Articles Posted in Civil Procedure

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s order awarding attorney fees and costs to Defendant on its counterclaim after the court determined Defendant to be the “prevailing party” following bifurcated trials, in which the parties settled as to damages on Plaintiff’s claims in an amount that exceeded Defendant’s damages judgment on its counterclaim. Specifically, the Court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion by failing to aggregate the settlement recovery and damages award in this case because (1) there is no Nevada statute or court rule that requires the trial court to offset a damages judgment on one party’s counterclaim by the amount recovered by another party in settling its claim to determine which side is the prevailing party; and (2) the most reasonable interpretation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 18.010(2)(a) and 18.020(3) precludes the use of settlement recovery for this purpose. View "Northern Nevada Homes, LLC v. GL Construction, Inc." on Justia Law

by
An attorney for a public body must have authorization from the client in a public meeting prior to filing a notice of appeal. Fred Voltz filed an ethics complaint, termed a request for opinion (RFO), against two assemblymen with the State of Nevada Commission on Ethics. The assemblymen sought dismissal, but the Commission denied the motion to dismiss. The assemblymen then filed a petition for judicial review. The district court granted the petition and directed the Commission to dismiss the RFOs. On the advice of the Commission’s legal counsel and without consulting the Commission, the chair and executive chair authorized the filing of a notice of appeal. Thereafter, the notice of appeal was filed. The assemblymen filed suit against the Commission alleging that the Commission violated the open meeting law by filing a notice of appeal without first making its decision or taking action to appeal the district court’s order in a public meeting. Thereafter, the Commission held an open meeting and voted in favor of appealing the district court’s order directing the Commission to dismiss the RFOs. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because the notice of appeal was filed without Commission authorization. View "State Commission on Ethics v. Hansen" on Justia Law

by
The failure to name a party of record in the caption of a petition for judicial review is not jurisdictionally fatal under Nev. Rev. Stat. 233B.130(2)(a) where the party is named in the body of the petition and is properly served with the petition. Appellant, a former corrections officer employed by the State of Nevada, Department of Corrections (NDOC), filed a workers’ compensation claim. Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. (CCMSI), as NDOC’s third-party administrator, denied Appellant’s claim. An appeals officer affirmed. Appellant then filed a petition for judicial review. The caption of the petition listed as respondents NDOC and the Department of Administration but did not individually identify CCMSI. The district court dismissed Appellant’s petition for judicial review for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Appellant’s failure to name CCMSI in the caption of the petition did not render the petition jurisdictionally defective because the body of the petition named CCMSI through incorporation by reference of the attached administrative decision and CCMSI was timely served with the petition. View "Prevost v. State, Department of Administration" on Justia Law

by
While the parties in this child custody dispute asked the Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of Nev. Rev. Stat. 1.310, the Court declined to do so because the issues between the parties had been resolved, and therefore, the case was moot. David Degraw filed a motion for a continuance of a custody hearing pursuant to Nevada’s legislative continuance statute, section 1.310 because his attorney was a member of the Nevada State Assembly and the 2017 legislative session was about to begin. Misty Degraw opposed David’s request, arguing that the statute was unconstitutional because it violated the separation of powers doctrine. The district court (1) granted David’s motion for a continuance, (2) ordered an evidentiary hearing for a date during the legislative session, and (3) concluded that section 1.310 was unconstitutional. David then filed this writ petition arguing that the statute is unconstitutional as applied. The Supreme Court denied the petition as moot because the custody dispute in the underlying proceeding was resolved, and this case did not fall into the exception to mootness for cases that are capable of repetition yet evading review. View "Degraw v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

by
Here, the Supreme Court adopted the common interest rule that allows attorneys to share work product with third parties that have common interest in litigation without waiving the work-product privilege. Petitioner shared purported work-product material through emails with third parties who were intervening plaintiffs in the litigation and were suing the same defendants on similar issues. The district court concluded, without reviewing the emails, that Petitioner must disclose the emails based on his insufficient showing of common interest between him and the intervening plaintiffs. The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition for extraordinary relief and directed the district court to refrain from compelling disclosure of the emails before it conducts an in camera review to establish clear findings concerning the work-product privilege, holding that Petitioner and the intervening Plaintiffs shared common interest in litigation. View "Cotter v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The time limitations set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. 107.080(5)-(6) do not apply to an action challenging a Nev. Rev. Stat. chapter 107 nonjudicial foreclosure where it is alleged that the deed of trust had been extinguished before the sale because such an action challenges the authority to conduct the sale, rather than the manner in which the foreclosure was conducted. Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations in section 107.080(5)-(6) because Plaintiff failed to file its complaint within ninety or 120 days of the deed-of-trust foreclosure sale. The district court granted the motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 107.080(5) only applies to actions challenging the procedural aspects of a nonjudicial deed-of-trust foreclosure sale; and (2) Plaintiff’s action for quiet title in this case was appropriately governed by Nev. Rev. Stat. 11.080, which provides for a five-year statute of limitations. View "Las Vegas Development Group, LLC" on Justia Law

by
Nev. R. Civ. P. 62(d) must be read in conjunction with Nev. R. Civ. P. 62(e) such that, upon motion, state and local government appellants are generally entitled to a stay of a money judgment pending appeal without being required to post a supersedes bond or other security. The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court denying Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner’s motion to stay enforcement of the attorney fees and costs judgment awarded to Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) under Nev. Rev. Stat. 239.011(2) after LVRJ prevailed on its public records request to obtain certain autopsy reports. The Court held that, under rules 62(d) and 62(e), the Coroner’s Office, as a local government entity that moved for a stay, was entitled to a stay of the money judgment without bond or other security as a matter of right. View "Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner v. Las Vegas Review-Journal" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
A Nevada district court’s order denying a motion dismiss was not a final judgment on the issue of demand futility. Therefore, it was proper for the district court to accord preclusive effect to a subsequent final judgment from a foreign court. In this case involving whether a Nevada district court’s order denying a motion to dismiss constituted a final judgment on the issue of demand futility, the Supreme Court held (1) Nevada hereby applies the definition set forth within section 13 of the Restatement (Second) of Judgments, and under the Restatement, a judgment is final within the context of issue preclusion if it is “sufficiently firm” and “procedurally definite” in resolving an issue; and (2) in the instant case, the district court’s order denying Respondents’ motion to dismiss reserved for future determination the issue of demand futility, and therefore, the district court properly held that its prior order did not prohibit it from according preclusive effect to the subsequent order of the federal court. View "Kirsch v. Traber" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The time to appeal outlined in the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure (JCRCP), specifically the five-day period set forth in JCRCP 98, is jurisdictional and mandatory, therefore removing for the district court’s jurisdiction an untimely appeal from justice court. Petitioner filed a small claims complaint against real party in interest Las Vegas Paving Corporation (LVPC). The justice of the peace pro tempore granted Petitioner full relief. LVPC appealed to the district court. Petitioner moved to have the appeal dismissed under JCRCP 98. The district court denied the motion, thereby exerting jurisdiction to hear the matter despite an untimely appeal. Petitioner petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus or prohibition arresting the district court’s improper exercise of jurisdiction or compelling the district court to grant his motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding that because LVPC filed its appeal outside the allotted five-day period, the district court did not have jurisdiction to entertain LVPC’s untimely appeal. View "Southworth v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The Dezzanis own a condominium and are members of the Homeowners' Association (HOA). Kern, an attorney, represents the HOA and advises its governing board. In a dispute regarding an extended deck on the Dezzani unit, the board issued a notice of violation with drafting assistance from Kern. Kern notified the Dezzanis that she represented the HOA. Kern and the Dezzanis exchanged several letters. The board held a hearing and upheld the notice. Throughout this time, Kern advised the HOA regarding the Dezzanis' and other members' deck extensions. The Dezzanis filed suit against Kern under NRS 116.31183, which allows a unit owner to bring a separate action for damages, attorney fees, and costs when an “executive board, a member of an executive board, a community manager or an officer, employee or agent of an association" takes retaliatory action against a unit's owner. The Nevada Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of their action, noting that the Dezzanis did not specify how Kern retaliated against them. An attorney is not an "agent" under NRS 116.31183 for claims of retaliatory action where the attorney is providing legal services for a common-interest community homeowners' association. In a consolidated case, the court held that attorneys litigating pro se and/or on behalf of their law firms cannot recover fees because those fees were not actually incurred by the attorney or the law firm, but they can recover taxable costs in the action. View "Dezzani v. Kern & Associates, Ltd." on Justia Law