Updated November 23, 2022 - 8:05 pm
A Las Vegas attorney who previously worked as a deputy attorney general and who was the widow of prominent defense lawyer has been ordered disbarred.
Gianna Orlandi committed multiple violations of the rules that govern lawyers in Nevada, according to a panel of six state Supreme Court justices.
“Orlandi knowingly violated duties owed to her clients, the legal system, and the profession,” stated the order, which was filed on Tuesday.
Orlandi was previously married to prominent Las Vegas defense lawyer James “Bucky” Buchanan, who died in November 2009 when he crashed his Ferrari after suffering a medical episode, according to Review-Journal archives. The couple were known in Las Vegas social circles for what the Review-Journal described as their “legendary charity events,” including their annual Toys for Tots holiday parties.
“He cared a lot about his clients,” Orlandi said about her late husband, describing him as larger than life, shortly after he died. “Not all of them had lots of money, but he gave each client the stellar representation he would have given a million-dollar client. Nobody got shortchanged.”
In contrast, clients of Orlandi’s did get short-changed, according to the panel of judges. Specifically, Orlandi was found to have formed a law firm with a non-attorney who “performed most of the legal work on the firm’s case,” the disbarment order read.
“Orlandi failed to supervise the attorney, who held himself out as an attorney, met with clients, and provided legal advice,” the order stated.
She also kept billing the client for work done by the non-attorney even though the client asked that the non-lawyer stop doing any more work on the case, the order found.
Other violations were also described in the order, including one in which the non-attorney “propositioned” a client by offering to provide legal services “in exchange for companionship.”
According to the order, Orlandi failed to respond to the amended complaint, or the allegations against her, resulting in a default judgment against her.
A lawyer.com website describing Orlandi’s law offices said Orlandi is originally from the East Coast but was sworn into the Nevada Bar in 1993. She also worked for 11 years with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office “as a deputy attorney general prosecuting civil and criminal cases on behalf of the people within the great State of Nevada.”
Orlandi had since been working in the private sector, practicing accident and injury, contract, divorce and family law, criminal and real estate law, according to the website.
Orlandi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.