“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
It is the dawn of a new era in Nevada state civil court discovery. The Nevada Supreme Court has adopted the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure-style proportionality standard for determining the appropriate scope of discovery. Gone are the days of discussions over whether discovery is “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” But is the proportionality standard really new? Or is it just in vogue again? This article discusses cases decided in the Nevada U.S. District Court and elsewhere that should inform how practitioners implement Rule 26 of the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure. They read as a cautionary tale.
The 2019 amended Rule 26 says:
(b) Discovery Scope and Limits.
(1) Scope. Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claims or defenses and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant information, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable. (more…)
Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell issued Administrative Order 19-03 on behalf of the Eighth Judicial District Court on March 12, 2019. It suspends many Eighth Judicial District Court Rules which are in conflict with the amended NRCP. The purpose of the order is stated:
[f]or the benefit of the bar and to ease confusion until the EJDC amends its local rules to conform to the amended NRCP, NRAP, and NEFCR, the EJDC finds it necessary to suspend or modify certain District Court Rules. Additionally, to the extent any other rule of the Eighth Judicial District Court conflicts with the revised NRCP, NRAP, and NEFCR, the NRCP, NRAP, and NEFCR control.
The Order alters the rules as follows until the EDCR can be amended (the stricken language below is suspended by the Order):
Rule 1.14. Time; judicial days; service by mail.
As of today, counsel filing a complaint in Nevada must provide the court with a “short and plain statement of the grounds for the court’s jurisdiction, unless the court already has jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional support”. NRCP 8(a)(1). A reader inquired what a jurisdictional statement should look like. I gave him some ideas, then promised I would follow up. This is my effort to do that.
If you are familiar with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and practice in federal court, this concept is not new to you. But if you only practice in Nevada’s state courts, the concept of providing the court with a jurisdictional statement may take some time. The following is a non-exhaustive list of sample jurisdictional statements that you might find useful when pleading a claim in Nevada. All circumstances vary and you should conduct your own research before determining that any of these apply to your claim.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to Nev. Const. art. VI, § 6, as this Court has original jurisdiction in all cases not assigned to the justices’ courts.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to Nev. Const. art. VI, § 6, as this Court has original jurisdiction over matters involving title to real property.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to Nevada’s Long Arm Statute, NRS 14.065. Nonresident Defendant(s) [INSERT NAME(S)] availed [HIMSELF/HERSELF/ITSELF] of opportunities to conduct business in the State of Nevada, establishing minimum contacts with the forum, and [IS/ARE] therefore subject to personal jurisdiction in Nevada on claim(s) arising out of that contact.
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 4.370(1), as the matter in controversy exceeds $15,000, exclusive of attorney’s fees, interest, and costs.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 118C.220, as Plaintiff combines an action for summary eviction of a tenant from commercial premises with a claim to recover contractual damages in an amount in excess of $15,000, exclusive of attorney’s fees, interest, and costs.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 38.243, as this matter seeks an order confirming an arbitration award and entry of a judgment on the confirmed award.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 3.0199, as the controversy concerns a matter arising from or relating to the administration of the Humboldt River Decree. Venue is proper in the [SIXTH/ELEVENTH] Judicial District Court pursuant to NRS 3.0199.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 598A.090, as the controversy concerns violations of the provisions of NRS Chapter 598A for Unfair Trade Practices.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 78.605, as the controversy seeks the appointment of a trustee or custodian of a dissolved corporation.
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 78.650, as plaintiff(s) hold(s) at least one-tenth of the issued and outstanding stock of [COMPANY NAME], and this matter seeks an injunction or appointment of a receiver over [COMPANY NAME].
This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to NRS 685B.040, as the controversy concerns violations of the provisions of NRS Chapter 685B.