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The Supreme Court held that the district court did not err in denying Defendant’s special motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint filed under Nev. Rev. Sta. 41.660(1), Nevada’s anti-SLAPP statute, holding that an attorney’s statement on a website summarizing a jury’s verdict was not a statement in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a judicial body. Under section 41.660(1), a defendant may file a special motion to dismiss a plaintiff’s complaint if the complaint is based on a defendant’s “good faith communication in furtherance of the right to petition or the right to free speech in direct connection with an issue of public concern,” including a “statement made in direct connection with an issue under consideration by a…judicial body.” Plaintiff brought an action asserting defamation per se for the attorney’s statement on a website. The district court denied Defendant’s special motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the statement was not protected under section 41.660. View "Patin v. Lee" on Justia Law

Posted in: Personal Injury

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting Respondent’s motion to dismiss the indictment charging him with violating Nev. Rev. Stat. 212.165(4), holding that that a person who is not a prisoner can be held vicariously liable under section 212.165(4), which prohibits prisoners in jail from possessing a cellphone or other portable telecommunications device. Respondent was an attorney who represented a number of clients in jail. Respondent was indicted on several charges brought pursuant to section 212.165(4) for possession of a cellphone by a prisoner under an aider and abettor theory. Respondent moved to dismiss the charges against her, contending that she could not be charged with or convicted of violating the statute because it only criminalizes conduct by jail prisoners. The district court granted the motion, concluding that only a prisoner can be sentenced under section 212.165(4). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a person can be criminally liable as an aider or abettor under section 212.165(4). View "State v. Plunkett" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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In this dispute between two labor unions over which entity has the right to represent Clark County School District employees as the exclusive bargaining representative, the Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court concluding that the Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board exceeded its statutory authority by ordering a second, discretionary, runoff election with a different vote-counting standard, holding that the Board incorrectly interpreted the governing statute and regulation. In the three elections that have occurred since the dispute in this case arose, the challenging union secured a majority of the votes cast but failed to secure a majority of the members of the bargaining unit. After the last election, the Board deemed the challenging union the winner of the election because the union obtained a majority of the votes cast. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order granting the petition for judicial review, holding (1) the vote-counting standard mandated by Nev. Rev. Stat. 288.160 and Nevada Administrative Code 288.110 is a majority of the members of the bargaining unit and not simply a majority of the votes cast; and (2) therefore, the Board’s interpretation of section 288.160(4) and 288.110 as allowing for the use of a majority-of-the-votes cast standard at the runoff election was improper. View "State, Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board v. Education Support Employees Ass’n" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that a physician’s due process rights do not attach at the investigative stage of a complaint made to the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners (Board), thereby extending the holding in Hernandez v. Bennett-Haron, 287 P.3d 305 (Nev. 2012). Appellant, a physician, filed a writ petition and a motion for injunctive relief in the district court, arguing that the Board violated his due process rights by keeping a complaint filed against him and identity of the complainant confidential during its investigation. The district court denied relief. On appeal, Appellant argued that the Board’s investigative procedures violated his due process rights. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court appropriately applied Hernandez to find that the investigation did not require due process protection because it did not also adjudicate the complaint, and therefore, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Appellant’s motion for a preliminary injunction; and (2) the Board reasonably interpreted Nev. Rev. Stat. 630.336 to mean that the complaint and complainant may be kept confidential from the licensee. View "Sarfo v. State Board of Medical Examiners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed Defendant’s judgment of conviction and remanded this case for further proceedings, holding that the district court erred by denying Defendant’s Batson challenge and by categorically excluding evidence to show that the two young victims had the knowledge to contrive sexual allegations without having experienced the sexual acts with Defendant. Defendant was convicted of lewdness and sexual assault with a minor under the age of fourteen for sexual misconduct involving his girlfriend’s two daughters. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court clearly erred in denying his Batson challenge to the State’s use of a peremptory strike to remove an African-American woman from the venire and in excluding evidence that the two young girls had the ability to contrive sexual allegations. The Supreme Court agreed and reversed and remanded for a new trial, holding that the district court (1) clearly erred in denying Defendant’s Batson challenge; and (2) erred by not conducting an evidentiary hearing before denying Defendant’s motion to admit the evidence regarding the young victims’ sexual knowledge. View "Williams v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting Las Vegas Review-Journal’s amended petition for a writ of mandamus under the Nevada Public Records Act requesting that the district court compel the Clark County School District (CCSD) to disclose certain records requested by the Review-Journal, holding that the district court did not err by ordering disclosure of the records, but reversed the court’s redaction order and remanded this case for further proceedings. At issue was CCSD employee complaints alleging inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment, by an elected trustee. After an investigation was launched into the issue, the Review-Journal sought records regarding the investigation. After reviewing CCSD’s withheld documents and privilege log, the district court granted the Review-Journal’s writ of mandamus regarding the withheld records. In its redaction order, the district court only ordered that the names of direct victims of sexual harassment or alleged sexual harassment, students, and support staff may be redacted. The Supreme Court noted that the list excluded teachers or witnesses that may face backlash for being part of the investigation and then adopted a two-part burden-shifting test to determine the scope of redaction of names of persons identified in the investigative report with nontrivial privacy claims and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Clark County School District v. Las Vegas Review-Journal" on Justia Law

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In this public records request matter, the Supreme Court held that the Nevada Public Records Act requires the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (PERS) to disclose certain employment and pension payment information held in its computer database about its government retirees where the requested information merely requires searching a database for existing information, is readily accessible and not confidential, and the alleged risks posed by disclosure do not outweigh the benefits of the public’s interest in access to the records. In the instant matter, the district court required disclosure of the requested information. The Supreme Court held (1) PERS failed to demonstrate the requested information was confidential by statute; (2) the risks posed by the disclosure did not clearly outweigh the benefits of the public’s interest in access to the records; and (3) the requested information did not require the creation of a new record. The Court remanded for the district court to determine an appropriate way for PERS to comply with the request where the computer database may no longer be able to produce the information as it existed when the public records request was made. View "Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada v. Nevada Policy Research Institute, Inc." on Justia Law

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In this matter where the adoptive family of a young child sought to have Nev. Rev. Stat. 432B.550(5)(a)’s rebuttable presumption that a dependent child’s placement with a sibling is in the child’s best interes- applied in determining the out-of-home placement of her biological baby sister, the Supreme Court granted in part Petitioners’ petition for extraordinary relief, holding that adoption does not preclude application of the legislative presumption that placing siblings together is in a child’s best interest. Amy Mulkern, the adoptive mother of Baby’s biological half-sister, Vivian Mulkern, was a willing and approved placement option for Baby. The Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS), however, determined that Baby had bonded with and should remain with her foster parents, who were also willing to adopt. Amy sought relief in the district court dependency proceeding. The district court determined that Vivian’s adoption severed the sibling relationship such that section 432B.550(5)(a)’s sibling presumption did not apply. The Supreme Court granted Amy and Vivian’s petition for extraordinary relief, holding that because Amy was the mother of Baby’s biological sister, the rebuttable sibling presumption applied. View "Mulkern v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed a district court order denying a pro se plaintiff’s (Plaintiff) motion to set aside the judgment under Nev. R. Civ. P. 60(b) that was filed five months and three weeks after the court dismissed Plaintiff’s case, holding that the district court’s decision was not an abuse of discretion. Plaintiff sued Fiesta Palms, LLC (Defendant) for injuries he sustained at the Fiesta Palms sportsbook. Plaintiff appeared pro se at several hearings. The district court eventually granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss in an order stating that Defendant’s motion was unopposed and therefore deemed meritorious. Five months and three weeks later, Plaintiff moved to set aside the district court’s order of dismissal pursuant to Rule 60(b), recounting his efforts to obtain legal representation. The district court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying relief to Plaintiff, an unrepresented litigant who knowingly neglected procedural requirements and then failed promptly to move for relief. View "Rodriguez v. Fiesta Palms, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s lawsuit, holding (1) the tooth injury that Plaintiff sustained during an emergency hysterectomy was not “directly involved” or “proximate” to her hysterectomy that required an endotracheal intubation to safely anesthetize her; and (2) therefore, Plaintiff was not required to attach a medical expert’s affidavit to her complaint. Plaintiff’s tooth injury was allegedly caused by the actions of an anesthesiologist who performed an endotracheal intubation on Plaintiff. Plaintiff sued the anesthesiologist and the hospital where she received the hysterectomy to recover for damages to her tooth. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the complaint must be dismissed pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 41A.071 because it was not accompanied by a supporting affidavit from a medical expert. The district court concluded that the section 41A.071 affidavit requirement applied to all of Plaintiff’s claims and dismissed her case. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that dismissal of Plaintiff’s suit was unwarranted. View "Dolorfino v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada" on Justia Law