John B. Routsis, Criminal Law Attorney

John Basil Routsis, Criminal Law Attorney


John’s commitment to his clients:

“As the saying goes, ‘The only thing that is certain in life is death and taxes.’ thus, no outcome in a criminal case can be guaranteed. If I am retained I can promise excellent representation. With my 25 years of experience in criminal law, I understand that the representation of your case is vital to the lives of both you and your loved ones. I am committed to take a personal approach on each and every case I represent. Whether it is a stressful DUI or a serious murder case, you will have my undivided attention. The personal part of representation is what I strive to excel at. I will take into account the personal aspects of your case and make every effort to alleviate any stress or anxiety. The most gratifying part of my job is helping a client, who has made a bad decision, navigate through the difficult times and come out on the other side better for it.”


Trust in John’s experience:

“My experience lies solely in the area of criminal law. In the 25 years that I have studied and practiced in this field, I have held the position of Deputy District Attorney in both the Los Angeles area and here in Washoe County. I have also served as a Judge Pro Tem and a defense attorney in both counties. These various positions have provided me the insight to view a case from three very important angles: as the prosecutor, as the judge and as the defense attorney. As a result, I am able to put the case in perspective to the prosecutor. I am also able to provide an effective presentation to the judge during a trial or hearing that will either help reduce the consequences of the outcome or even outright dismiss the case.”


More about John:


While I am not a native of Nevada, I have lived here since I was six-years old.  As far as becoming an attorney, I can say I followed in my father’s footsteps, somewhat. He did graduate from Georgetown Law School with honors, but he never practiced as an attorney.  So I suppose the seed to go to law school was planted in the back of my head from a very early age.

My time as an undergraduate was spent at the University of Southern California where I graduated in 1983. Being a small town Nevada boy, from Incline Village, moving to Los Angeles was somewhat of a culture shock.  I must say that the experience was not only educational but it was also a social awakening.  While at USC, I was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.  As it turned out, my involvement with this organization was beneficial. I was awarded a scholarship every semester from the fraternity that helped finance my education. Being awarded an educational scholarship at a fraternity is somewhat like the one eyed man being king in the land of the blind.

During my second year at Pepperdine University, School of Law, I externed for Justice Charlie Springer, with the Nevada Supreme Court, in Carson City.  That was my first experience in a legal setting. It was through my exploration as an extern for the Nevada Supreme Court, that I really focused on the idea that criminal law was the expertise that I wanted to pursue. (This and my friends’ always having run-ins with the law and asking me for advice.)  Criminal law allowed me the opportunity to be in court often and because of my passion, I believe that I have excelled in the court room.  This is exemplified by the Consumer Business Review for being Northern Nevada’s Criminal Defense Attorney of the year in 2004, 2006 and 2010.  I had to throw in those awards, in case they impress somebody.

After my summer externship and my second year of law school, I accepted an invitation to the University of London for my third year of law school. Coming from a small town in Nevada, going to school in Europe was a great cultural experience that even Los Angeles could not have prepared me for. Furthermore, I learned different legal systems and actually made a legal presentation at the Oxford University, in England. While in Europe, I traveled extensively through Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland and Greece. So not only did I obtain an education in the English legal system, I was also provided the opportunity to experience different cultures and societies. This experience broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to view life from a different perspective. Legal experience alone does not make you a competent attorney, life experiences are also important. This important perspective allows me to present and understand cases from a worldly perspective.

After graduating from law school, I worked at the District Attorney’s office in Los Angeles County for five years in the City of Compton.  During that time as a prosecutor, I processed simple misdemeanors, to murder cases, as well as handled and tried an insanity case which was a multiple attempted murder which included a Compton police officer as a victim.  Compton was a great training ground to become a successful criminal defense attorney.  Being a gang area, the witnesses at trial would often say things that were inconsistent with their prior statements.  My experience in Compton allowed me to excel in difficult cases. Being a prosecutor in a gang area, witnesses often retracted their statements when prosecuting those cases. Those experiences gave me the mindset to be extremely creative when handling my current cases.

What I have learned is that to be a successful prosecutor you must have a connection with the jury.  You need to be able to speak to them in their own language so they understand what you are trying to convey. You must be able to persuade them to look at the case from your point of view.  This was exemplified when I sat on a jury while I was a District Attorney in Los Angeles. Being present during jury negotiations enabled me to see what evidence they looked at and what they viewed as important from a juror’s point of view.  No defense counsel I have encountered has been a Judge Pro Tem, a prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney and a juror. This expansive experience in the legal system has allowed me to be extremely effective as a defense attorney.

I offer this advice to assist you with your important decision of retaining proper representation for your case… You should always feel comfortable with your attorney, know that they are experienced and respect their opinion. Hopefully this insight into my life has answered some questions about me as an attorney. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call me.


Memberships: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Lawyers for Burners