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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

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Nearly 100 participants tapped into a virtual Civil Bench-Bar meeting held to address questions regarding the Administrative Orders that dictate how the Civil Division of the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court is functioning during the Covid-19 state of emergency.

Judge Gloria Sturman presided over the meeting and offered up tips for civil attorneys including, recommending use of the court remote appearance page http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/virtual/ and the administrative order matrix that cross-references all the Administrative Orders related to COVID-19 AOsummaryChart1_14.

Chief Judge Linda Bell addressed questions about trials. “We obviously cannot bring in jurors right now. Once we get up and going, it will take us six weeks to summons jurors and have jurors come in,” said Judge Bell. “We have to give priority to the people who are in custody who have invoked their speedy trial right. After that, we’ll be looking at trials older civil trials where there are five year rules issues and in custody criminal trials and then other trials will follow after that.” She made it clear that jurors would be brought back with safety protocols in place and adherence to social distancing requirements.

Judge Bell clarified questions about different deadlines during the state of emergency. Referring to matters that are stayed, she said, “the time doesn’t count; it’s as if those days didn’t happen.” Judge Bell recommended that attorneys should read Administrative Order 20–13 to get up to speed on changes during the state of emergency. Administrative Order 20-13

Judge Bell shared that the court is working towards an automated filing system that will enable things to be done much more quickly. She also shared that the court is working on an electronic exhibits process.

Judge Jerry Wiese reported that all settlement conferences that were scheduled through the department 30 program for May have been vacated. He indicated that they hope to get things going again in June.

Commissioner Erin Truman offered information on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Discovery during the Coronavirus emergency. “Discovery is operating pretty much fully,” reported Commissioner Truman. “We are encouraging any arbitrator or party that would like to do their arbitration either by videoconference or on the briefs to go forward, if the parties agree. If the parties would like to have arbitration done in person, they are directed to do so at the end of the restrictions.”

An administrative order authorizes the commissioner to grant 60-day extensions for good cause, if the 12-month arbitration time limit will expire during this the Coronavirus state of emergency. For cases where the 12-month deadline expires after the restrictions are lifted, Commissioner Truman will review each arbitrator’s request for extension of time on a case-by-case basis.

The court will vacate all short trials set to be heard prior to July 10; those set for after July 10, will be considered on a cases-by-case basis, depending on what works for Jury Services.

With respect to tolling Commissioner Truman said, “Any Discovery that was served during the period of time, in my view, would be due 30 days after the order expires.”  She is conducting hearings Tuesdays, Thursdays and Friday. “If the parties are willing to move forward, we want to keep Discovery going to the extent it can,” said Commissioner Truman. She also noted that requests for exemptions are being reviewed at a volume of about 100 per week. The commissioner offered clarification on other issues including:

  • If the parties agree, remote depositions are permitted.
  • Rule 35 exams cannot go forward until the restrictions are lifted.
  • In-person depositions cannot go forward.
  • Subpoenas are allowed if the parties agree and submit stipulation to allow a deposition to go forward. The deadline for response cannot be any sooner than 14 days after the administrative order 20-13 expires.

Judge Sturman estimated that probate commissioner is reviewing 100 to 140 unopposed matters per week. She reminded that it is a voluminous amount of work that requires time.

Those who are attempting to execute a will during the state of emergency, will need to get remote notarization of documents. Electronic notarization authorizations require a special type of notarization licenses.

Another virtual Civil Bench-Bar meeting is expected to be scheduled in the future to address any new issues that arise.

 

 

 

 

 

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