Litigation

Rule 12(f) provides that a court “may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). “[M]otions to strike should not be granted unless it is clear that the matter to be stricken could have no possible bearing on the subject matter of the litigation.” Colaprico v. Sun Microsys., Inc., 758 F. Supp. 1335, 1339 (N.D. Cal. 1991).

“Courts will not grant motions to strike unless ‘convinced that there are no questions of fact, that any questions of law are clear and not in dispute, and that under no set of circumstances could the claim or defense succeed.’”  Novick v. UNUM Life Ins. Co. of America, 570 F.Supp.2d 1207, 1208 (C.D. Cal. 2008) (quoting RDF Media Ltd. v. Fox Broad. Co., 372 F. Supp. 2d 556, 561 (C.D. Cal. 2005)).  “When ruling on a motion to strike, this Court ‘must view the pleading under attack in the light most favorable to the pleader.” Id. (citing RDF Media Ltd., 372 F. Supp. 2d at 561).  “Motions to strike apply only to pleadings, and courts are unwilling to construe the rule broadly and refuse to strike motions, briefs, objections, affidavits, or exhibits attached thereto.” Foley v. Pont, No. 11cv1769-ECR-VCF, 2013 WL 782856, at *4 (D. Nev. Mar. 1, 2013); Caldwell v. Smith, No. 94-3066-CO, 1995 WL 555080, at *1 (D. Or. Sept. 1, 1995) (denying motion to strike since motion to dismiss is not a pleading). (more…)

“The court looks with disfavor on motions to exceed page limits, so permission to do so will not be routinely granted.”  LR 7-3(c).

 

[INSERT CAPTION]

 

[PARTY NAME] hereby moves this Court, pursuant to Rule 7-3 of this Court’s Local Rules of Civil Procedure, for an Order granting [INSERT PARTY NAME] leave to file [NAME OF MOTION] in excess of twenty pages. In support of this motion, [INSERT PARTY NAME] states as follows:

  1. Local Rule 7-3 provides, in relevant part, that “[r]eply briefs and points and authorities shall be limited to twenty (20) pages, excluding exhibits.”
  2. [INSERT PARTY NAME] filed its [NAME OF MOTION] on [DATE] (Docket No. [NUMBER]). [INSERT PARTY NAME]’s [NAME OF MOTION] totals approximately [PAGES] pages.
  3. [INSERT PARTY NAME] has made every effort to be both brief and complete in its reply memorandum, as required by Local Rule 7-4. Because of [REASONS JUSTIFYING THE NEED FOR A LENGTHY PLEADING], [INSERT PARTY NAME] respectfully submits that a presentation of all the relevant facts and legal arguments requires greater length than permitted in a standard-length reply memorandum.  [INSERT FACTS AND REASONS FOR THE MOTION IN COMPLIANCE WITH LR 7-3(c)].

WHEREFORE, [INSERT PARTY NAME] respectfully requests

  1. That this Court allow [INSERT PARTY NAME] to file its [NAME OF MOTION] in excess of twenty (20) pages; and
  2. That this Court accept the [NAME OF MOTION] filed by [INSERT PARTY NAME] (Docket No. [NUMBER]), which is in excess of twenty (20) pages.

[DATE]

Respectfully submitted,

[COUNSEL NAME]

IT IS SO ORDERED:

________________________________

UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

DATED: ________________________

The law in Nevada has consistently held that a superseding intervening cause is an interfering act that overcomes the original culpable act, and where the intervening act is an unforeseeable, independent, non-concurrent cause of the injury. Thomas v. Bokelman, 86 Nev. 10, 13, 462 P.2d 1020, 1022 (1970) (a negligence action will not stand when there is an intervening cause that in and of itself is “the natural and logical cause of the harm.”).  In effect, the intervening cause must break the chain of causation.

In the case of Milwaukee and St. Paul Ry. Co. v. Kellogg, 94 U.S. 469, 24 L. Ed. 256, Mr. Justice Strong, speaking for the supreme Court of the United States, said:  “In the nature of things, there is in every transaction a succession of events more or less dependent upon those preceding, and it is the province of a jury to look at this succession of events or facts and ascertain whether they are naturally and probably connected with each other by a continuous sequence or are dissevered by new and independent agencies, and this must be determined in view of the circumstances existing at the time.”

Konig v. C.C.O. Ry., 36 Nev 181, 212, 135 P. 141, (1913).

Complying with the Meet and Confer Requirement in Nevada Discovery Disputes

Nevada law requires that counsel, before filing a motion regarding a discovery dispute, meet and confer in an attempt to resolve the matter without court intervention.  This article discusses the requirements of that obligation, together with the mechanics of how the parties must be prove compliance with the requirement to the court.

The Eighth Judicial Court Rule (“EDCR”) 2.34 provides, in relevant part:

(d) Discovery motions may not be filed unless an affidavit of moving counsel is attached thereto setting forth that after a discovery dispute conference or a good faith effort to confer, counsel have been unable to resolve the matter satisfactorily. A conference requires either a personal or telephone conference between or among counsel. Moving counsel must set forth in the affidavit what attempts to resolve the discovery dispute were made, what was resolved and what was not resolved, and the reasons therefor. If a personal or telephone conference was not possible, the affidavit shall set forth the reasons.

(more…)

Can the Confidential Documents of a Non-Party be Subpoenaed?

If you have documents which require that you hold them in confidence, but receive a subpoena requiring the disclosure of those documents, can you withhold the documents?  In this situation, non-parties served with a subpoena can file a timely objection and ask the court to quash or modify the subpoena to protect them from disclosing privileged or protected matter, trade secrets or confidential commercial information.  See Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(3); see also United States v. Fed’n of Physicians & Dentists, Inc., 63 F. Supp. 2d 475, 479 (D. Del. 1999).

A confidentiality requirement alone is generally not sufficient to warrant a protective order. “[P]rivate confidentiality agreements do not preclude the production of documents for the purpose of discovery.”  In re C.R. Bard, Inc. Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation, 287 F.R.D 377, 384 (S.D. W.Va. 2012) (citing Zoom Imaging, L.P. v. St. Luke’s Hosp. and Health Network, 513 F.Supp.2d 411, 417 (E.D.Pa.2007); Niester v. Moore, No. 08–5160, 2009 WL 2179356, at *3 (E.D.Pa. July 22, 2009)). (more…)

Rule 45 Requires That a Party Imposing an Undue Financial Burden on a Third Party Must    Reimburse its Costs

Rule 45 provides that “[a] party or attorney responsible for issuing and serving a subpoena must take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to the subpoena.”  Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(d)(1).  Discoverable information from a non-party is construed more narrowly, and is weighed against the potential prejudice to the non-party.  See Laxalt v. McClatchy, 116 F.R.D. 455, 458 (D.Nev.1986) (“The standards for non-party discovery … require a stronger showing of relevance than for simple party discovery.”); Litton Indus., Inc. v. Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co., 129 F.R.D. 528, 529-30 (E. D. Wis. 1990) (providing that “records of non-party shipbuilder concerning ship construction” were germane to establishing ship construction costs for damage purposes and would not prejudice the producing non-party; however, the other vast categories of  documents sought regarding business operations were not discoverable from the non-party).  The rules require that the courts be sensitive to the costs imposed on third parties, protecting them against significant cost.  Watts v. S.E.C., 482 F.3d 501, 509, 375 U.S.App.D.C. 409, 417 (D.C. Cir. 2007). (more…)

Abuse of Process Claim Requires an Allegation of Abusive Acts After the Filing of a Claim

An abuse of process claim in Nevada has two fundamental elements: (1) an ulterior purpose, and (2) a willful act in the use of the process not proper in the regular conduct of a proceeding.  Executive Mgmt. Ltd. v. Ticor Title Ins. Co., 114 Nev. 823, 843, 963 P.2d 465, 478 (1998).  The action for abuse of process hinges on the misuse of regularly-issued process.  Nevada Credit Rating Bureau, Inc. v. Williams, 88 Nev. 601, 606, 503 P.2d 9 (1972).

The mere filing of a complaint itself is insufficient to establish the tort of abuse of process.  Hampton v. Nustar Managment Financial Group, Dist. Court, (D. Nev. 2007); Laxalt v. McClatchy, 622 F. Supp. 737, 752 (D. Nev. 1985).  Instead, the complaining party must include some allegation of abusive measures taken after the filing of the complaint in order to state a claim.  Id.  Merely alleging that an opposing party has a malicious motive in commencing a lawsuit does not give rise to a cause of action for abuse of process.  Id.; Curiano v. Suozzi, 469 N.E.2d 1324, 1326 (N.Y. 1984). (more…)

Besides obtaining information from an adverse witness regarding the events which are the subject of the suit, you should also try understand how this witness will attack your claims.  Finally, you should attempt to do what you can to turn the witness into a witness for your case.  There is certain information you can get from each witness that allows you to attack the witness at trial.   Explore lines of questioning designed to elicit the following:

  1. What information must the witness admit?
  2. What information shows bias or impeaches the witness’ credibility?
  3. On what items may the witness’ testimony be limited (didn’t hear or see or experience X, Y, and Z)?
  4. Where is the witness weak?
  5. What does the witness know that agrees with your case?

Nevada Standards of Review on Appeal—A Digest

Abuse of Discretion

In General

“An abuse of discretion is a plain error, discretion exercised to an end not justified by the evidence, a judgment that is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts as are found.”  Rabkin v. Oregon Health Sciences Univ., 350 F.3d 967, 977 (9th Cir. 2003) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); In re Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd., 642 F.3d 685, 698 n.11 (9th Cir. 2011).

Under the abuse of discretion standard, a reviewing court cannot reverse absent a definite and firm conviction that the district court committed a clear error of judgment in the conclusion it reached upon a weighing of relevant factors.  McCollough v. Johnson, Rodenburg & Lauinger, LLC, 637 F.3d 939, 953 (9th Cir. 2011); Valdivia v. Schwarzenegger, 599 F.3d 984, 988 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing SEC v. Coldicutt, 258 F.3d 939, 941 (9th Cir. 2001)); Harman v. Apfel, 211 F.3d 1172, 1175 (9th Cir. 2000) (noting reversal under abuse of discretion standard is possible only “when the appellate court is convinced firmly that the reviewed decision lies beyond the pale of reasonable justification under the circumstances”). (more…)

 Readiness Checklist for Mediation:

Eight Things You Should Discuss With Your Client Before Mediation

The Mediation Process

  • For a printer-friendly version of this checklist, click here
  • What is mediation and how is it different from court or arbitration?
  • Why should the client consider mediation?
  • What is the mediator’s role?
  • What is the client’s role in mediation?
  • Who may attend the mediation?
  • Confidentiality in mediation
  • Discuss joint and separate sessions (also called caucuses)
  • Discuss whether an apology to or from a party might be appropriate
  • Discuss whether the client will speak directly with the mediator and/or the other party
  • Discuss whether an opening presentation at mediation is desirable or appropriate
  • Are there desirable non-monetary solutions, such as future business or payment in-kind?

(more…)

Can an Arbitrator be Removed During the Pendency of an Arbitration?

What do you do if you feel that the arbitrator appointed to hear your dispute isn’t providing a fair and impartial atmosphere in which your matter can be heard?  Can you challenge the Arbitrator before he or she makes the final decision in the matter?  What cause is sufficient to have an arbitrator removed?  As is the case with so many questions in the law, the answer is: it depends.  For the most part, parties to an arbitration who feel there is cause to remove an arbitrator are better off if it is a proceeding under the rules of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) or JAMS than if it a proceeding governed under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) or the Revised Uniform Arbitration Act (“RUAA”). (more…)

Standard Alternative Dispute Resolution (Arbitration and Mediation) Clauses

I often hear litigators and clients complaining that the process of arbitration is flawed and does not deliver on its aspirations to provide a cheaper, quicker alternative to litigation in court.  My response is that they are not really upset with the process of arbitration or mediation, but with the person who drafted the Alternative Dispute Resolution clause in their contract.  The Arbitrator must administer the arbitration proceed pursuant to how the parties wrote the agreement.  Therefore, as I wrote in this post, if you want a better process, write a better contract.  I have endeavored to provide both my preferred standard ADR clause (with explanations), but also some alternative model arbitration, mediation, and ADR clauses from other trusted sources.  The drafter should determine the process which will best benefit each client and draft the clause accordingly.

The italicized language below explains the rationale behind clauses and why one might choose that clause over another alternative.[1] (more…)

Confidential business information automatically becomes protected in the law once the statutory definition in NRS 600A.030 is met.  There is no requirement that the parties expressly identify the information as a “trade secret”.  Should a dispute arise as to the use of the information, determining whether the information used is protected is a matter of applying the statutory definition as a question of fact. Frantz v. Johnson, 116 Nev. 455, 465 n. 4, 999 P.2d 351, 358 n. 4 (2000).

 

Courts may consider, however, such factors as: (1) the extent to which the information is ascertainable from sources outside the business and the ease with which it can be obtained; (2) whether the information was confidential or secret or was treated as such by the business; and (3) the employee’s knowledge of the confidential information and whether the same was known by competitors.  Id., 116 Nev. at 467, 999 P.2d at 358-59.  The business is presumed to make reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of information that is marked “Confidential” or “Private” in a reasonably noticeable manner.  This presumption may only be overcome by clear and convincing evidence that the owner did not take reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of the information.  NRS 600A.032.

Jay Young | Las Vegas, Nevada | Mediator

Mediation: Seven Things You Should Discuss With Your Client Before Mediation

Readiness Checklist for Mediation

Counsel should consider discussing the matters below with their client prior to mediating a litigated matter.  Doing so will better prepare the client and counsel for the mediation itself and will improve the opportunity for resolution at mediation.   For a printer-friendly version of this article, click here.

Explain the Process of Mediation

Selecting a Mediator

  • Discuss the desired education, experience, and background of your mediator. Is subject matter expertise really necessary, or are mediator skills more important?
  • Describe how the mediator selection process works (if specified by contract or otherwise)
  • Determine whether an evaluative or facilitative mediator would be best for this case

Explain How the Status of the Dispute Influences the Mediation Process

  • Has suit/arbitration been filed?
  • Is trial/arbitration looming?
    • How long will trial/arbitration take to a final resolution?
    • Have there been any continuances?
    • Is the tribunal likely to grant a request for a continuance from the other side, further delaying the matter?
  • Are there pending dispositive motions before the court/arbitrator which create some risk?
    • How should that risk inform the client’s decision-making?
    • Discuss your honest assessment of chances of success on the pending motion
    • Whether mediation is more likely to be successful with the risk hanging over the parties’ heads (creating uncertainty) or after a decision is made (may be too late or the client could spend more money for the court to “punt” on the matter until trial).
  • Has the judge/arbitrator made any preliminary decision in the dispute?
    • Has the judge/arbitrator indicated an early assessment of either party or their case?
    • Either explicitly or implicitly?
  • What is the status of discovery?
    • How much is completed?
    • Are party depositions completed?
    • Discuss your honest assessment of the other party as a witness and likely impact they will have as a witness on decision by judge/jury;
    • Discuss your honest assessment of your client as a witness and likely impact they will have as a witness on decision by judge/jury;
    • What discovery needs to be completed?
    • What is the estimated cost of completing discovery?
    • Are expert witnesses needed?
    • What is the estimated cost of the expert witness through the close of discovery?
    • What is the estimated cost of the expert witness through the end of trial?
  • Regarding previous settlement discussions:
    • What are the impediments to settlement presently?
    • How can the client and counsel best seek the assistance of the mediator to overcome those impediments?

The Impact of Opposing Counsel on the Case and the Mediation

  • Discuss how opposing counsel presents in front of a judge/arbitrator/jury and the likely impact it may have on a decision
  • Discuss how a mediator may assist the parties in dealing with opposing counsel
  • Discuss the opposing counsel’s likely approach to the mediation

Settlement Authority at Mediation

  • Determine your recommendation for a favorable settlement range (please do not discuss a client’s “bottom line” unless you want the client to “anchor” on that number and exhibit inflexibility to move beyond it at mediation)
  • Discuss the pros and cons of settlement at certain dollar ranges
  • What is the likely result for the client on its best day should the matter go to trial?
  • What is the likely result for the client on its worst day should the matter go to trial?
  • What is the likely result for the client on an average day should the matter go to trial?

Anticipated Costs of Litigation or Arbitration

  • What is the likely cost to litigate to resolution (deposition costs, expert fees, attorney fees, etc?)
    • The pre-trial costs
    • The cost to try the case
    • How much has the client spent to date on the litigation
  • Is there a right to appeal an ultimate resolution by the court/arbitrator?
    • Whether an appeal is available only at the end of the case
    • What is the likelihood of either party to appeal should they lose at trial?
  • An estimated of the cost to appeal
    • An estimated time to complete appeal
    • Whether the resolution of the appeal is likely to result in re-trying the matter or a portion of it
  • Cost and Fee-shifting:
    • Are the parties subject to a fee-shifting contractual provision, statute, or rule making an award of fees likely or possible
    • Are litigation costs are recoverable from the other side
    • The extent to which expert fees are recoverable (REMINDER: NRS 18.005 allows only “$1,500 for each witness, unless the court allows a larger fee after determining that the circumstances surrounding the expert’s testimony were of such necessity as to require the larger fee.”)
  • How long it may take for the court or arbitrator to resolve the case

 What Are the Chances of Success at Trial?

  • What is the attorney’s honest assessment of the strength of the plaintiff’s claim, considering both liability and damages?
  • If you obtain a judgment, does the defendant have assets available for collection?
  • What is the attorney’s honest assessment of the strength of the opposing case?
  • The likelihood that the trial will bring adverse publicity
  • Discuss the risks of an adverse judgment, including:
    • The availability of adequate liability insurance
    • The availability of adequate funds or assets to satisfy a judgment
    • Whether a judgment jeopardizes the survival of the client’s business

Jay Young is a mediator in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Partnership by Estoppel in Nevada

Partnership by estoppel is a statutory recognition that someone “represents himself or herself, or consents to another representing him or her to any one, as a partner” and should therefore be held responsible as a partnership under the law.  NRS 87.160(1).  A partner is an association of two or more persons doing business together for a profit.  NRS 87.060(1).

In other words, if I tell someone that you are my partner and you agree or do not correct me, that person has the right to presume we are acting as a partnership.  In a partnership, the partners have unlimited personal liability for the acts of the partnership and the acts of  their partners, so holding oneself out as a partner can have huge legal implications.  NRS 87.433.   Nevada’s Supreme Court has held that the consent to be treated as a partnership may be reasonably implied from the conduct of the parties.

The Moral: unless you want to have unlimited liability for the acts of that person, don’t say they are your partner.

How Does a Party Prosecute an Action for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets?

NRS 600A.030(2) defines “misappropriation” as:

(a) Acquisition of the trade secret of another by a person by improper means;

(b) Acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means; or

(c) Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who:

(1)  Used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret;

(2)  At the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that his knowledge of the trade secret was:

(I) Derived from or through a person who had used improper means to acquire it;

(II)  Acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or

(III)  Derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or

(3)  Before a material change of his position, knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake.

NRS 600A.040 provides injunctive relief for the actual or threatened misappropriation of trade secrets, stating;

  1. Actual or threatened misappropriation may be enjoined. Upon application to the court, an injunction must be terminated when the trade secret has ceased to exist, but the injunction may be continued for an additional reasonable period of time to eliminate commercial or other advantage that otherwise would be derived from the misappropriation.

* * *

  1. In appropriate circumstances, the court may order affirmative acts to protect a trade secret. As used in this subsection, “affirmative acts” includes, without limitation, issuing an injunction or order requiring that a trade secret which has been misappropriated and posted, displayed or otherwise disseminated on the Internet be removed from the Internet immediately.

In Frantz, the Nevada Supreme Court found misappropriation of trade secrets based on the fact that: (l) lists containing information were missing after the former employee left the job; (2) the former employee contacted the plaintiff’s customers to offer “more competitive pricing;” and (3) the former employee’s phone records and other evidence indicated calls to plaintiff’s customers.  As a result, the former employee was liable for misappropriation of trade secrets.   The Court further found that the competitor had misappropriated trade secrets when the competitor hired the former employee, announced that competitor intended to compete against plaintiff by taking all of plaintiff’s customers, and the competitor hired employees from other competitive companies and asked them to use their knowledge about their former employers’ pricing structure and customer base.  Id.

To prove misappropriation under NUTSA, a plaintiff must plead and prove: (1) the existence of a valuable trade secret as defined by the statute; (2) misappropriation through use, disclosure, or nondisclosure of use of the trade secret; and (3) the misappropriation was wrongful because it was made in breach of an express or implied contract or by a party with a duty not to disclose.  Frantz, 116 Nev. at 466, 999 P.2d at 358.  The Court has wide discretion in calculating damages, subject only to a review for abuse of discretion.  Id. (citing Diamond Enters., Inc. v. Lau, 113 Nev. 1376, 1379, 951 P.2d 73, 74 (1997) (citations omitted)).

Punitive Damage in Federal Court

Punitive damages are not available in every case. For example, punitive damages are not available against municipalities, counties, or other governmental entities unless expressly authorized by statute. City of Newport v. Fact Concerts, Inc., 453 U.S. 247, 259-71 (1981).  Punitive damages may, however, be available against governmental employees acting in their individual capacities. See Monell v. New York City Dept. of Soc. Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); City of Newport, 453 U.S. at 254. In diversity cases, look to state law for an appropriate instruction.

Similarly, punitive damages claims arising under state law are subject to state law standards for recovery. See, e.g., Coughlin v. Tailhook Ass’n, 112 F.3d 1052, 1056 (9th Cir. 1997). (more…)

Sample  Objections to and Caselaw Regarding Written Discovery–Interrogatories, Requests to Produce, and Requests for Admission

OBJECTIONS  

“Repeating the familiar phrase that each request is ‘vague, ambiguous, overly broad, unduly burdensome and oppressive, not relevant nor calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and, further, seeks material protected by the attorney/client or other privilege and the work product  doctrine’ is insufficient. . . . The burden is on the party resisting discovery to clarify and explain precisely why its objections are proper given the broad and liberal discovery rules.”  Alboum v. Koe, M.D., et al., Discovery Commissioner Opinion #10 (November 2001) (citing Pleasants v. Allbaugh, 2002 U.S.Dist. Lexis 8941 (D. D.C. 2002); G-69 v. Degnan, 130 F.R.D. 326 (D. N.J. 1990); Josephs v. Harris Corp., 677 F.2d 985 (3d Cir. 1982)). (more…)

In Nevada, to be eligible for the remedy of lost profits, one must prove:

  1. Evidence of lost profits must not be speculative; and
  2. Evidence must show with reasonable certainty both the occurrence and extent of lost profits.

Dobbs Law of Remedies at § 12.62(2); El Ranco, Inc. v. First Nat’l Bank, 406 F.2d 1205 (9th Cir. 1968) (The existence and extent of lost profits is one of evidentiary weight instead of admissibility); Bader v. Cerri, 96 Nev. 352, 609 P.2d 314 (1980); Eaton v, J. H., Inc., 94 Nev. 446, 450, 581 P.2d 14, 17 (1978).  Houston Exploration Inc. v. Meredith, 728 P.2d 437 (1986) (expert testimony regarding the lost profits of a new venture must be allowed to go to the jury, which will determine the weight to be assigned such testimony); Hughes v. Hobson, 92 Nev. 683, 558 P.2d 543 (1976) (damages based on the prospective profits of a new business venture are too uncertain and speculative to form a basis for recovery).

The Litigation Toolbox

The Litigation Toolbox

I am a Nevada business litigator, arbitrator, and mediator with experience litigating thousands of disputes as a litigator, arbitrator, Judge Pro Tem, and Special Master. This Litigation Toolbox is designed to assist those involved in litigation in Nevada or federally to navigate the process. My aim is for this Toolbox to be a knowledge resource center for litigants and advocates, and for those trying to understand the process better.  Please feel free to reach out to me if there are resources that should be added to this Toolbox. (more…)

Nevada Revised Statutes: CHAPTER 38 – MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION

CHAPTER 38 – MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION

UNIFORM ARBITRATION ACT OF 2000

NRS 38.206             Short title.
NRS 38.207             Definitions.
NRS 38.208             “Arbitral organization” defined.
NRS 38.209             “Arbitrator” defined.
NRS 38.211             “Court” defined.
NRS 38.212             “Knowledge” defined.
NRS 38.213             “Record” defined.
NRS 38.214             Notice.
NRS 38.216             Applicability.
NRS 38.217             Waiver of requirements or variance of effects of requirements; exceptions.

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Mediation Settlement Agreement

Sample Memorandum of Understanding of Settlement at Mediation

Ever get to the end of a mediation and realize that this may be your only chance to memorialize an agreement with the other side without them trying to change the terms of the deal afterward?  Take this handy Memorandum of Understanding* to your mediation and you will have a ready-to-fill-out template that provides many of the boilerplate provisions seen in many settlement agreements.

 

 

*I am not the author of this agreement and take no credit for its provisions.  Use at your own risk and only after seeking the advice of competent counsel.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Options in Las Vegas, Nevada

Alternative Dispute Resolution Options in Las Vegas, Nevada

There are many pathways to resolving legal disputes in Nevada other than litigating the matter in court.  Some of those pathways, paradoxically, begin with one of the parties filing a lawsuit in court.  Others are initiated by the parties without going to court.  This article explores the various pathways to Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), including arbitration and mediation and the rules governing them.

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In Search of the Efficient Arbitration

In Search of the Efficient Arbitration

 

A frequent complaint about arbitration is that it is not as cost-effective as the parties hoped it would be.  In fact, 69% of corporate counsel, outside counsel, arbitrators, and company executives surveyed believe arbitration fails at least half of the time to meet its goal of providing speed, efficiency, and economy.[1]  What makes arbitration costly?  Many things, but this article will focus on discovery, motion practice, and multiple-arbitrator panels. (more…)

Preparing for Mediation (Produced by the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution)

Preparing for Family Mediation (Produced by the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution)

Preparing for Complex Civil Mediation (Produced by the American Bar Association, Section of Dispute Resolution)”

N.R.S. CHAPTER 78 – PRIVATE CORPORATIONS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 78.010             Definitions; construction.

NRS 78.015             Applicability of chapter; effect on corporations existing before April 1, 1925.

NRS 78.020             Limitations on incorporation under chapter; compliance with other laws.

NRS 78.025             Reserved power of State to amend or repeal chapter; chapter part of corporation’s charter. (more…)

N.R.S. CHAPTER 33 – INJUNCTIONS

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 33.010             Cases in which injunction may be granted.

NRS 33.015             Injunction to restrain unlawful act against witness or victim of crime.

NRS CHAPTER 32 – RECEIVERS

NRS 32.010             Cases in which receiver may be appointed.

NRS 32.015             Additional cases in which receiver may be appointed.

NRS 32.020             Reversion and disposition of unclaimed dividends in receivership.

We have all been there.  During trial a witness testifies inconsistently with her prior testimony.  So you dutifully pull out the transcript to impeach her.  Here is a method I have found that works to limit the witness’ ability to wiggle out of prior testimony.

First, commit the witness to the testimony she gave under oath today.  Say something like “on direct examination, you testified that the light was green for southbound traffic on Rainbow when you entered the intersection, correct?”  Make sure you are quoting the prior testimony as closely as possible in order to avoid having the witness quibble. (more…)

(Discoverability of Conversations During Deposition Breaks)

Let’s pretend that your client needs a restroom break during a deposition and there is no question pending (thus, not triggering an In Re Stratosphere Corporation, 182 F.R.D. 614 (D. Nev. 1998) problem).  You and your client requested a break.  Before going back into the deposition, you remind your client about the training you gave him to answer only the question asked and not to volunteer information.  You also tell him to beware if opposing counsel asks questions about that smoking gun document that he pay special attention to the second paragraph.  Under a recent Nevada decision, no privilege would attach to that conversation, meaning your client could and would be forced to divulge the contents of that conversation if the examining attorney is aware of the decision. (more…)

How should one properly respond to a Nevada subpoena?  As is so often the case in the law, the answer is “it depends.” Let’s first discuss the different types of subpoenas and then decide on the best way to respond to them.

The post assumes that you are not a party to the litigation and that the subpoena is not for trial testimony.  If that is the case, the subpoena is served for the purpose of  either compelling your attendance to testify or for gathering information one of the parties thinks they need to prove their case, and is called a discovery subpoena.  A discovery subpoena may require the receiving party to turn over documents, allow for the inspection of physical premises, and/or provide testimony.  Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure (“NRCP”), NRCP 45(b)(1), NRCP 30(b)(1). (more…)

Nevada Jury Instructions

Note:  these are not official Nevada jury instructions.  Many of them pre-date the 2011 official instructions and are a mix of internally-crafted instructions and those in the pre-2011 set.  Use with caution.

NEV. J.I. 1.0               DUTY OF JUDGE AND JURY
NEV. J.I. 1.01             USE OF INSTRUCTIONS
NEV. J.I. 1.02            MASCULINE FORM OF PRONOUN INCLUDES FEMININE OR CORPORATION
NEV. J.I.1.03             WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT EVIDENCE  (more…)

RULE 16.  SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES

IN CIVIL APPEALS

       (a) Assignment of Case to Settlement Conference Program.  Any civil appeal in which all parties are represented by counsel and that does not involve termination of parental rights may be assigned to the settlement conference program. The settlement conference program administrator shall determine whether to assign an appeal to the settlement conference program. The settlement conference shall be presided over by a qualified mediator who has been appointed as a settlement judge by the Supreme Court.

       (1) Settlement Notice; Suspension of Rules.  The clerk shall issue a settlement notice informing the parties that the appeal will be assigned to the settlement conference program. The settlement notice automatically stays the time for filing a request for transcripts under Rule 9 and for filing briefs under Rule 31. The notice also stays the preparation and filing of any transcripts requested under Rule 9. (more…)

Nevada Arbitration Rules

Rule 1.  The court annexed arbitration program
Rule 2.  Intent of program and application of rules
Rule 3.  Matters subject to arbitration
Rule 4.  Relationship to district court jurisdiction and rules
Rule 5.  Exemptions from arbitration
(more…)

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

RULE 33.  INTERROGATORIES TO PARTIES

      (a) Availability.  Without leave of court or written stipulation, any party may serve upon any other party written interrogatories, not exceeding 40 in number including all discrete subparts, to be answered by the party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Leave to serve additional interrogatories shall be granted to the extent consistent with the principles of Rule 26(b)(2). Without leave of court or written stipulation, interrogatories may not be served before the time specified in Rule 26(a).

      [As amended; effective January 1, 2005.]

      (b) Answers and Objections.

              (1) Each interrogatory shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the objecting party shall state the reasons for objection and shall answer to the extent the interrogatory is not objectionable. The answers shall first set forth each interrogatory asked, followed by the answer or response of the party.

              (2) The answers are to be signed by the person making them, and the objections signed by the attorney making them.

             (3) The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections if any, within 30 days after the service of the interrogatories. A short or longer time may be directed by the court or in the absence of such an order, agreed to in writing by the parties subject to Rule 29.

              (4) All grounds for an objection to an interrogatory shall be stated with specificity. Any ground not stated in a timely objection is waived unless the party’s failure to object is excused by the court for good cause shown.

              (5) The party submitting the interrogatories may move for an order under Rule 37(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to answer an interrogatory.

      [As amended; effective January 1, 2005.]

      (c) Scope; Use at Trial.  Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under Rule 26(b), and the answers may be used to the extent permitted by the rules of evidence.

       An interrogatory otherwise proper is not necessarily objectionable merely because an answer to the interrogatory involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, but the court may order that such an interrogatory need not be answered until after designated discovery has been completed or until a pretrial conference or other later time.

      [As amended; effective January 1, 2005.]

      (d) Option to Produce Business Records.  Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit or inspection of such business records, including a compilation, abstract or summary thereof, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is a sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit or inspect such records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts or summaries. A specification shall be in sufficient detail to permit the interrogating party to locate and to identify, as readily as can the party served, the records from which the answer may be ascertained.

      [As amended; effective January 1, 2005.]

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

(January 2017)

I.     SCOPE OF RULES—ONE FORM OF ACTION

NRCP 1 – SCOPE OF RULES
NRCP 2 – ONE FORM OF ACTION

II.     COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION; SERVICE OF PROCESS, PLEADINGS, MOTIONS, AND ORDERS (more…)

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 33.  Consent to Service by Electronic Means Under Rule 5

       The undersigned party hereby consents to service of documents under Rule 5(a) by electronic means as designated below in accordance with Rule 5(b)(2)(D).

 Party name(s):

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

 Documents served by electronic means must be transmitted to the following person(s):

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

 Facsimile transmission to the following facsimile number(s):

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

 Electronic mail to the following e-mail address(es):

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

 Attachments to e-mail must be in the following format(s):

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

       The undersigned party also acknowledges that this consent does not require service by the specified means unless the serving party elects to serve by that means.

      Dated this __________ day of _______________, 20_____.

                                                                     Signed:  ______________________________,

                                                                                     Attorney for Consenting Party

                                                                    Address: ____________________________

                                                                   Telephone: ____________________________

                                                                   Fax number: ____________________________

                                                                   E-mail address: ____________________________

       [Added; effective January 1, 2005.]

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 32.  Judgment on Decision by the Court

(Title of Court)

                                                                                Civil Action, File Number __________

A.B., Plaintiff                                 }

        v.                                               }        Judgment

C.D., Defendant                             }

      This action came on for [trial] [hearing] before the Court, Honorable John Marshall, District Judge, presiding, and the issues having been duly [tried] [heard] and a decision having been duly rendered,

      It Is Ordered and Adjudged

      [that the plaintiff A. B. recover of the defendant C. D. the sum of __________, with interest thereon at the rate of __________ per cent as provided by law, and his costs of action.]

      [that the plaintiff take nothing, that the action be dismissed on the merits, and that the defendant C. D. recover of the plaintiff A. B. his costs of action.]

      Dated at __________, Nevada, this _____ day of __________, 20_____.

                                                                                  ______________________________

                                                                         District Judge

      [Added; effective March 16, 1964.]

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 31.  Judgment on Jury Verdict

(Title of Court)

                                                                                Civil Action, File Number __________

A.B., Plaintiff                                 }

        v.                                               }        Judgment

C.D., Defendant                             }

      This action came on for trial before the Court and a jury, Honorable John Marshall, District Judge, presiding, and the issues having been duly tried and the jury having duly rendered its verdict,

      It Is Ordered and Adjudged

      [that the plaintiff A. B. recover of the defendant C. D. the sum of __________, with interest thereon at the rate of __________ per cent as provided by law, and his costs of action.]

      [that the plaintiff take nothing, that the action be dismissed on the merits, and that the defendant C. D. recover of the plaintiff A. B. his costs of action.]

      Dated this __________ day of _______________, 20_____.

                                                                                  ______________________________

                                                                         District Judge

      [Added; effective April 15, 1964; Amended effective January 1, 2005.]

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 30.  Suggestion of Death Upon the Record Under Rule 25(a)(1)

       A. B. [describe as a party, or as executor, administrator, or other representative or successor of C. D., the deceased party] suggests upon the record, pursuant to Rule 25(a)(1), the death of C. D. [describe as party] during the pendency of this action.

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 26.  Allegation of Reason for Omitting Party

       When it is necessary, under Rule 19(c), for the pleader to set forth in his pleading the names of persons who ought to be made parties, but who are not so made, there should be an allegation such as the one set out below:

       John Doe named in this complaint is not made a party to this action [because he is not subject to the jurisdiction of this court].

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 25.  Request for Admission Under Rule 36

       Plaintiff A. B. requests defendant C. D. within _____ days after service of this request to make the following admissions for the purpose of this action only and subject to all pertinent objections to admissibility which may be interposed at the trial:

       1.  That each of the following documents, exhibited with this request, is genuine.

       (Here list the documents and describe each document.)

       2.  That each of the following statements is true.

       (Here list the statements.)

                                                                   Signed: _____________________________

                                                                         Attorney for Plaintiff

                                                                Address: _____________________________

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

 Form 24.  Request for Production of Documents, Etc., Under Rule 34

      Plaintiff A. B. requests defendant C. D. to respond within _______ days to the following requests:

       (1) That defendant produce and permit plaintiff to inspect and to copy each of the following documents:

       (Here list the documents either individually or by category and describe each of them.)

       (Here state the time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performance of any related acts.)

       (2) That defendant produce and permit plaintiff to inspect and to copy, test, or sample each of the following objects:

       (Here list the objects either individually or by category and describe each of them.)

       (Here state the time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performance of any related acts.)

       (3) That defendant permit plaintiff to enter (here describe property to be entered) and to inspect and to photograph, test or sample (here describe the portion of the real property and the objects to be inspected).

      (Here state the time, place, and manner of making the inspection and performance of any related acts.)

                                                                   Signed: _____________________________

                                                                         Attorney for Plaintiff

                                                                Address: _____________________________

      [As amended; effective September 27, 1971.]

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 23.  Motion to Intervene as a Defendant Under Rule 24

(Title of Court)

                                                                                Civil Action, File Number __________

A. B., Plaintiff                                }

        v.                                               }        Motion to Intervene as a Defendant

C. D., Defendant                            }

E. F., Applicant for Intervention }

      E. F. moves for leave to intervene as a defendant in this action, in order to assert the defenses set forth in his proposed answer, of which a copy is hereto attached, on the ground that __________ and as such has a defense to plaintiff’s claim presenting both questions of law and of fact which are common to the main action.2

                                                             Signed: ________________________________

                                                                    Attorney for E. F., Applicant for Intervention

                                                          Address: ________________________________

_______________________

      2For other grounds of intervention, either of right or in the discretion of the court, see Rule 24(a) and (b).

 

Notice of Motion

(Contents the same as in Form 19)

(Title of Court)

                                                                                Civil Action, File Number __________

A. B., Plaintiff                                }

        v.                                               }        Intervener’s Answer

C. D., Defendant                            }

E. F., Intervener                             }

First Defense

      Intervener admits the allegations stated in paragraphs 1 and 4 of the complaint; denies the allegations in paragraph 3, and denies the allegations in paragraph 2 in so far as they assert the

Second Defense

      (Set forth defenses.)

                                                                   Signed: _____________________________

                                                                         Attorney for E. F., Intervention

                                                                Address: _____________________________

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 22-B.  Motion to Bring in Third-Party Defendant

       Defendant moves for leave, as third-party plaintiff, to cause to be served upon E. F. a summons and third-party complaint, copies of which are hereto attached as Exhibit X.

                                                                   Signed: _____________________________

                                                                         Attorney for Defendant C. D.

                                                                Address: _____________________________

 Notice of Motion

       (Contents the same as in Form 19. The notice should be addressed to all parties to the action.)

Exhibit X

      (Contents the same as in Form 22-A.)

      [Added; effective March 16, 1964.]

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 22-A.  Summons and Complaint Against Third-Party Defendant

(Title of Court)

                                                                                 Civil Action, File Number __________

 A. B., Plaintiff                                }

        v.                                               }

C. D., Defendant and                    }        Summons

Third-Party Plaintiff                      }

        v.                                               }

E. F., Third-Party Defendant       }

To the above-named Third-Party Defendant:

       You are hereby summoned and required to serve upon __________, plaintiff’s attorney whose address is __________, and upon __________, who is attorney for C. D., defendant and third-party plaintiff, and whose address is __________, an answer to the third-party complaint which is herewith served upon you within 20 days after the service of this summons upon you exclusive of the day of service. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the third-party complaint. There is also served upon you herewith a copy of the complaint of the plaintiff which you may but are not required to answer.

                                                                                 ______________________________

                                                                      Clerk of Court

 [Seal of the District Court]

 Dated _______________

 (Title of Court)

                                                                                 Civil Action, File Number __________

 A. B., Plaintiff                                }

        v.                                               }

C. D., Defendant and                    }        Third-Party Complaint

Third-Party Plaintiff                      }

        v.                                               }

E. F., Third-Party Defendant       }

       1. Plaintiff A. B. has filed against defendant C. D. a complaint, a copy of which is hereto attached as “Exhibit A.”

       2. (Here state the grounds upon which C. D. is entitled to recover from E. F., all or part of what A. B. may recover from C. D. The statement should be framed as in an original complaint.)

       Wherefore C. D. demands judgment against third-party defendant E. F. for all sums1 that may be adjudged against defendant C. D. in favor of plaintiff A. B.

                                                                    Signed: _____________________________

                                                                         Attorney for C. D., Third-Party Plaintiff

                                                                 Address: _____________________________

      [Added; effective March 16, 1964.]

_______________________

      1Make appropriate change where C. D. is entitled to only partial recovery-over against E. F.

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 21.  Answer to Complaint Set Forth in Form 8, With Counterclaim for Interpleader

Defense

      Defendant denies the allegations stated to the extent set forth in the counterclaim herein.

Counterclaim for Interpleader

      1. Defendant received the sum of ten thousand dollars as a deposit from E. F.

       2. Plaintiff has demanded the payment of such deposit to him by virtue of an assignment of it which he claims to have received from E. F.

       3. E. F. has notified the defendant that he claims such deposit, that the purported assignment is not valid, and that he holds the defendant responsible for the deposit.

       Wherefore defendant demands:

       (1) That the court order E. F. to be made a party defendant to respond to the complaint and to this counterclaim.1

       (2) That the court order the plaintiff and E. F. to interplead their respective claims.

       (3) That the court adjudge whether the plaintiff or E. F. is entitled to the sum of money.

       (4) That the court discharge defendant from all liability in the premises except to the person it shall adjudge entitled to the sum of money.

       (5) That the court award to the defendant its costs and attorney’s fees.

_______________________

      1Rule 13(h) provides for the court ordering parties to a counterclaim, but who are not parties to the original action, to be brought in as defendants.

Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Form 20.  Answer Presenting Defenses Under Rule 12(b)

First Defense

      The complaint fails to state a claim against defendant upon which relief can be granted.

Second Defense

      If defendant is indebted to plaintiffs for the goods mentioned in the complaint, he is indebted to them jointly with G. H. G. H. is alive; is subject to the jurisdiction of this court; and has not been made a party.

Third Defense

      Defendant admits the allegation contained in paragraphs 1 and 4 of the complaint; alleges that he is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations contained in paragraph 2 of the complaint; and denies each and every other allegation contained in the complaint.

Fourth Defense

      The right of action set forth in the complaint did not accrue within six years next before the commencement of this action.

Counterclaim

      (Here set forth any claim as a counterclaim in the manner in which a claim is pleaded in a complaint.)

Cross-Claim Against Defendant M. N.

      (Here set forth the claim constituting a cross-claim against defendant M. N. in the manner in which a claim is pleaded in a complaint.)

      NOTE—The above form contains examples of certain defenses provided for in Rule 12(b). The first defense challenges the legal sufficiency of the complaint. It is a substitute for a general demurrer or a motion to dismiss.

      The second defense embodies the old plea in abatement; the decision thereon, however, may well provide under Rules 19 and 21 for the citing in of the party rather than an abatement of the action.

      The third defense is an answer on the merits.

      The fourth defense is one of the affirmative defenses provided for in Rule 8(c).

      The answer also includes a counterclaim and a cross-claim.