Lake Tahoe, Nevada

LAS VEGAS, June 1, 2024 — Judge Melissa Saragosa-Stratton will join Kaempfer Crowell as Of Counsel in its Las Vegas Office in July 2024.

Judge Saragosa-Stratton received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of San Diego in 1990 and continued her education at the University of San Diego School of Law, earning her Juris Doctor in 1993.

In March 1994, Judge Saragosa-Stratton was selected as a direct appointee to the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps. In 1997, she was recruited as a Circuit Trial Counsel for the Western Circuit, USAF Trial Judiciary, Travis Air Force Base, California.  In this position, she served as the lead prosecutor on court-martial cases at eighteen bases in the Western Region of the United States.  As an additional duty, she was Director of Training for the Western Circuit wherein she organized annual Trial Counsel Workshops and published advocacy training materials.

After two years prosecuting cases on the Circuit, Judge Saragosa-Stratton joined the reserve corps.  As a reservist, she was assigned to the office of the Staff Judge Advocate at Aviano Air Base, Italy.  While living in Europe, she performed reserve duty tours for Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; Geilenkirchen Air Base, Germany; 16th Air Force at Aviano Air Base; Appellate Government Office, and the Tort Claims Division, earning her the United States Air Forces in Europe award for Outstanding JAG Reservist 1999.

In 2000, Judge Saragosa-Stratton relocated to Las Vegas, continuing her military service as the Chief of Military Justice at Nellis Air Force Base. She was later appointed as a military judge on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and assigned to the legal offices at 8th Air Force and Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.  During this assignment, she was selected for promotion to the rank of Colonel, effective May 2017. She concluded her military career as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee to the Command Counsel, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio where she managed a team of over 60 reserve judge advocates. On April 1, 2024, after thirty years, Colonel Saragosa-Stratton retired from the Air Force.

In September 2000, she began working for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.  She worked in the Appellate Division, the Domestic Violence Unit, and on various General Litigation Teams.  In February 2006, she was appointed as the Chief Deputy District Attorney of Recruiting and Training.

In December 2006, Judge Saragosa-Stratton was appointed to fill a vacancy in Justice Court Department 4 and took the bench in January 2007.  During her time on the bench, she graduated from the Leadership Las Vegas Class of 2008. In 2009, Judge Saragosa-Stratton became one of only two judges presiding over the entire civil docket, including eviction actions, of the Las Vegas Justice Court.  In January 2011, Judge Saragosa-Stratton developed and presided over Nevada’s first Domestic Violence Court.  In 2013, Judge Saragosa-Stratton returned to an all-civil docket where she partnered with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to educate the community on Landlord/Tenant laws and court procedural rules.  From January 2015 to December 2016, Judge Saragosa-Stratton presided over a criminal docket and was appointed as the Presiding Judge over the Veterans Treatment Court and the Civil Division.  In January 2017, Judge Saragosa-Stratton returned once again to an all-civil docket.

Judge Saragosa-Stratton served as the Chairman of the Las Vegas Justice Court’s Legislative committee from 2009 – 2024, drafting bills and testifying legislature, specializing in Landlord/Tenant law.  She was elected to serve as the Las Vegas Justice Court’s Chief Judge from January 2021 – December 2022 and was selected as the Nevada Judges of Limited Jurisdiction Judge of the Year in 2019.

On July 1, 2024 Judge Saragosa-Stratton will retire from the Las Vegas Justice Court and join Kaempfer Crowell. She will focus her practice on litigation, administrative law, and real property law, including both residential and commercial Landlord/Tenant matters.  Judge Saragosa-Stratton is admitted to practice law in Nevada and Maryland.

With offices in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City, Kaempfer Crowell is recognized as one of Nevada’s top law firms for Government Relations, Land Use & Zoning, Litigation, Gaming, Administrative Law, Energy & Natural Resources, Real Estate, Bankruptcy, Telecommunications, and Labor & Employment. The firm has more than thirty (30) practicing attorneys, the majority of whom are native and long-term Nevadans. Kaempfer Crowell’s lawyers counsel top corporations, business owners and individuals. The firm’s attorneys are routinely rated among The Best Lawyers in America® and Chambers USA.