weather icon Clear

Memorials planned for veteran Las Vegas lawyer John Momot

The Las Vegas legal community will remember longtime criminal defense attorney John Momot this weekend.

Momot, who died April 12, and Tom Pitaro studied for the bar exam together in 1974, and remained best friends ever since.

Pitaro is among a group of speakers, including former Mayor Oscar Goodman, scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center in downtown Las Vegas.

“He had a great sense of justice,” Pitaro said of Momot. “He could do what very, very few people in our profession ever do. He could move seamlessly from one group to another. He was friendly with district attorneys and clients, well-heeled or low-heeled. And he could get along with the police.”

Nothing ever came between the veteran attorneys — even love for rival baseball teams, Pitaro said. Pitaro supported the Red Sox, while Momot was a Yankee fan.

“We were best friends for 44 years, and we never had an angry word,” Pitaro said. “I don’t know how many people could say that of a friendship.”

Momot served as a captain in the U.S. Army during the height of the Vietnam War. Licensed to practice law in 1974, he had many high-profile clients over the years. He also played the role of an attorney in the 1995 Martin Scorsese film “Casino,” according to imdb.com.

“John was a phenomenal attorney, but an even better man,” former Chief Deputy District Attorney Craig Hendricks, another of Sunday’s speakers, said. “I enjoyed opposing him in the courtroom and cherished our friendship outside of the courthouse.”

Along with his wife, Dolly Kelepecz-Momot, and beloved German shepherd, Chloe, Momot is survived by his brother, Joe; his sister, Lucille Tagie; his daughter, Roxanne Morales; and two grandchildren. His son, Joseph, died in January 2016.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.