Longtime Vegas firm turns 60
Fri, Sep 18, 2009 (3 a.m.)
McDonald Carano Wilson is celebrating 60 years as a law firm catering to a wide range of clients.
The firm started out as Bible & McDonald, founded in 1949 by the Democratic Sen. Alan Bible and Robert “Bob” McDonald, an Army Air Corps fighter pilot in World War II, who died in November.
The two ended their partnership after the U.S. Senate changed its rules preventing senators from keeping private law practices.
McDonald was then joined by attorneys Donald Carano and Thomas “Spike” Wilson, forming a partnership that lasted more than 50 years.
Since then, the firm has grown to 51 attorneys and works on such matters as complex litigation, business entities and governance, commercial transactions, gaming, construction and labor and employment.
“We really believe in our firm’s culture,” said George Ogilvie III, the Las Vegas managing partner of McDonald Carano Wilson. He described the work environment as collegial and egalitarian.
His father, George Ogilvie Jr., was also an attorney with the firm, in addition to stints as Las Vegas city attorney and Clark County manager.
The firm has handled thousand of cases over the years, and Ogilvie said it is difficult to recall any that stand out.
“As soon as we close the door to a matter, it drifts off to distant memory,” he said. “We’re always thinking of pending matters.”
One case, though, that does stand out is Learjet, the jet manufacturer, successfully suing Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier for patent infringement. Bombardier has since acquired Learjet.
To celebrate McDonald Carano Wilson’s 60 years in private practice, the firm held a client appreciation party Sept. 10. The firm has more than 1,000 active clients and is handling an estimated 1,000 matters, including litigation and transactions, Ogilvie said.
Ogilvie said the firm has turned out federal judges, heads of federal agencies and state senators, as well as board members and commissioners.
“One of the things we pride ourselves in is involvement in our community,” he said. “The firm and its attorneys are woven into the fabric of the state and that’s probably what we’re most proud of.”