In many ways attorney Al Lasso is the epitome of what Las Vegas is all about. Giving up on the security of complacency, throwing caution to the wind, betting it all and winning big in the end. This is what Al Lasso did and it paid off not only for him in winning some of the largest verdicts in the United States but also for the safety of thousands and thousands of people he will never meet. We recently caught up with Al to discuss his journey from casino dealer to one of the most respected attorneys in Las Vegas.
HELLO AL. YOU HAVE BEEN IN LAS VEGAS FOR 30 YEARS CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU CAME TO VEGAS AND OWNING LASSO INJURY LAW?
My journey is a little different than most attorneys. I grew up in New Jersey, in a blue-collar family. My mom was a homemaker and my dad a fireman. When I graduated from high school, I decided that college was not for me. So, while I always wanted to be an attorney, I did not go in that direction right away. In fact, I opened up my own One Hour Photo business in my hometown.
OWNING A ONE HOUR PHTO BUSINESS IN NEW JERSEY IS A LONG WAY FROM HAVING A TOP-RATED LAW FIRM IN LAS VEGAS, HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
My brother was involved in a very severe car crash that caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down and I saw firsthand how badly he was treated by insurance companies and even attorneys. At that point I was 10 years out of high school, but I made a vow to myself that I would one day become an attorney and make sure that none of my clients were treated that way and that I would always take care of the “little guy” like my brother that no one else seemed to care about.
THAT IS AN ADMIRABLE DREAM, BUT WITHOUT A COLLEGE DEGREE AND 10 YEARS OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, THAT DREAM IS A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD.
That is very true, but that did not stop me. I was 28 years old and I knew It would take 7 years to complete my dream. I figured, I am going to be 35 either way, so I could be doing the same thing I am doing, or I could be an attorney helping people. I decided to sell my business, sell my home, and move to Las Vegas where I could learn how to deal craps and be able to go to school full-time while working in a casino at night full-time so I could make a living. That is what I did, packed up the family, enrolled in dealers’ school, became a craps dealer, and went to school full time at UNLV. I even worked as an extra in movies such as “Casino” to make additional money while in school. Only in a 24-hour town like Las Vegas does that opportunity present itself.
THERE WAS NO LAW SCHOOL IN LAS VEGAS BACK THEN, HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL?
Ha ha yes… I guess I should have thought that through. Once I graduated college, I was accepted at Seton Hall Law School back in New Jersey. So, we packed everything up again and moved back to the East Coast. Living back there was very tough, it was great to see family and friends, but we had very little money and were living in a converted two car garage. It was small for a growing family, cold, dark, and not what we had become used to in Las Vegas.
OK, THAT IS STILL A LONG WAY FROM BEING BACK IN LAS VEGAS AS AN ATTORNEY AND WINNING ONE OF THE LARGEST JURY TRIAL VERDICTS IN HISTORY FOR A SLIP AND FALL CASE.
You know the lure of Las Vegas and the beauty of living here is tough to get out of one’s system and of course the opportunities here are unlike anywhere else. We wanted to move back. I had a friend I dealt craps with whose wife played golf with a Judge and gave out my resume to the Judges in Clark County. Judge Bonaventure, one of the most highly respected and acclaimed jurists in Las Vegas, was looking to hire a law clerk and took a chance on me. So, for the last time, we once again packed up the U-Hauls and made the final trip back across the country to Las Vegas. I was very fortunate in that one of the first cases I worked on as a law clerk was the infamous and world-wide publicized case of the Ted Binion murder trial. I also was the Law clerk for the Jeremy Strohmeyer re-hearing and the Margaret Rudin “Black Widow” murder trial. Those cases really gave me an “into the frying pan” experience in learning the law. I learned much more than anything I ever learned in any law school class.
AS AN ATTORNEY YOU WON A 16.4 MILLION DOLLAR JURY VERDICT AGAINST A LARGE HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE AS WELL AS A 20 MILLION DOLLAR VERDICT AGAINST A HOA. HOW DID YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCES HELP YOU TO BECOME THE LAWYER YOU ARE TODAY?
Although my brother has now left us, I like to think I am still fighting for him. I treat all my clients like family. I have dedicated my law practice to fighting for the people who have been injured by the negligence of others and to hold them accountable for their actions. I focus on getting my clients the most compensation they deserve so they can move on with their lives.
YOU ARE A SMALL FIRM, HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO OBTAIN SUCH LARGE VERDICTS?
We are a boutique firm; we do not accept every case that walks in the door. I do not want Lasso Injury Law to become one of those giant firms where non-attorneys work on the cases and they do not even know who you are. We are very selective about our cases because when we take on a case, we dive into every detail and personally speak to each and every client. Being a small firm allows us to devote the time needed to each of our cases. We are a hands-on firm, but we also spare no expense for our clients when it comes to experts, investigators, and co-advocates for trials.
FINALLY, WHAT IS THE MOST SATISFYING THING ABOUT THOSE VERDICTS?
Many people think it is the money and do not get me wrong, I am very happy that my clients will be taken care of for the rest of their lives. However, to me, it is knowing that the home improvement store has changed their watering polices all over the country in an attempt to ensure that no one else will suffer the brain injury my client did. It is also to know that HOA’s everywhere will now inspect their swing sets monthly to ensure that the metal parts are not rusted out and in danger of collapsing, saving young children from severe head injuries. That is truly the most satisfying thing about being a trial attorney and I will continue to always fight for my client’s like they are family.
Contact Al at 702.625.8777 for a free consultation or visit online at LassoInjuryLaw.com