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In this breach of contract action the Supreme Court reversed the portion of the district court's judgment awarding attorney fees as special damages, holding that attorney fees incurred by a plaintiff in bringing a two-party breach-of-contract claim against a defendant do not constitute special damages under the limited exceptions recognized by the Court. While Nevada adheres to the American Rule of attorney fees, the Supreme Court has recognized a narrow and limited exception for attorney fees as special damages. In the instant case, Plaintiffs brought an action against Defendants alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and an accounting. The district court found in favor of Plaintiffs and awarded Plaintiffs attorney fees as special damages and because they were the prevailing parties pursuant to the contract. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding (1) attorney fees was properly awarded based on the parties' contractual prevailing party provision; but (2) the district court erred in awarding Plaintiffs attorney fees as special damages for the two-party breach-of-contract action. The Court remanded the matter because the prevailing parties may be entitled to additional attorney fees in light of this opinion. View "Pardee Homes of Nevada v. Wolfram" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts

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In this action to quiet title to real property the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the homeowner, holding that the homeowner complied with the redemption statute allowing homeowners, holders of a recorded security interest, and successors in interest to redeem property within a sixty-day time frame after a homeowners' association (HOA) foreclosure sale. Appellant purchased property owned by Homeowner at an HOA foreclosure sale. Within sixty days of the foreclosure sale, Homeowner notified Nevada Association Services (NAS), the entity that conducted the sale, that he intended to redeem the property pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.31166(3). Homeowner provided the redemption amount, and Appellant received a check for the full redemption amount. Appellant, however, rejected the check. Appellant brought this action seeking quiet title to the property. The district court granted summary judgment to Homeowner, terminated the foreclosure sale, and quieted title in favor of Homeowner. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) NAS complied with the plain language of section 116.31166(3), whether or not it explicitly invoked the statute; and (2) Homeowner substantially complied with the HOA foreclosure sale notice of redemption provision. View "Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9050 W Warm Springs 2079 v. Nevada Ass'n Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Appellant's postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus, holding that the district court did not err in rejecting Appellant's argument that the credits Appellant earns under Nev. Rev. Stat. 209.4465 must be applied to the minimum term of his enhancement sentence. In denying Appellant's habeas petition, the district court held that the applicable sentencing statute specified a minimum term that Appellant had to serve before becoming eligible for parole, and therefore, section 209.4465(7)(b) precluded Respondent from applying the statutory credits to the minimum term of Appellant's enhancement sentence. On appeal, Appellant argued that the sentencing statute is silent as to parole eligibility, and therefore, the district court erred. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the statute that specified the sentence for Defendant's primary offense of second-degree murder also specified the sentence for the weapon enhancement, and that statute specified a minimum term that Appellant had to serve before becoming eligible for parole. View "Perez v. Warden" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of Respondents, a real estate appraisal company and a professional real estate appraiser, as to Appellants' allegations that Respondents' negligence prevented them from refinancing their home loan, holding that Appellants' claims lacked evidentiary support and were based on little more than conclusory allegations and accusations. After purchasing a home, Appellants brought this action against Respondents asserting claims for professional negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of the statutory duty to disclose a material fact, and breach of contract as third-party beneficiaries. Specifically, Appellants alleged that Respondents negligently relied on inaccurate information in calculating the home's size and market value, which resulted in a misleading appraisal report and inflated purchase price. The district court granted summary judgment for Respondents. The Supreme Court affirmed and took the opportunity of this case to emphasize the important role of summary judgment in promoting sound judicial economy. View "Boesiger v. Desert Appraisals, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this homeowner's association (HOA) lien foreclosure dispute the Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the district court holding that a lien foreclosure sale extinguished the first deed of trust and quieting title in favor of the foreclosure sale buyer's successor, holding that a remand was required to determine whether, given a notice defect, the first deed of trust holder deserved relief from the sale. The HOA in this case did not give the first deed of trust holder the notice of default required by Nevada law to foreclose a superpriority lien. The district court quieted title in favor of the foreclosure sale buyer's successor despite the HOA's failure, finding that the first deed of trust holder was not entitled to notice at the address specified in the deed of trust. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the district court erred when it ruled that the first deed of trust holder was not entitled to notice of default because it had not requested it; (2) the failure to mail the first deed of trust holder the notice of default at the address given for it in the recorded deed of trust violated Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.31168 and Nev. Rev. Stat. 107.090(3); and (3) the district court erred in finding that the foreclosure sale buyer was a bona fide purchaser for value. View "U.S. Bank, National Ass'n ND v. Resources Group, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion to make three predicate findings necessary to petition to petition the federal government for special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) status after awarding sole physical custody of A.A. to Appellant, holding that a child custody order satisfies the dependency or custody prong for SIJ predicate findings. The district court concluded that Appellant did not satisfy the first two predicate SIJ findings because the court did not "appoint" Appellant to have custody over A.A. and that Appellant did not prove that A.A. was unable to reunify with both parents, rather than with just her father. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a child custody order can satisfy the first predicate SIJ finding requiring a person to be "appointed" to have custody over a juvenile; (2) the second predicate SIJ finding can be made where reunification is not viable with one parent due to abuse, abandonment, neglect, or other similar basis under Nevada law; and (3) because the district court reached the opposite conclusions and failed to determine whether the third predicate was met, the case must be remanded for further adjudication. View "Amaya v. Rivera" on Justia Law

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In this case requiring the correct interpretation of the garbage lien statute, Nev. Rev. Stat. 444.520, and the procedures required to perfect and foreclose on a garbage lien the Supreme Court held that the reference to the mechanics' lien statute in Nev. Rev. Stat. 444.520(3) incorporates only the mechanics' lien statute's procedural requirements for foreclosure, as set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. 108.226 and that no limitations period applies to the foreclosure of a garbage lien. The district court concluded that Appellant, a municipal waste company, did not properly record a garbage lien because it failed to record it within ninety days of the completion of the work. Alternatively, the district court held that Appellant could not foreclose on its liens because a two-year limitations period applied. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the court erred in applying both the lien perfection requirements set forth in section 108.226 and the two-year statute of limitations set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 11.190(4)(b) to the foreclosure of those liens under section 444.520; and (2) a garbage lien is not subject to the statute of limitations, and therefore, Appellant may foreclose upon such a lien at any time so long as it properly perfects the lien under section 444.520(4). View "Waste Management of Nevada, Inc. v. West Taylor Street, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Utilities Law

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In this legal malpractice action the Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court dismissing Appellants' claims, holding that the district court erred by finding that Appellants' claims against Respondents were time barred by Nevada's statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims. Appellants filed a complaint in Nevada's federal district court claiming legal malpractice as to Charles Damus, Esq. The federal court granted Damus' motion to dismiss. While the federal action was ongoing Appellants entered into a legal services agreement with Respondents. Appellants later filed a malpractice complaint in state court against Respondents arguing that Respondents failed to sue Damus in state court. At issue was the interplay between Nevada's litigation malpractice tolling rule and 28 U.S.C. 1367(d), a federal tolling statute, on a legal malpractice claim. The district court granted Respondents' motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court held (1) 28 U.S.C. 1367(d) tolled claims brought by Appellants only until the claims were dismissed, and therefore, the district court erred by finding that Appellants' claims against Damus were tolled until the remaining claims in the federal action were also dismissed; and (2) the litigation malpractice tolling rule did not apply to the claims against Respondents, and therefore, the district court erred by finding that Appellants' claims against Respondents were time-barred. View "Kim v. Dickinson Wright, PLLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction for sexual assault but upheld his remaining convictions for other sexually-related counts, including attempted sexual assault, holding that there was insufficient evidence for the sexual assault conviction. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that the district court erred when it allowed the victim to testify by two-way audiovisual transmission in violation of his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment and that the district court erred in convicting him of both sexual assault and attempted sexual assault because they were based on the same underlying conduct. The Supreme Court held (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing the victim, who was admitted to an out-of-state residential treatment center, to testify by two-way audiovisual transmission at trial; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in proceeding to trial without holding a competency hearing; and (3) the State should have charged the sexual assault and attempted sexual assault counts in the alternative, which it did not, and the district court compounded the error by convicting Defendant of both counts. View "Lipsitz v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting judicial review of the decision of the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration Review Board to overturn a workplace safety citation on the basis that Employer lacked knowledge of the violative conduct, holding that the Review Board properly overturned the citation for lack of Employer knowledge. Employer challenged a citation issued for a workplace safety violation based on violative conduct of a supervisor, arguing that Employer did not have actual knowledge of the violative conduct or that the supervisor's violative conduct was foreseeable under the circumstances presented. The Review Board held a hearing on Employer's complaint and concluded that Respondent, Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NOSHA), failed to demonstrate a violation of OSHA law. The district court reversed the order, holding that the Review Board lacked sufficient evidence to support its factual findings and legal conclusions. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that substantial evidence supported the Review Board's conclusion that NOSHA failed to demonstrate Employer's knowledge of the violative conduct at issue in this case. View "Original Roofing Co. v. Chief Administrative Officer of Occupational Safety & Health Administration" on Justia Law