Peggy A. Leen was appointed United States Magistrate Judge on January 16, 2001. A Nevada resident for more than thirty years, she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, graduating with a degree in political science in 1976, and received her J.D. from the University of San Diego Law School in 1979.
Judge Leen has a diverse legal background as both a criminal and civil trial lawyer. She worked as a volunteer for the Clark County Public Defender’s Office as a student at UNLV, and later did an externship with that office while in law school. As a law student extern practicing under Nevada’s newly adopted student practice rule, she represented clients in felony preliminary hearings and tried one felony jury trial.
After law school she worked as a Deputy Public Defender and tried a number of felony jury trials before joining the civil litigation firm of Thorndal, Backus, Maupin & Armstrong. Judge Leen became a partner in that firm in 1983 and was the managing partner for three years. While in private practice, she litigated mass disaster, toxic tort, radiation and employment cases in both state and federal court.
Judge Leen left private practice in 1995, and joined the Clark County District Attorney’s Office where she prosecuted capital and other murder cases as a member of the major violator’s unit. Just prior to her appointment, she defended the County in eminent domain and tort cases as a Deputy District Attorney in the civil division.
She is the only woman lawyer from the State of Nevada who has been elected a fellow of the International Society of Barristers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the American College of Trial Lawyers.