For over a decade, Liane Wakayama has practiced in Nevada as a litigator and an estate planning attorney. Her practice areas include general civil, commercial, business, real estate and trust litigation as well as estate planning, probate and guardianship. She is highly regarded by her peers as evidenced by the fact that since her second year of practice (2009), she has been honored every single year as one of the top 100 attorneys in Southern Nevada and has held the title of Nevada’s Legal Elite. Ms. Wakayama has also been repeatedly recognized as America’s Most Honored Lawyers (Top 1%), America’s Most Honored Professionals (5%), Top Attorneys in The Mountain States, and Super Lawyers, to name a few of her achievements. She was also awarded the peer ranking of “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell representing the highest level of professional excellence for an attorney’s legal expertise, judgment, communication skills, and ethical standards.
The first in her family to become a lawyer, Ms. Wakayama comes from a long line of natural born advocates. Her father, Junro Edgar Wakayama, was born in Manzanar, one of 10 concentration camps where more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated. With the help of an ACLU attorney, her grandfather, Kinzo Wakayama, was the very first to file a writ of habeas corpus to challenge the constitutionality of interning U.S. citizens without a criminal charge or due process. Due to multiple death threats, he eventually withdrew his lawsuit in order to protect Ms. Wakayama’s grandmother, who was pregnant at the time. Subsequent lawsuits would vindicate his convictions, including the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Korematsu v. U.S., 323 U.S. 214 (1944). Kinzo Wakayama was later forced at gunpoint to renounce his U.S. citizenship – scribbling beneath his signature “under duress.” The Wakayama family was expatriated from the U.S., and left to Hiroshima, Japan, only to learn their relatives had been killed by the atomic bomb.
When Ms. Wakayama’s father was drafted in the Vietnam War, he returned to the U.S. to serve in the Army. A doctor of biochemistry and a decorated Colonel, the Pentagon asked Junro Wakayama to return to active duty in the spring of 2001, and was awarded the Army’s highest decoration for noncombatant valor (the Soldier’s Medal) for the sacrifices he made and dedication to this country when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Growing up and observing her family’s patriotism motivated Ms. Wakayama to make her own mark and pursue a career in law to be a strong advocate for people in the judiciary.
Starting in 2005 and throughout law school, Ms. Wakayama received the highest marks in a number of her studies, often receiving CALI awards – an accolade only given to the top student. Based on her academic achievements, Ms. Wakayama was also awarded numerous financial scholarships that covered her tuition. In 2008, Ms. Wakayama earned her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law, where she graduated cum laude.
After graduation, Ms. Wakayama started her legal career at one of the largest local firms in Nevada. In five short years, Ms. Wakayama was made partner and, shortly thereafter, she became an equity shareholder. She was the premier female shareholder trial attorney with the firm, she served as the firm’s Hiring Partner for over five years and, through policy reform, she paved the way for young women attorneys who desired to start a family while in practice. Ms. Wakayama worked at this firm for almost 13 years.
As for Ms. Wakayama’s clientele, she has represented prominent members of the State Bar of Nevada (including a former federal judge), thriving local businesses, professional fiduciaries, leading entrepreneurs throughout the U.S., and many upstanding citizens of Las Vegas. She has successfully tried a number of cases involving multi-million dollar, extremely complex disputes both in federal and state court; however, she also understands the importance of and the value in obtaining favorable settlements for her clients in order to keep them out of the courtroom. Ms. Wakayama is a zealous advocate for her clients throughout the entire litigation process, whether it is during the deposition process, motion practice, mediations or on appeal. Both her clients and peers have commended Ms. Wakayama for her high moral ethics, her unwavering loyalty, her attention to detail, sound judgment, legal acumen, integrity, and her courtroom demeanor and presence.
In April 2020, Ms. Wakayama decided to expand her legal career and co-found the law firm of HAYES | WAKAYAMA. In doing so, Ms. Wakayama is devoted to continuing her family’s legacy, doing her part to shape Nevada law and providing competent representation to her clients that surpasses all expectations.