Las Vegas attorney Amador arrested on felony assault charges

Las Vegas defense attorney Michael Amador started his Thanksgiving holiday at a PT’s Pub, continued it with a trip to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and ended it at the Clark County Detention Center.

Amador, 54, who ineffectively defended Margaret Rudin in the 2001 murder trial of her millionaire husband, was arrested Thursday on two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of injury to the property of another, according to a Las Vegas police arrest report.

The report states that police were called to PT’s Pub, 3470 E. Sunset Road, about 5 a.m. When officers arrived, they found Amador sitting in the parking lot, surrounded by four men.

According to witness statements, Amador had been playing pool in the bar when he accused a man watching the game, Nick Brannigan, of stealing $200 from the table. An argument ensued. Brannigan and another man, Charles Huggins, left the bar, followed by Amador.

Huggins told police he had entered his vehicle when he “heard his rear window shatter.” He then saw Brannigan and two other men wrestling with Amador, who had pulled a handgun from his waistband to break Huggins’ window.

Police determined that Amador had assaulted Brannigan and Huggins when he pointed the weapon at them.

The attorney was taken to Sunrise and treated for minor injuries. He was then booked at the county jail.

According to a spokesman for the State Bar of Nevada, Amador has been an attorney in Nevada since 1981 and has no record of public discipline. If he is convicted of a crime, a copy of the court’s judgment will be sent to the state Supreme Court for review.

“We will monitor the criminal case and take the necessary steps,” said State Bar spokesman Phil Pattee.

Amador’s proficiency as an attorney was extensively discussed during Rudin’s 2001 trial, as well as her successful petition for a new trial in 2008.

After Rudin’s 2001 trial, attorney Tom Pitaro, who also had represented Rudin, stated in an affidavit that he was shocked by how little preparation Amador had done for the trial. He said expert witnesses hadn’t been retained and many witnesses hadn’t been interviewed.

Amador’s antics during and after the trial are also well-documented. He was accused of leaking information about Rudin and giving family photos of Rudin to the National Enquirer. He also was accused of trying to write a book about the case during the trial.

One juror even sent a letter to the court saying jurors thought he was an idiot.

“He was the laughingstock in the jury room,” wrote juror Coreen Kovacs in April 2005.

A woman who answered Amador’s cell phone Monday said he had no comment regarding his arrest.

Contact reporter Mike Blasky at or 702-383-0283.