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Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure

Rule 16.3. Discovery Commissioners

(a)      Appointment and Compensation. A judicial district may appoint one or more discovery commissioners to serve at the pleasure of the court. In multi-judge judicial districts, appointment must be by the concurrence of a majority of all judges in the judicial district. The compensation of a discovery commissioner must not be taxed against the parties but, when fixed by the court, must be paid out of appropriations made for the expenses of the judicial district.

(b)      Powers.

(1)     A discovery commissioner may administer oaths and affirmations.

(2)     As directed by the court, or as authorized by these rules or local rules, a discovery commissioner may:

(A)      preside at discovery resolution conferences;

(B)      preside over discovery motions;

(C)     preside at any other proceeding or conference in furtherance of the discovery commissioner’s duties;

(D)     regulate all proceedings before the discovery commissioner; and

(E)      take any other action necessary or proper for the efficient performance of the discovery commissioner’s duties.

(3)     If agreed by the parties or ordered by the court, a discovery commissioner also may conduct settlement conferences.

(c)       Report and Recommendation; Objections.

(1) Report and Recommendation. After a discovery motion or other contested matter is heard by or submitted to a discovery commissioner, the discovery commissioner must prepare a report with the discovery commissioner’s recommendations for a resolution of each unresolved dispute. The discovery commissioner may direct counsel to prepare the report. The discovery commissioner must file the report with the court and serve a copy of it on each party.

(2)    Objections. Within 14 days after being served with a report, any party may file and serve written objections to the recommendations. Written authorities may be filed with an objection but are not mandatory. If written authorities are filed, any other party may file and serve responding authorities within 7 days after being served with the objections.

(3)    Review. Upon receipt of a discovery commissioner’s report, any objections, and any response, the court may:

(A)   affirm, reverse, or modify the discovery commissioner’s ruling without a hearing;

(B)    set the matter for a hearing; or

(C)   remand the matter to the discovery commissioner for reconsideration or further action.

Advisory Committee Note—2019 Amendment

The amendments generally restate Rule 16.3(a) and (b) from the former NRCP 16.3. The amendments make clear that discovery commissioners may hear discovery motions, but also require the district court to conduct case conferences and issue scheduling orders. Rule 16.3(c) relocates the text of the former NRCP 16.1(d)(2), NRCP 16.2(j)(2), and NRCP 16.205(j)(2) into this rule. The court reviews a discovery commissioner’s report and recommendation de novo. However, an objecting party may not raise new arguments in support of an objection that could have been raised before the discovery commissioner but were not. See Valley Health Sys., LLC v. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 127 Nev. 167, 173, 252 P.3d 676, 680 (2011).

About the Author

Jay Young is a Las Vegas, Nevada attorney. His practice focuses on acting as an Arbitrator and Mediator.

Mr. Young can be reached at 702.667.4868 or at jay@h2law.com.

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