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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: legal tips

To aid those who represent themselves in court and improve access to justice, the Eighth Judicial District Court offers 23 Guide and File forms at the Legal Aid Self-help Centers at the Regional Justice Center, at family court, or to  those with Internet access.  The system guides self represented or pro per litigants through the completion of  legal forms with focused questions. Completed forms can then be filed at the courthouse into the court case management system.

The civil and family law Legal Aid Self-Help Centers have introduced 23 guided interviews, with more being developed. The guided interviews ensure that litigants create clear and legible filings that meet all requirements. Those who work in the Legal Aid Self-Help Centers report that through the use of Guide and File, there has been a marked reduction in errors. Cutting errors when filings are initiated, saves users time and facilitates court processes. Prior to the implementation of Guide and File, court time was tied up addressing improper filings.

Thousands of interviews have been successfully completed including: Nevada protection orders against stalking or harassment, adult name changes,  District Court fee waivers,  complaints for divorce,  joint petitions for divorce (no kids),  joint petitions for divorce, petitions to disburse money, small claims complaints, summary eviction complaints,  tenant answer to summary evictions, custody complaints , divorce answers and counterclaims,  custody answers and counterclaims , unemployment judicial reviews step one petitions, petitions to order release of medical records, petitions for cremation, criminal record sealing requests and  small claims answers/counterclaims. In District Court user surveys, most report Guide and File as very easy or easy to use, with few respondents reporting the system as difficult or very difficult.

The following Guide and File forms/interviews are in use:

  1. Adult name change request
  2. District Court fee waiver
  3. Joint petition for divorce
  4. Complaint for Divorce
  5. Divorce Answer and Counterclaim
  6. Custody Complaint
  7. Custody Answer & Counterclaim
  8. Petition to disburse money from a minor’s blocked account
  9. Small claims complaint
  10. Tenant answer to summary eviction
  11. NV protection Order against stalking or harassment
  12. Collection of Judgment
  13. Summary Eviction Complaint
  14. Petition for Cremation
  15. Petition for Special Letters of Administration
  16. Petition to Open Safe Deposit Box
  17. Petition to Order release of Medical Records
  18. Unemployment Judicial Review –Start:  Which Interview is right?
  19. Unemployment Judicial review – Petition for Judicial Review
  20. Unemployment Judicial Review – Opening Brief
  21. Unemployment Judicial Review – Reply Brief
  22. Petition for Transfer of Property & Affidavit of Entitlement
  23. Small Claims Counterclaim

A citizen oriented approach is necessary to ensure access to justice for all. People are becoming more accustomed to, and in many cases, demanding of, do-it-yourself options; not only because they tend to be cheaper, but also because electronic filings offer more flexibility. From a cost, efficiency and user standpoint, Guide and File offers a solution to an issue that has challenged the courts.

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court Guide and File system made the list of the top-10 court technology solutions as named by the National Association for Court Management  and the 2018 Tyler Excellence Award.

 

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Don’t miss the October 9 Civil Bench Bar Meeting from noon to 1 p.m. in courtroom 10D of the Regional Justice Center for a free, frightfully good continuing legal education (CLE). The State Bar of Nevada  Office of Bar Counsel will do a half credit CLE on Governance of the Profession with speaker Daniel Hooge (CLE sign in sheet will be provided at luncheon).

Judge Nancy Allf will also demystify interpleaders.

October is Pro Bono Month and Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada will share tricks of the trade for tapping the treats that go with volunteering to take a pro bono case.

Lunch is limited to the first 60 attendee. Get there before it disappears.

Civil Bench Bar meetings offer members of the bar the latest news from District Court, a forum to get questions addressed and a chance to grab a quick bite to eat while networking.

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The February 13 noon Civil Bench-Bar Meeting in courtroom 10D at the Regional Justice Center will be packed with useful information including, an update on important changes to jury services and must know information on criminal case sealing. The top five things you should know about the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada will also be covered, along with recent Nevada Supreme Court rulings and what they mean.

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At the December Civil Bench Bar, judicial law clerks/former law clerks shared some insider tips on how to improve court filings.

Judicial law clerks work closely with judges, provide assistance and research issues before the judge. They help judges wade through and manage the mountains of filings that come into a department and know first-hand what makes a good filing and where filings fall short. A panel of judicial law clerks including: Josephine Groh, Collin Jayne, Travis Chance and Daven Cameron compiled their Top Ten Things Judicial Law Clerks Want You to Know.

Late filings are high on the list of things law clerks advise against. The law clerks acknowledge that deadlines creep up and there is a lot going on; but, lawyers should know that judges brief in advance, sometimes as much as a week before a hearing. Filing the day before a hearing doesn’t allow adequate time to review content and generally doesn’t go over well. One former law clerk called late filings “incredibly burdensome.”

Law clerks advise that Order Shortening Time requests should be used very sparingly. There are guidelines that should be referenced. Presently, they are overused and bog down calendars.  If it is a Despositive Motion and you’re asking for an Order Shortening Time, allow enough time for both sides to brief.

Good introductions are well appreciated by law clerks. A good introduction paragraph saves judicial departments time and are likely to result in better outcomes for those filing. A good introduction paragraph should clearly state what you are asking for and the arguments and essentially serve as a road-map for what the petitioner is seeking.

Good conclusions also get high marks from law clerks. Conclusions should be solid and summarize what type of relief the petitioner seeks in a clear and concise manner.  Don’t leave it up to the judge to guess.

When it comes to courtesy copies, law clerks suggest that is wise to know what the department preferences are and follow that. Each department’s preferences can be found on the court website.

Law clerks advise to stay up on department reassignments. If a case has been reassigned, it should be reflected in your filings. Those who reference the wrong department in filings risk losing credibility.

When a judge requires something  it is best to comply rather than use the argument: you’re the only department that requires this. It’s generally safe to say, this argument doesn’t help your case. Judicial preferences are on the website http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/departments/judicial/civil-criminal-divison/

Know what a department expects for trial exhibits, before trial. Know in advance what is needed and how exhibits should be presented. When in doubt, contact the court clerk in enough time to be ready for trial. Be sure to redact all personal identifying information that should not be made public including: social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc. Tabbed exhibit are especially well liked.

Proper punctuation is a good thing. Avoid overusing explanation points, bold text and italics. These overused formats don’t make your case more persuasive and may in fact negatively impact the perception of your work. Avoid personal attacks to opposing counsel. Such attacks are viewed unfavorably.

When writing a complaint, be concise and clear. Check templates to ensure they reflect changes in the law.

Some bonus topics were also covered by the law clerks. They advised that Motions in Limine are overused and frequently used improperly. They get a lot of requests to make the other side “follow the law.” Such requests are inappropriate and considered to waste time. A judge reminded those at the bench-bar that attorneys should follow EDCR 2.47 B . The rule requires that counsel personally confer on the issues, what can be resolved and what cannot, and the reasons therefore. If the rule isn’t followed and detailed in a declaration, some judges will vacate motions in limine.

The law clerks also reminded those at the bench-bar to be cognizant when speaking to law clerks that your communication is appropriate. Law clerks work on behalf of judges. Be careful not to engage in ex parte communication when speaking to a law clerk.

A presentation from the Nevada State Bar Association updated attendees on changes with continuing Legal Education (CLE). The Nevada Bar website has a complete list of changes that attorneys can review to ensure that they are compliant with CLE requirements.

Some important dates from the Nevada State Bar Association on  continuing Legal Education (CLE):

1/15/18 CLE Board will notify attorneys that have yet to comply with the

Credit requirement for 2017 and provisionally assess a $100

Extension fee

2/15/18 Deadline to report credits (extended) and pay fees

On or about

3/1/18 CLE Board issues Notice of Noncompliance and assesses late fee

4/1/18Deadline to submit credits (late) and/or pay fees to avoid suspension

4/2/18 Non-compliant attorneys will be administratively CLE suspended

The January 9 Civil Bench Bar meeting at noon in courtroom 10D will include more valuable information for those practicing civil law and an open forum for questions and discussion. The meeting will also include chili cook-off.

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On November 14 at noon, District Court judges and civil attorneys will convene in courtroom 10D of the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Ave. for a bite to eat and great info. Representative from the State Bar of Nevada Vernon “Gene” Leverty, President and Kimberly Farmer, Executive Director will shed light on hot topics for the bar. At 12:15 p.m., Judge Timothy Williams will do a free Continuing Legal Education (CLE)  on Voir Dire: A Lawyer’s Ethical Obligation. The meeting will wrap up with a case presentation by luncheon sponsor Schwartz Flansburg PLLC. Lunch is limited to the first 80 attendees.

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When you’re trying to seal a case, time is of the essence. Attorneys filing petitions to seal cases in Clark County should be aware that the District Attorney’s Office only reviews cases for sealing records that have resulted in charges from either a Justice Court township jurisdiction or Clark County District Court. In the past, the DA’s office would seal municipal cases. A separate petition must be submitted to Municipal Courts to seal cases in city jurisdictions.

To avoid a possible delay of processing record sealing submissions, include the required criminal history from the Central Repository. Nevada Revised Statute 179.245 on sealing records after conviction requires that a current, verified criminal history from the Central Repository in Carson City, Nevada must be included with the submission documents. The District Attorney’s office website addresses the statute on record sealing at http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/Depts/district_attorney/crm/Pages/sealings.aspx.
To see the NRS visit: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-179.html#NRS179Sec245.

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