Leland Eugene Backus, J.D., C.L.M.P. was born in Winnemucca, Nevada on August 8, 1947. He is a Juris Doctor graduate of University of California at Los Angeles having received honors in the Order of Barristers and Moot Court. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at University of Nevada at Las Vegas in Economics in 1969. He has been awarded the designation of Certified Litigation Management Professional.
He is an author for the Nevada Civil Practice Manual and has authored several articles in the field of litigation. He has lectured on an international basis on a variety of topics pertaining to mass disaster litigation, computer use in litigation, litigation practice, construction law, claims presentation, insurance law, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, and a variety of litigation and procedural areas of the law.
Mr. Backus was chief trial counsel or special counsel in the MGM Grand Fire Litigation, Hilton Hotel fire litigation, PEPCON plant explosion litigation, asbestos litigation, Agent Orange litigation, bone screw litigation, tobacco litigation, Redux litigation, Yellow Brass litigation and City Center litigation.
Mr. Backus is director of Eagle International Associates, Inc., a network of law firms and adjustors throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Recent appellate successes by Mr. Backus include:Halcrow, Inc. v. Eighth Jud. Dist. Ct., 302 P.3d 1148 (Nev. 2013).
General contractor sued developer for failure to make timely payments on contract for construction of high-rise. Developer counterclaimed for alleged defects in steel installation and reinforcement and other nonconforming work. Contractor then filed third-party claims against steel installation subcontractors for indemnity. Steel subcontractor and its
successor-in-interest in turn filed claims against structural engineer/designer and others. The District Court granted subcontractor’s and successor’s requests
for leave to amend third- and fourth-party complaints to add claim against engineer/designer for negligent misrepresentation. Petition for writ of mandamus was filed.
In re CityCenter Const. Litigation, Slip Copy, 2011 WL 5847207 (Nev. 2011). Found that district court improperly authorized Rocker discovery absent necessary averments in third and fourth party complaints by subcontractors against structural engineer, Halcrow, Inc. In Rocker, the Nevada Supreme Court recognized an exception to ‘s heightened pleading requirements. . The Court held that where the facts necessary for pleading with particularity are “ ‘peculiarly within the defendant’s knowledge or are readily obtainable by him,’ “ a relaxed pleading standard may be applied because the plaintiff could not be expected to have personal knowledge of the relevant facts. (quoting ). Had such a situation been properly pleaded by the reinforcing steel subcontractors, the district court may have been permitted to allow Pacific Coast Steel and Century Steel to conduct limited discovery such that such proposed amended pleadings alleging fraud with particularity could be filed.
Mr. Backus was a trustee and past chairman of the Nevada Law Foundation, past president of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southern Nevada, past director of The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee, past charter president of the Exchange Club of Las Vegas, and former Chairman of the State of Nevada Certified Court Reporters Board. Currently, he is Chairman, Director and Secretary for the 501(c)(3) charity, Send Me On Vacation, Inc., which sends low income breast cancer survivors on healing vacations following treatment.
Mr. Backus is a member of the ABA Forum Committee on the Construction Industry for Construction Management, Design/Build and Related Concepts. He is a trained and approved arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association for construction and commercial disputes. He has been appointed as Nevada Chairperson of the Defense Research Institute Construction Law Committee Marketing/Publicity Subcommittee.
His law firm, Backus, Carranza & Burden is located in Las Vegas with 6 lawyers with practice emphasis in professional liability, construction, hotel/casino, complex and insurance litigation, health care law, and international law. The firm provides representation to hotels, general contractors, construction managers, subcontractors, design professionals, lawyers, physicians, hospitals, medical device manufacturers, product manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and numerous public companies. The firm provides business and commercial transactional services to their clients.
Mr. Backus is a founding benefactor of the Nevada Law Foundation Colleagues and received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for helping start this program. His contributions to the poor and less fortunate and women who have undergone breast cancer have continued throughout his career.
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