Henderson settles lawsuit against lawyer for accused sports arena developer for just $750

The city of Henderson has accepted a $750 settlement offer from a lawyer it sued alongside would-be sports arena developer Chris Milam.

Christopher C. Stephens, who worked on the proposed Las Vegas National Sports Complex, said in court papers last week that his “compromise settlement” would resolve all claims between him and the city.

The offer allows “judgment to be taken against him and in favor of the city” but was not an admission that Stephens was liable in the case or that Henderson suffered any damages, the document said.

City Hall filed paperwork Wednesday saying it accepted the offer. If Stephens pays the $750 within an unspecified “reasonable time,” the city’s claims can be dismissed, and a judgment would not be entered against him.

Last month, the city sued Milam, his lawyers Stephens and John F. Marchiano, land consultant Michael Ford and public relations-lobbying chief Lee Haney. They were accused of using a city-approved development pact to fraudulently buy roughly 480 acres of government-owned land near the M Resort for a cheap price and then sell it for profit to other developers.

Stephens, a shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, is a California licensed attorney. According to the lawsuit, he “regularly engages in the unauthorized practice of law in Nevada,” including in connection with the sports arena project.

Milam, who lives in Texas, is the CEO of International Development Management. In Henderson, he laid out plans to build an indoor arena suitable for a basketball team, as well as three other stadiums that could host soccer, baseball and football contests. Their combined price was expected to be more than $1 billion.

Milam’s Silver State Land LLC is in contract to buy the project site from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management but has not yet closed the deal. The escrow-closing date has been extended twice since December, most recently to March 28.

Milam has allegedly said in marketing materials that even if sports facilities weren’t built, mixed-use and residential projects still could be developed.

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