in the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Nevada Attorney General’s Office where she prosecuted complex mortgage and investment fraud cases. She also served as Nevada Consumer’s Advocate and Chief Deputy Attorney General where she protected the interests of Nevada consumers and ratepayers supervising complex consumer protection and public utilities cases.
Judge Escobar was appointed by former Governor Kenny Guinn to serve as a Commissioner with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada. During her tenure at the PUCN, she heard and decided numerous cases involving utility regulation of electricity, gas, telephone and water that had a state wide impact.
Prior to being appointed to the PUCN, she was appointed to serve as a member of the State of Nevada Taxicab Authority by former Nevada Governor Bob Miller.
Judge Escobar founded and managed Chanos Escobar Chanos, P.C., a Nevada law firm that represented local business owners in complex business transactions and commercial litigation. Judge Escobar was Special Counsel in Las Vegas to Fox Rothschild LLP, a national law firm.
Judge Escobar has lived in Las Vegas most of her life. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.
After graduating from UNLV, Judge Escobar earned certification as a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor by the Nevada Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse (BADA). She counseled patients in outpatient and group settings. Judge Escobar developed substance abuse prevention programs for children and adolescents and taught classes. She edited a column entitled “Ask Adriana” that ran in a high school student newspaper where she answered students’ anonymous questions about drug and alcohol use. Judge Escobar also produced and directed Spanish language public television programs about substance abuse prevention.
After working as a certified substance abuse counselor, Judge Escobar enrolled in law school at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, where she earned a Juris Doctor in 1991.
Upon law school graduation, Judge Escobar was appointed Deputy City Attorney in the Office of the City Attorney of San Diego. There she gained extensive jury trial experience prosecuting criminal offenses.
Before her appointment to the District Court, Judge Escobar served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of Spring Valley Hospital. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce and has received the Professional of The Year Award.