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About me

Michaelle DiGrazia Rafferty ("Michaelle") is a shareholder attorney in the law firm of Maupin, Cox & LeGoy, practicing in the areas of complex and high net worth planning, including estate planning, taxation, real property, charitable and business planning. In addition to the planning portion of her practice, Michaelle’s practice also serves complex estate and trust administrations (including litigation and family dispute resolution), and as an expert witness in litigation proceedings related to her area of practice. Michaelle has been awarded the highest possible rating of AV® Preeminent by Martindale Hubble, and was recently honored with Best Lawyers® in America’s award of "Reno’s Best - Trust & Estate Litigation Attorney" by her peers. She is appointed to the Trust and Estate, and Trust and Estate - Litigation Sections of Best Lawyers® in America, in which her firm has also been recognized in U.S. News & World Report for the most top tier ratings of all firms in the State of Nevada.


Michaelle received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arizona. She served as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. for Nevada Congressman, Barbara Vucanovich. Thereafter, she attended the University of the Pacific (McGeorge) School of Law, where she received her Juris Doctorate with the school’s highest academic honor of graduation with "Great Distinction," along various additional awards for academic and advocacy. 

Representing the legal interests of numerous public and private Foundations and charities, Michaelle has a personal interest in promoting and supporting educational and charitable entities within the community. In addition to serving as legal counsel for various entities, Michaelle has and continues to serve as a member, and often executive officer, of various non profit and charitable boards for the benefit of organizations such as The University of Nevada Reno Foundation, The Nevada Women’s Fund; Bishop Manogue Catholic High School, South Reno Babe Ruth; and Washoe Little League.


Michaelle is a fourth generation native Nevadan where she resides with her husband, Thomas E. Rafferty, CPA and her children. 



Contact info

Maupin Cox Legoy

4785 Caughlin Parkway
Reno, NV, 89511

Practice areas


  1. Tax: 30%
    22 years, 85 cases
  2. Estate Planning: 25%
    22 years, 250 cases
  3. Trusts: 20%
    22 years, 250 cases
  4. Probate: 20%
    22 years, 150 cases
  5. Real Estate: 5%
    22 years, 50 cases

Attorney endorsements

1 total 

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  • Sharon M. Jannuzzi

    I highly recommend Michaelle Rafferty. She is very smart and knows trusts and estates extremely well. I have worked with her on one matter in which we represent the same client and she has been great to work with. She has given numerous presentations to the Probate Bar Association and is always well prepared and informative.


    Sharon Jannuzzi Probate Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best Lawyer, Trust & Estate, Trust & Estate LitigationBest Lawyers in America2015
Best Layer - Trusts and EstatesBest Lawyers in America2014
Best Lawyers, Trust and Estate LitigationBest Lawyers in America2014
Volunteer Lawyer AwardSecond Judicial Court - Washoe County Nevada2014
Best Lawyer, Trusts and EstatesBest Lawyers in America2013
Volunteer Lawyer AwardSecond Judicial District Court2013
Best Lawyers,Trust&Estate LitigationBest Lawyers2013
AV Preeminent RatedMartindale-Hubbell2012
Court Recognition For Service to Probate CourtSecond Judicial District Court - Washoe County Nevada2010
Women Of Achievement HonoreeNevada Women's Fund2003
Best Comment WriterPacific Law Journal1993
Emil Gumpert Trial Advocacy AwardMcGeorge School of Law1993
Order of Coif (Top 10% of Class)McGeorge School of Law1993
Graduation with Great DistinctionMcGeorge School of law1993
The Traynor SocietyUniversity of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law1992
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
ShareholderMaupin Cox & Legoy1994 - Present
Judicial Law ClerkHonorable Mill B. Lane1993 - 1994
Law clerkBible Hoy Trachock1991 - 1993
Association namePosition nameDuration
Nevada Bar - Probate & Trust SectionExecutive Committee Member2014 - Present
Nevada Supreme CourtAppointed Bench-Bar Committee Member2009 - Present
Nevada State Bar - Probate and Trust SectionLegislative Committee2007 - Present
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountExecutive Officer2007 - Present
Washoe County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
State Bar of NevadaMemberN/A
Washoe County Probate Bar AssociationFounderN/A
Washoe County Bar AssociationExecutive Committee2007 - 2008
Publication nameTitleDate
Pacific Law JournalGraduates, Will We Stand and Join in Prayer?N/A
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
McGeorge School of Law, University of the PacificLawJD - Juris Doctor1993
University of ArizonaN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1989
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Estate Planning for WomenEstate Planning2015
Estate Planning Council of Northern NevadaFiduciary Accounting In light of Changes to Nevada Law under SB 4842015
Ely Family Law ConferenceTen Things Family Law Lawyers Need to Know About Trusts and Estates2015
Probate Bar Association LunchDifficult Clients - To Represent or Not (Ethics)2014
Planned Giving ConferenceFostering Charitable Planning in a Post ATRA Income Tax Era2014
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyReview of 2013 Laws Affecting Probate Administration2013
Its Your EstateBasic Estate Planning2012
Its Your EstateServing as a Fiduciary for an Estate or Trust2012
State Bar of NevadaEstate and Trusts under a Microscope of SB 2212011
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyPost Mortem Solutions to Title Problems in Probate2011
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyCurrent Issues Re Probate of Real Property2011
Financial Planning for WomenWomen and Estate Planning2011
Women and Estate PlanningWomen and Estate Planning2010
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyDiscovery Issues in Probate2010
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyContesting Testamentary Capacity2010
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyCreditor Issues in Nevada Probate - Part II2009
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyNon Testamentary Trust Accounting Requirements2009
Its Your EstateServing as a Fiduciary for an Estate or Trust2009
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyProbate Court Panel2008
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyCreditor Issues in Nevada Probate2008
Probate Bar Association of Washoe CountyWill Contests2007
NBI CLEComplex Tax Issues in Estates and Trusts2001