Attorneys and Staff
George RanalliGeorge Ranalli is the senior partner of Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran, LLC. George represents clients in first party, third party bodily injury litigation and also handles bad faith lawsuits as well as negligent security, fire loss, property, and trucking cases. George has developed the firm's excellent trial reputation and uses the latest in courtroom technology while presenting his cases in front of juries. In fact, George readily accepts cases from client's on the eve of trial, and has had an active role in more than 50 trials, and has participated in over 500 arbitrations and mediations. George has been ranked with an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell and is also honored to be selected as a Judge Pro Tem for Nevada's Mandatory Short Trial Program.
George is admitted to practice in Georgia, Nevada and the District Court of Nevada. George is a former Navy JAG and served oversees in his capacity as a JAG Officer after graduating law school.
George graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Political Science and decided to attend law school versus going to medical school. Prior to attending BYU, George played baseball during his first year of college at Central Arizona Community College as a first baseman. Upon graduating from BYU, George graduated from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia and joined the Navy. While at Mercer, George graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and was a member of the school's Moot Court Team and served on Law Review.
Since leaving the US Navy, George moved to Las Vegas in 1994 and commenced his career in Nevada. In 1998, George opened his own law firm which has grown significantly over the years, becoming one of Nevada's most respected trial law firms.
In his spare time, George enjoys UFC, softball and weightlifting. George also enjoys spending time with his two daughters, Nicole and Brianna, and his mother.
David M. ZanielDavid M. Zaniel is a managing partner of the northern Nevada office of Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran, LLC. David represents litigants in first party and third-party bodily injury claims, auto property losses, common carrier litigation, declaratory judgment actions, insurance fraud, and commercial and residential property losses. He also handles general liability claims and representation of insurers and their insureds in cases involving acts of negligence and other tort claims. David also represents clients in family law. David has conducted over 30 jury trials, 375+ arbitrations, numerous mediations and settlement conferences and has presided over cases as a court-appointed arbitrator in both Washoe County and Clark County. David is admitted to practice in Nevada and Tennessee. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for Nevada.
David graduated from University of Nevada Las Vegas with a degree in criminal justice. Additionally, David has a master's degree in public administration from UNLV. After graduating UNLV and while pursuing his master's degree, David worked as a probation and parole officer for the State of Nevada.
After completing his undergraduate and graduate studies, David attended McGeorge School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. During his time at McGeorge, David interned for the Clark County District Attorney Office and civil law firms. After law school, David began his civil legal career with partner George Ranalli where they have been together for over 11 years. In 2004, David moved to Reno, Nevada to open and manage the northern Nevada office.
David is married to Kelli Zaniel for 10 years and they have three daughters, Savanna, Samantha and Scarlett. David also has a son, Jonathan who is currently living and working in Las Vegas. David enjoys golf, tennis and traveling.
Jason FowlerJason Fowler is a managing partner of the Henderson office of Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran, LLC. Jason Fowler was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois but has called Nevada home for over 30 years now. He joined the firm of Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran, LLC in 2009 and practices primarily in insurance defense of personal injury cases arising from motor vehicle accidents, premises liability. He graduated cum laude from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas with a combined degree in History/Political Science and a minor in Biblical Studies in 1999. While completing his undergraduate study he completed a one semester internship with Nevada's delegation to the United States Senate. After graduation he returned home to Las Vegas, to join the second class at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. By externing for then Judge, now Nevada Supreme Court Justice Douglas, and taking other summer coursework, Jason completed his Juris Doctorate degree in two and a half years and began working as a law clerk for a small labor law firm in town. Upon passing the bar on his first attempt in 2002 he moved into construction defect defense work, a field he still enjoys when work presents, as well as into medical malpractice defense work. In his free time, Jason enjoys family life and being active in his church and his children's pursuits with 4-H.
Ernest MP MoranErnest MP Moran is a managing partner of the Phoenix office of RANALLI & ZANIEL, LLC. Ernest represents litigants in first party and third-party bodily injury claims, auto property losses, common carrier litigation, declaratory judgment actions, insurance fraud, and commercial and residential property losses. He also handles general liability claims and representation of insurers and their insured in cases involving family law, contractual claims, acts of negligence and other tort claims. He has extensive experience arbitrating and mediating cases as well as second-chairing a number of multi-week personal injury trials with firm founder George M. Ranalli. Ernest is admitted to practice in Nevada, including the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.
Ernest graduated from St. Mary's College in Orchard Lake Michigan with a Bachelors of Science, majoring in biological science and minoring in natural science. During his studies at St. Mary's he was recognized by the science department for his achievements as a student in the sciences both his Junior and Senior years, including his being named the Science Department's Student of the Year at the school's annual awards ceremony. While attending St. Mary's he also volunteered at a local hospital and was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Ernest worked in mortgage banking as well as the hospitality industry before resuming his education at the Michigan State University College of Law. While a student of MSU Law, Ernest worked in the legal field as a law clerk for a general practice law firm in Michigan as well as a family law firm in Nevada. Prior to graduating from MSU Law, Ernest was admitted for the limited practice of law by the Supreme Court of Nevada while he was a summer law clerk. After graduating, Ernest clerked for Eighth Judicial District Court Family Division Judge Cynthia Dianne Steel. He also worked for firms specializing in family law and general litigation before joining RANALLI & ZANIEL in April of 2009.
Jennifer E. SimsJennifer E. Sims, Esq. was born in Florida. As a child, she moved around to various states, including California, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Idaho. She spent most of her childhood in small towns in New Mexico. Ms. Sims moved to Las Vegas in 1987 and attended Woodbury Junior High School, as well as, Chaparral High School, where she graduated with honors. Ms. Sims graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English.
After graduating, she attended New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts, where she made the Dean’s List each year. Ms. Sims was a Member of the New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement and had an article published in the Journal. She also held the position of Prison Outreach Coordinator for the Journal, where she taught basic law classes to Pre-trial detainees in the Middlesex County Jail. During law school, Ms. Sims was employed with the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project at Harvard Law School, where she represented inmates in disciplinary hearings in Massachusetts prisons. During law school, Ms. Sims also interned for Judge Gordon Martin of the Brookline District Court.
Ms. Sims was sworn into the Massachusetts Bar in 1999. Her first job was in Revere, Massachusetts in 1999 where she worked for Robert K. Rainer, P.C., a high volume Plaintiff’s side personal injury firm, where she successfully handled a case load of eighty-three cases. In 2001, Ms. Sims returned to Nevada to be closer to her parents. She was sworn into the Nevada Bar and the United States District Court of Nevada in 2001. In 2001, she had the honor of working for Cal J. Potter, III, handling 42 U.S.C. §1983 cases. Ms. Sims then worked for Ashby & Ranalli, LLP, managing a caseload of seventy-five cases, where she found her true interest was in litigating insurance defense cases. Thereafter, she worked for McNeil, Tropp & Braun, LLP successfully representing a large commercial trucking company in insurance defense cases, including wrongful death.
Ms. Sims has had extensive experience in personal injury law, representing both Plaintiffs and Defendants. For nearly a decade, Ms. Sims worked at the Law Offices of Douglas R. Johnson, practicing in Insurance Defense and Special Investigation Unit cases. In Nevada and Massachusetts combined, Ms. Sims has successfully handled appellate, criminal, civil, employment, personal injury, insurance, business, civil rights, and family law cases. Ms. Sims has assisted in drafting several briefs that have resulted in decisions and opinions in her clients’ favor in the Nevada Supreme Court. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and writing.
Gregory S. CarusoGregory S. Caruso, is an Associate in the Henderson, Nevada office. He practices in all aspects of insurance defense litigation and has broad experience representing rent-a-car companies and other businesses and individuals in vehicle collisions, premises liability, torts, and employment-relations law.
BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION
Mr. Caruso was born in Syracuse, New York. He obtained his B.S. in Justice Studies at Arizona State University with a minor in Political Science then obtained his J.D. Cum Laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. During law school he was recognized as a member of the distinguished honor roll and received Pro Bono Honors for his representation of underprivileged and minority defendants while working with the San Diego County Offices of the Primary and Alternate Public Defenders. Mr. Caruso served as Law Clerk at plaintiff-based personal injury firm Gonzalez Campbell & Jones in their San Diego office prior to moving to Las Vegas. In his free time, Mr. Caruso is an avid rock climber, mountain biker, fly fisherman, and father to two Australian Cattle Dogs (Humphrey & Tioga) and can often be found at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area or Mt. Charleston.
LITIGATION AND COUNSEL
From 2013 through 2017 Mr. Caruso acted as Associate General Counsel of Budget Car and Truck Rental of Las Vegas and Budget Car Sales where he performed a combination of litigation and in-house advising. Mr. Caruso has experience with both plaintiff-based and defense-based litigation on behalf of businesses and employers on claims that include: automobile collisions, breach of contract, negligence, property damage, accidents, premises liability, intentional torts, respondeat superior, various claims against automobile dealerships including unfair trade practices and fraudulent vehicle sales, and claims against rent-a-car companies including but not limited to claims preempted by the Graves Amendment (49 U.S.C. § 30106). Mr. Caruso has obtained judgments on behalf of clients and pursued post-judgment execution, wage garnishment, and suspension of drivers' licenses and operators' privileges for non-payment.
Mr. Caruso has represented employers before several administrative agencies such as the NV DETR, EEOC, OSHA, FMCSA, NV DMV, NV DOI, and NVDBI - Labor Commissioner for wage and hour. He has successfully sought judicial review of administrative agency decisions and negotiated administrative agency non-compliance with the law through negotiations with the Attorney General's Office. Mr. Caruso has counseled employers on Nevada-specific human resources and employment-relations law. While working in-house, Mr. Caruso successfully reduced employment defense litigation costs, unemployment taxes, business losses, and risk.
Mr. Caruso provides counsel and litigation pro bono to non-profit groups and members of the local rock climbing community.
Erin PlunkettErin Plunkett was born in Sun Valley, California and raised in Portland, Oregon. After a career in accounting at US Bank, she attended Portland State University where she was inducted into the National Honors Society. During her undergraduate course work, Ms. Plunkett advocated for victims with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office as a Rape Victim Advocate and published a monthly newsletter for the Portland, Oregon chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.
Upon graduation, she moved to the Twin Cities of Minnesota and attended William Mitchell College of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude. During law school, she interned for the Major Crimes division of the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC.
Ms. Plunkett moved to the Las Vegas valley in 2008 and passed the Nevada bar on her first attempt while working for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office. Since that time, she has practiced civil defense litigation and Special Investigative Unit cases for the Law Offices of Douglas Johnson and Law Offices of Gary Sinkeldam. She joined Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran in 2017.
During her free time, Ms. Plunkett enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, traveling, and baking.
John W. KirkJohn William Kirk was born near the frontier of Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He spent the first 18 years of his life in rural South Texas. Growing up in a rural Texas town he was exposed to a lot of American common sense. He also worked in a number of varied jobs such as fry cook, insulation installer, construction and oil field casing crews. John has incorporated that common sense and diverse experience into his practice of law and his trial presentation.
After graduating high school, John enlisted in the United States Air Force where he used his musical skills to play bassoon in the 541st Air Force Band of the Southwest. He was honorably discharged in 1979.
John served a mission for his church in the Bogata Colombia mission. While in Colombia, South America, he learned to speak fluent Spanish. He can also read Spanish.
Between 1983 and 1986 he would spend three years in the United States Army as an airborne infantry paratrooper. He earned jump wings and an expert infantry badge during his time in the army. During this time he learned to face many physical and mental challenges which have made him a stronger person and a better advocate for his clients. No challenge is too big.
Upon leaving the military for the second time John pursued his higher education. In 1989 John graduated from the University of Utah (cum laude) with a degree in political science and a second degree in Spanish. He also received a Certificate of International Relations. John was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, and Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honor Society.
In 1992 he obtained his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Utah –College of Law. He was admitted to the Nevada bar that same year.
After 20 years of serving the legal needs of Nevada's citizens, John Kirk joined Ranalli and Zaniel in August of 2013 as an associate attorney. Over the course of his twenty year career John has practiced primarily in general liability civil litigation defending the interests of insured's who have been sued. John has defended automobile accidents, trucking accidents, slip and fall, dog bites and assault cases. John also practiced in the area of medical malpractice for approximately two years defending the interests of doctors and dentist who had been sued. In addition to these areas he has also represented injured workers in worker compensation claims and done some Plaintiff personal injury work. John has acted as the first chair attorney in a number of civil jury trials as well as one criminal jury trial with excellent results. He has also participated in a significant number of arbitrations and mediations.
John is admitted to practice in Utah state courts, Nevada state courts, Nevada Federal Courts, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal.
Christopher A. ElseeChris grew up in Southern California and went to college at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received his bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science in 2006. After college, he worked as the Academic Coordinator at a think tank in Southern California before he went to law school.
In 2010, Chris moved to New York to attend St. John’s University School of Law in Queens. While at St. John’s, he was a 1L Class Representative, a member of the Technology & Communications Committee, and a one-time writer for The Forum. He was also a staff member of the Journal of Civil Rights & Economic Development, and an article he wrote while on the journal was published online at Jurist. While in law school he volunteered with the Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office at the Queens County Court, where he helped indigent and disadvantaged clients with various legal issues.
Chris was admitted to the Nevada Bar in 2014. He is licensed to practice in all state and federal courts in Nevada, as well as the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has worked in multiple personal injury firms throughout Las Vegas over the years, and is excited to begin a new chapter practicing civil defense.
When not working, Chris enjoys spending his free time with his wife and kids, and eating spicy food. He also works on pro bono cases with the Legal Aid Clinic of Southern Nevada.
Kimberly BealA transplant from the mountains of western North Carolina, Kimberly Beal has made Las Vegas her home, both personally and professionally. Upon graduating Valedictorian of her high school class, she attended the University of Georgia on scholarship earning a double major in Statistics and Psychology. In the summer of 2007, she interned with the top legislative deputies for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, California, which ultimately prompted her interest in pursuing a career in law.
Thereafter, Kimberly received her JD from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law in Macon, Georgia. As a member of the Mercer Law Review, Kimberly authored a law review article, which was hand-selected as one of only two student Comments for publication. Throughout law school, she was the recipient of numerous awards, earning the highest honors (CALI awards) in legal writing/research, evidence, civil procedure and statutory law. She graduated top 5% of her class and earned a Certificate in Advanced Legal Writing, Research, and Drafting as part of Mercer’s top ranked legal writing program.
Upon graduating law school, Kimberly was scouted by Ranalli, Zaniel, Fowler & Moran. She practices in the areas of personal injury defense, premises liability, and complex tort litigation and has worked on cases involving brain/spinal cord injuries, dog bites, slip and falls, and public transport accidents. Her accomplishments include bringing numerous successful dispositive motions on behalf of her clients.
Kimberly enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, exploring downtown Las Vegas, and staying active, including running and golf.
Stephanie HayesStephanie Hayes was born in Prince William County, Virginia and raised in Richmond, Virginia. She attended Portland State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Sciences degree, earning double majors in Criminology and Criminal Justice. While at Portland State University, she was inducted into Tau Sigma National Honors Society, and named to the President’s list and the Dean’s list every semester for her academic excellence.
Upon graduation, she was selected to intern for the Honorable Chief Justice Julie Creal in the Fifteenth Judicial District Court of Michigan, where she worked to improve Michigan Justice Drug Court Operations. She went on to work for the Honorable Judge Elizabeth P. Hines to develop and coordinate the unique intricacies of community team based management in Homeless Court and Domestic Violence Court case settings.
Stephanie received her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law, in Las Vegas, Nevada. During law school, Stephanie was nominated President of the Saltman Dispute Resolution Society, where she served as Chief Advocate on behalf of the Boyd community, executing legal solutions through alternative dispute resolution. In her three years, she worked as a legal clerk for prestigious, private criminal and personal injury law firms, advocating for justice on behalf of clients within the state of Nevada.
Stephanie accepted a position with the law firm of Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran in 2015. Since that time, she has practiced in Insurance Defense and Special Investigative Unit Cases.
Glen J. HarperGlen has substantial ties to the Las Vegas area and community. He was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He graduated from UNLV in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. After graduating from UNLV, he attended Florida Coastal School of Law. Glen, both, graduated from law school and became a member of the Nevada Bar in 2012.
Glen moved back to Las Vegas to practice as an attorney and take care of his family in 2012. Since practicing as an attorney, Glen has had the opportunity to become experienced in a variety of legal fields. Despite being exposed to many areas of law, he primarily focused on his practice in the fields of personal injury and insurance defense over the course of his career.
Due to having experience on both sides of a personal injury case, Glen is adept at evaluating the value, liability, and exposure in a case. Glen is passionate about providing effective representation in a lawsuit and providing the best defense for his clients.
Robert T. HernandezRobert Hernandez was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Criminal Justice. He then attended law school at the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV where he graduated in 2015.
During law school, Robert received the CALI Award for the highest grade in Cyber Law and worked as a clerk for several experienced attorneys in the Las Vegas Valley. Since passing the bar in 2015, Robert has practiced in General Insurance Defense, Construction Defect Defense, Family Law, Personal Injury, Civil Rights Litigation, and HOA Super-Priority Liens.
In his spare time, Robert enjoys playing basketball, shooting pool, or beating his friends in anything competitive. He is a lifelong Raiders fan and you can expect to see him dressed in full Halloween garb when they officially move to Las Vegas.
Brent JordanBrent J. Jordan is licensed to practice law in Nevada and California, including Federal Court, State Court, and Tax Court. His law practice involves personal injury law, tax reduction strategies, asset protection, and estate planning. He is also licensed by the State of Nevada to serve as a Mediator, Arbitrator, and Short Trial Judge for the Clark County District Court. Mr. Jordan possesses an attorney's master degree in taxation (LL.M.), and is the author of "10 Powerful Tax Strategies that Pass IRS Scrutiny." When he is not practicing law, Mr. Jordan's favorite hobby is playing the electric guitar with his twin 11 year old sons in their rock and roll band "Tres Jordanos."
James F. HoltzJames F. Holtz focuses on trial and appellate work in complex business and corporate litigation. Mr. Holtz has a wide client base ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local businesses and individuals. He has successfully handled cases involving business and contractual disputes, real estate and environmental liability, trademark and copyright infringement, employment discrimination, ADA, product liability, personal injury, medical and pharmacist malpractice and class actions. He has tried wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases, and has a specialized knowledge of medical and pharmacology issues.
James Holtz has handled insurance coverage litigation for 30 years. He is an expert in all varieties of insurance and insurance broker disputes. The firm has handled a wide variety of coverage disputes including commercial liability, environmental liability, director and officer liability, professional liability and personal lines such as auto and homeowners insurance. Many lawyers refer their coverage matters to Mr. Holtz because of his success and reputation in this specialized area. He also is an adjunct professor at California Western School of Law, where he has taught insurance law and litigation since 2001.
Martindale Hubbell has rated Mr. Holtz AV Preeminent since 1996. He has been recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer for the years 2008 through 2018. He also has been listed for 20 years as a Top Rated Lawyer published by The American Lawyer Magazine. Both selections are for “Business Litigation.” The organization of Law & Politics performs the polling, research and selection of Super Lawyers in a process designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers is a comprehensive and diverse guide to outstanding attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in each state or region are named Super Lawyers.
Top Rated Lawyers is published by The American Lawyer and developed in partnership with Martindale Hubbell. It is based on Martindale’s AV Preeminent ratings, the highest possible review rating in "Legal Ability and Ethical Standards."
Mr. Holtz’s efforts for corporate clients resulted in the firm having been selected as a “Go-To Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies” for its legal advice in Tort Litigation by American Lawyer Media, publishers of The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The Law Journal Press and The National Law Journal. General Counsel of the nation’s top 500 companies were surveyed regarding their preferred primary outside counsel in key practice areas.
Mr. Holtz is also a published author of numerous articles appearing in both legal and industry publications including the Pacific Law Journal and the Insurance Journal.
University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1975
University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1980
In Nevada, Mr. Holtz is Of Counsel to the firm of Ranalli, Zaniel, Fowler & Moran LLC.
- Admitted to practice in California and United States District Court for the District of California – Southern, Central, Eastern and Northern Districts, as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Admitted to practice in Nevada, and United States District Court for the District of Nevada.
- Member, San Diego Defense Lawyers
- Member, San Diego County Bar Association
- San Diego Super Lawyers 2008-2018
- Top Rated Lawyers Business Litigation
- AV Preeminent peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell in both California and Nevada
- Adjunct Professor, California Western School of Law
- San Diego Magazine’s "Top Lawyers"
- "Best Lawyers in America" 2016-2018
- VEGAS INC’S Top Lawyers
- Selected as Top 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States by National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Tamara CannellaTamara graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies in May 2014. She then went to UNLV William S. Boyd School of law and earned her Juris Doctor degree in May 2019. During law school, Tamara was a Senior Staff Member of the Nevada Law Journal and earned a CALI Award for highest grade in the class in Legal Writing: General Practice.
Prior to working for Ranalli Zaniel Fowler & Moran, LLC, Tamara was a law clerk for the Southern Nevada Health District in 2017, and served as a legal extern for Discovery Commissioner Bonnie A. Bulla in 2019.