Ramon Acosta


Practice Areas:

Veteran Federal Attorney Defending the Accused

Originally from Bisbee, Arizona, Attorney Ramon Acosta has built an impressive reputation and career for himself throughout the last 27+ years. Considered a leading federal attorney, he currently serves as Chief Judge at the Walker River Paiute Tribal Court, Chief Judge for Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribal Court, and as Associate Judge at the Reno Sparks Indian Colony. In his judicial capacity he is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Rules and Procedures of the Court and presides over a variety of proceedings, including adult criminal and juvenile proceedings, family matters like protective orders, domestic abuse, divorce, custody and guardianship, as well as all civil disputes.

In August 1999, Mr. Acosta was appointed as Assistant Federal Defender, a position he maintained until his retirement from the Federal Government in March 2016. The Federal Defender Services is considered by many as the “gold standard” in criminal defense. Attorney Acosta’s first assignment and region of service was in the Western District of Texas, where he appeared in the federal courts of Del Rio, San Antonio, Austin, and El Paso, Texas. Subsequently, he was transferred to the District of Nevada, where he would serve in the Courts of Las Vegas and Reno.

He has appeared on behalf of well over 1,200 indigent defendants in the United States District Court in all ranges of federal proceedings, including:

  • Detention
  • Pretrial motions hearings
  • Jury trials
  • Sentencing
  • Appeals

Upon his retirement, he accepted a full-time position at the National Judicial College, where he served as a program attorney and developed training programs and curriculum for state and tribal court judges throughout the United States. Additionally, he served as faculty in a number of judicial college courses, including advanced evidence for general jurisdictional judges and essential and advanced bench skills for Tribal Court Judges. Upon his appointment to the bench, Ramon left the Judicial College as a program attorney but does remain on the faculty.

In the early part of his career, Mr. Acosta served as Deputy District Attorney in the Third Judicial District for the State of New Mexico. As Deputy District Attorney, he was lead counsel in numerous controlled substance prosecutions on the U.S.-Mexico border having obtained a superior conviction rate and successfully prosecuting some of the largest quantities of drugs coming into the U.S. during that time.

Educational & Military History

Attorney Ramon Acosta is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) in Macon, Georgia and the Trial Lawyers College, Thunderhead Ranch, Wyoming. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson and the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C.

During law school, he interned in the United States Senate and, upon graduation, accepted a position as a legislative assistant for the City Council of the District of Columbia. He is also an honorably discharged veteran having served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an airborne medic. Mr. Acosta has served as faculty and facilitator for various national trainings, teaching in the areas of Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Pre-trial Motions and Strategies, Sentencing Mitigation and Trial Advocacy.

Mr. Acosta has also served as faculty for:

  • The United States Administrative Office of the Courts (AO)
  • The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • The National Defense Investigators Association (NDIA)
  • The National Judicial College
  • The State Bar of Nevada

For the past two years, Ramon has been rated as the number one presenter by his colleagues at the NACDL’s Defending a Modern Drug Case seminar held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. He is an active member of the State Bar of New Mexico and the National Association of Immigration Attorneys.

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