Our Team

About The Defense Firm

The Defense Firm was founded in 2022.  Attorney Ryan Helmick brings the experience of over 11 years of practicing Criminal Defense in Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Ryan grew up in both Las Vegas, NV and Cocoa Beach, FL. He completed his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He then moved to San Diego to go to Thomas Jefferson School of Law. While there he made the Dean’s List for Academic Excellence on two separate occasions. His studies in law school were in Criminal Law and Trial Practice. Every year he attends at least one seminar on new changes and practices in the Criminal Defense field. He has trained with the Trial Lawyers College, founded by famed trial lawyer Gerry Spence, on more than one occasion.

We are passionate about the relationship we foster to our clients and their families and accept the important role of representing them.  They have entrusted us with their representation and accept fully our responsibility of their best defense.

  • To provide the best defense, respectfully, empathetically, and responsibly.
  • To recognize each client as a human being, not just a case number and care for the specific needs of their case.
  • To faithfully monitor their case as it goes through the justice system and provide continuous communication to ensure our client receives the best defense and feels taken care of.

Our family firm prides itself with our strong work ethic, years of experience, and our hardcore values of quality over quantity and bringing a personal touch to clients who are facing perhaps the most challenging moments of their life.

K. Ryan Helmick

Founder and Lead Attorney

I was born in Elkins, West Virginia.  Eventually, I spent my childhood living and growing up with my younger brother in both Las Vegas, NV and Cocoa Beach, FL as my parents lived on opposite coasts. I am a proud father of my daughter. My daughter was born with Cerebral Palsy and is my ultimate teacher and daily reminder of the importance of listening, engaging and above all having a patient and empathetic view on life.  All of these being attributes I need and use every day in my practice. I completed my Undergraduate Degree in Criminal Justice at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I then moved to San Diego, CA to go to Thomas Jefferson School of Law

During my time there, I made the Dean’s List for Academic Excellence. My studies in law school were in Criminal Law and Trial Practice. Every year I attend at least one seminar on new changes and practices in the Criminal Defense field. I have trained with the Trial Lawyers College, founded by famed trial lawyer Gerry Spence, on more than one occasion. Likewise, I had the great pleasure of being mentored by the legendary Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer, the late Bill Terry.

I practice exclusively in Criminal Defense and DUI law. Since becoming a lawyer, I humbly share that I have been recognized for National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40” for multiple years. Beginning with 2018 through 2021, I have been selected as one of the “10 Best Attorney’s” by the American Institute of DUI Attorney’s. In 2020 I was selected as “10 Best Under 40” by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorney’s. In 2020 and 2021 I was honored by Super Lawyers and made their Mountain States Rising Stars list. This honor is given to only 2.5% of attorneys in Nevada. In 2021, I was also honored by the American Institute of Trial Lawyers as “Litigator of the Year” as well as the Top-Ranking Attorney by The American Association of Attorney Advocates. Lastly, I was also given the Client’s Choice Award for 2016, 2017, and 2019 by AVVO, a nationwide recognized lawyer rating service. 

In my representation of you, we will go over every aspect of your case and what to expect. My goal in representing you is to get the best possible outcome for your case. My team and I will keep you informed of any important information that comes up during my representation of you. Additionally, if you need to get ahold of myself or my team, you can always reach me by calling, emailing, or even texting our office.  We understand times are changing and we are evolving with the times to make communicating with us as efficient as possible.  I do my best to make it a point to get back with you as soon as I can. However, there may be times, as you can imagine, where I am immediately unavailable as I may be in court or working on a case. I look forward to representing you on your case.

Elizabeth Renteria

Director of Operations

Elizabeth Renteria, serving as the Director of Operations at The Defense Firm, attended U.C. Davis where she received majors in the areas of Sociology with emphasis in Law and Society and Juvenile Delinquency. She minored in Spanish and accepted into the training program for the FBI. Life led her to decades of experience working for National and International Corporations abroad.

Yadira Ramirez

Office Manager

Jazmin Torres

Case Manager

Stephanie Sanchez

Case Manager

Jon Scott


Jon Scott is a retired Police Sergeant Detective specializing in homicides, burglary, larceny, fraud, and sex crimes. He was dedicated to serving the community for over 30 years. He started his career in 1988 by joining the United States Marine Corps and commanding Marines in combat Operations as a Captain. Jon then joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a police officer in 1993. In 1997, Jon became a Police Detective, conducting countless interviews, interrogations, and crime scene investigations. He spent the last 12 years of his career as a Homicide Detective Sergeant while working at LVMPD. 

His responsibilities during this assignment were the management and investigation of Homicides and Officer Involved Shootings.

Jon’s expertise and experience allow him to pick apart flaws in the case, making sure that no stone is left unturned. Jon adds great value to The Defense Firm in making sure that each person is able to get the best defense possible.

Phil DePalma


Phil DePalma is a retired career law enforcement Officer and Detective with twenty-seven total years of distinguished service. During his years of service as a Police Officer, Phil gained valuable knowledge and experience conducting intense investigations involving Homicides, Sexual Assaults, Violent Crimes, Child and Elderly Abuse, Exploitations, Missing Persons, Narcotics, and more. His tenure also included extensive knowledge and experience working internal theft and embezzlement as well as Force Investigations involving Police use of force.

With approximately six years of uniformed patrol and 21 years of investigative experience, Phil is extremely knowledgeable with not only Police tactics and procedures, but is more than proficient in crime scene investigations, search warrants, cell phone technology, interviews and interrogations, surveillance, and more. Working high profile cases involving sexual assaults and homicides, Phil gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience with report writing, documentation, and court testimony. Phil’s solve rate in homicide was documented among the best.

The Defense Firm is privileged to have Phil work with us on many cases to help defend our client’s rights. Phil goes through every case with a fined tuned comb so that nothing in your case is missed. His distinguished background aids in our ability to get the best possible outcome for your case.

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