john ap

About John C. Courtney, Esq.

John C. Courtney, Esq. is an A-V Rated® Attorney, recognized locally by Nevada Business Magazine® (Legal Elite 2014, 2016) and Super Lawyers® (Mountain States Rising Star 2015-2018).  As a Barrister, John recently served as the March 2016 Presentation Chairman for the Howard D. McKibben American Inn of Court.  John has a proven track record of founding successful enterprises in Nevada.  When John was the founding president of the Kappa Alpha Chapter (UNLV) of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, it became the largest fraternity on UNLV’s campus. John was also the founding president of the Weiner Chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International (P.A.D.).  Under John’s leadership, the William S. Boyd School of Law (UNLV) chapter of P.A.D. became the largest private student organization in the history of the law school.  While committing a considerable amount of time to organizations aimed to advance service, fellowship, leadership, and scholarship, John has continuously dedicated his time to attain the most from his formal and informal educational endeavors, and he could have never made it all happen without the support of his wife and best friend, Angela Vanzant Courtney, whom he first met nearly 30 years ago when John was an aspiring roofer.   

John graduated from UNLV's Lee School of Business in the top 1% of his class (summa cum laude) in Departmental Honors Economics with minors in Business Law and Philosophy.  Although John only needed 124 credit hours to obtain a degree, John opted to go with the route requiring 164 credit hours.  Moreover, he graduated as a member of the Society of Advocates from law school as one of 18 to receive a Dean’s Award. In law school, John was also a member of the Saltman Center for Dispute Resolution, Boyd Negotiation Team, and was the American Bar Association Champion of the Boyd Client Counseling Competition.  Also in law school, John worked as an extern in the Clark County Office of the Public Defender and the Eighth Judicial District Court, receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada.  

After law school, John C. Courtney, Esq. was employed by John Peter Lee, Ltd., one of the oldest and well-known law firms in Las Vegas.  John Peter Lee, Esq., the principal, had been practicing in Las Vegas since the mid-1950s.  John became the chief civil litigator of John Peter Lee, Ltd. for several years.  After John joined the firm, the legendary John Peter Lee, Esq. never again stepped into a courtroom.  As a budding lawyer, John believes that he received the best tutelage possible from John Peter Lee, Esq., his mentor, amplified by the fact that Mr. Lee required John to argue each legal and factual issue before him several times before John appeared in court to argue the legal and factual aspects of each case.  John Peter Lee, Esq. molded John into a lawyer with "good habits."  To this day, John prepares to argue each issue in a manner as close to perfect as humanly possible.

While representing clients at John Peter Lee, Ltd., John handled cases from beginning to conclusion in the following areas: Business Litigation; Eminent Domain/Inverse Condemnation; Civil Rights; Contract Disputes; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Criminal Defense; Employment and Labor Law; Family Law; Personal Injury; Unemployment Benefits (Unemployment Insurance Appeals & Judicial Review); Bad Faith Insurance Claims; Administrative Claims and Transactional; Trademarks; Real Estate and Property Law; Business Formation; Employee Benefits; Complex Litigation; Construction Law; Trademarks and Copyright; Intellectual Property Litigation; Water Rights; Mechanic’s Liens; DUI; and Federal and State Law Cases of many varieties.  John regularly practices before most Nevada courts, including the Business Court.  John has also been published by the Supreme Court of Nevada.    

Prior to becoming an attorney, John worked in a variety of non-legal occupations, including work in construction, hospitality, and management.  John is also a combat veteran who served in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne Infantry Division.  

Education

University of Nevada, Las Vegas – B.A. Dept. Honors Economics, minors in Business Law and Philosophy, summa cum laude (Top 1% of Class) (2005); founding President of K.A. Chapter (UNLV) of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Nat’l. Undergraduate Advisory Committee Chair, Nat’l Slating Committee; Golden Key Honour Society; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; National Society of Collegiate Scholars; Neon Stoa Philosophy Club; Published in Vagus Nerve, Vol. 1, UNLV Press (2003).

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law – Juris Doctorate, Dean’s Award (2008); founding President of Weiner Chapter (UNLV) Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International; Society of Advocates; Negotiation Team; Externship for Eighth Judicial District Court, Certificate of Appreciation; Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution; Externship at Clark County Office of the Public Defender; Volunteer at Clark County Legal Services (now known as Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada); Student Instructor, Free Legal Education, Nevada Guardianship (Guardian of the Person & Guardian of the Estate).

Additional Background Information

John C. Courtney was raised as the son of a career enlisted soldier in the United States Army and a mother who would retire after working decades in an orphanage.  In his early years, he attended many different schools, principally in places such as Washington, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, and Germany. "I learned math and science from my father, a flight engineer, and sociology, philosophy and reading from my mother, a true grit, common sense type.

After high school, John worked in the following occupations, to name a few: roofer; concrete finisher and form framer; delivery driver; food & beverage service worker; United States Infantry Sergeant; construction sales, cost estimator, inspector; job site superintendent, project manager; nightclub manager; loss prevention specialist; and assistant private investigator. John owes much of his broad employment history to the fact that John was often employed by two different employers simultaneously. In fact, John worked two full-time jobs simultaneously immediately after completing his high school requirements. 

John has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, longer than he has lived in any other place, and more than the next three longest tenures combined.  John’s children were born in Las Vegas, Nevada.  John earned his undergraduate degree and law degree locally. For John and his family, Las Vegas is home.

Personal Highlights    

  • A-V Rated Attorney® by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating from premier rating service in existence for more than 130 years. 
  • SuperLawyers®, Mtn. States Rising Star (2015, 2016, 2017).
  • Nevada Business Magazine®, Legal Elite® (2013, 2015).
  • Certificate of Appreciation, Eighth Judicial District Court (2006).
  • Member of American Bar Association®.
  • Member of Clark County Bar Association®.
  • Member of Nevada State Bar®.
  • Member of the American Inn of Court®.
  • Certified to Practice in all Nevada state courts.
  • Certified to Practice in United States District Court, District of Nevada.
  • Millions of Dollars in recovery.
  • Published by the Nevada Supreme Court.  
  • Front-Line Combat Veteran.
  • One Ambassador.
  • Board of Directors, Nevada Legal Services. 

Philanthropy and Service

John has made monetary contributions to many philanthropic causes.  Aside from monetary contributions, John has put his time and effort into many causes, including the following, to name a few: Altrusa Club (volunteer dental assistant for program donating dental services to children in need); Nevada Major Political Party Volunteer, former Precinct Captain and Alternate District Delegate; NSPCA (volunteer animal caregiver); Clark County Legal Services (now known as Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada) (volunteer); Nevada Legal Services (Bd. of Dir., Fiscal Comm., Fundraising Comm., Bldg. Comm.); Safe Nest fundraiser; Barrister at the Howard D. McKibben Chapter of the American Inn of Court (Chairman for the March 2016 Presentation).   

Veteran Connection

If you want a true warrior fighting for you, John is the right attorney for you.  John served proudly as a Sergeant in the prestigious 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, during two campaigns in Iraq (1990-91): Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. John was a member of a Special Weapons Platoon that was consistently named the 82nd Airborne's Gavin Squad (i.e., top honors). On every testing period over his entire career, John qualified as Expert in the areas of pistol and rifle marksmanship, mortars and grenades. In connection with his expertise with a variety of foreign weapons systems, the Army of the Federal Republic of German awarded John the Schutzenschnur for his weapons systems proficiency. John graduated (Commandant’s List) from the premiere Primary Leadership Development Course (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home of some of the most elite combat teams in the world. During his service, John earned the following: SW Asia Service Medal, 3 Bronze Service Stars; Kuwait Liberation Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; Army Achievement Medal 1st OLC; Good Conduct Medal; and Parachutist Badge (“Jump Wings”). John also received certifications through Airborne Infantry Combat Lifesaver School and Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (“SINCGARS”), Combat Net Radio Training. After returning from Iraq, John was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment at the Joint Readiness Training Center, and became in the NCO in charge of terrorism/counterterrorism operations. Please ask us about military veteran discounts.