Who We Are: The Defenders

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, you’re likely frightened, confused and don’t know where to turn. You need assistance —not just any help, but help from a team of attorneys who know exactly how to aid in criminal cases. A team of attorneys who work in criminal law defense every day. That’s The Defenders. Every team needs a leader, and ours is Rick Harris of The Defenders. Rick leads the firm with several important guiding principles: Outstanding legal experience, case preparation and extensive client care. That includes instilling the need to provide an unwavering level of client service by all of our attorneys and the support team. What can you, our client, expect? Let’s start with some of your top concerns:

  • What should I do first? What should I not do?
  • Who will help me fight the charges against me?
  • Who will stand by my side throughout the investigation and the trial, if there is one?
  • Who has my best interests at heart?
  • How will this affect me and my family?
  • How will this affect my job?
  • How can I get help with financial burden a criminal case brings forth?

Get answers to these and other questions from The Defenders. Because our team works every single day with Las Vegas Valley clients who’ve been accused of criminal acts, we know how to help you work through all the concerns you have.

It’s not just the case itself, and the unknown of what will happen. It’s also how the case will impact the rest of your life and your family’s life, and what we can do to minimize that impact and help you get your life back on track. Our team will work with you to help make sense of it all, while working on the legal side to protect and fight for all of your legal rights.

The Defenders are seasoned criminal defense attorneys who understand that each alleged crime has a unique set of circumstances surrounding it, and we are committed to thoroughly investigating each and every facet of the case to build the best defense possible. We believe that every person has the right to an aggressive defense to help protect their freedoms, liberties and keep their record clear.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Ryan Helmick shaking client's hand

Whether you’ve been charged with drug crimes, driving violations, assault, a misdemeanor or a felony, The Defenders will work hard to vigorously defend you throughout every stage of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the very first thing I should do?

Contact your team at The Defenders. Don’t say another word to anyone until you have an initial conversation with us. Don’t post anything on social media. Getting the right legal help with your case is the only first step you should take.

Richard Harris

Meet Attorney Richard Harris

After graduating from law school in 1980, Rick took two bar exams during the same week—California and Nevada. He passed them both; an accomplishment unmatched by anyone since. He had an overall score of 95 percent on the Nevada bar exam.

Rick first practiced with Criminal Defense Attorney and former Las Vegas Mayor, Oscar Goodman. In 1982, he founded Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm to help people protect their legal rights and ensure best outcomes for those they serve. In 2007, he founded a criminal defense division, The Defenders, to help more people.

As a trial lawyer and skilled negotiator, Rick has resolved several of the largest personal injury cases in Nevada. He has earned membership into the prestigious Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Outstanding Lawyers of America, and the Verdict Club as a platinum member. Rick served on the Board of Governors of the Nevada Justice Association and has been a lobbyist for injury victims’ rights in the Nevada Legislature.

Mr. Harris believes in defending people’s rights and founded The Defenders to go above and beyond in helping protect people in the courtroom.

Nancy Bernstein

Meet Attorney Nancy Bernstein of The Defenders

Nancy’s interest in law began at a very early age when her brother was electrocuted by faulty city wiring. Her family had immigrated from Cuba. Not yet fluent in English, they faced a difficult legal battle, but eventually won the case, and she knew that being a lawyer was what she wanted to do. It was her purpose, she felt, and it has truly become her passion.

Nancy joined Richard Harris Law Firm as a runner-receptionist in 1988 and eventually earned her JD at William S. Boyd School of Law at University of Nevada, Las Vegas and began practicing law in 2007. She left the firm in 2011 to start her family and returned in 2019.

She enjoys being able to help people cut the mystery and fear out of the law, making it work for them. Over the years, Nancy has handled over 100,000 criminal cases, ranging from traffic tickets to settlements totaling millions of dollars.

Nancy has significant ties to our community. She has volunteered at Southern Nevada Legal Aid for 10 years as a CAP (Children’s Attorney Project) attorney and represented many children through difficult circumstances. Nancy helped start and coached at Green Valley High School’s Mock Trial Program and was appointed to the Las Vegas Arts Commission, where she helped develop the downtown Arts Factory. Nancy was honored with the Pillar of Justice award from Nevada Justice Association.

Away from the firm, Nancy enjoys riding horses, even competing in barrel racing and roping at Western High School. In addition, she is a certified Yoga Instructor and works at RYK Yoga and Meditation Center. Nancy also teaches children’s art.

Kaylee Havens

Meet Attorney Kaylee Havens of The Defenders

Coming soon.

Roger Bailey

Meet Attorney Roger Bailey of The Defenders

Coming soon.

Attorney Giovani Waltman

Meet Attorney Giovani Waltman of The Defenders

Coming soon.