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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Clark County Civil Bench Bar

 

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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The lazy, hazy days of summer are getting underway. Civil attorneys can avoid the summer slump and sharpen skills. Attend the Civil Bench-Bar meeting this Tuesday, June 13 at noon in courtroom 3A. Bench-Bar attendees get the latest information on new rules, Nevada Supreme Court rulings and what legislative changes are in the works to help keep your courtroom game tight. The meetings are a great way to beat the heat in a cool courtroom, learn and network over lunch. Judge Joanna Kishner will offer up information and open discussion on Supreme Court Rule 3.

A review of May Nevada Supreme Court decisions will be discussed including:

  1. In re Parental Rights as to M.M.L., 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 21 (May 11, 2017)
  2. In re Discipline of Timothy Treffinger, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 22 (May 11, 2017)
  3. Klabacka v. Nelson, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 24 (May 25, 2017)
  4. Iliescu v. Steppan, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 25 (May 25, 2017)
  5. In re Davis Family Heritage Trust, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 26 (May 25, 2017)
  6. Sargeant v. Henderson Taxi, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 27 (June 1, 2017)
  7. O’Neal v. Hudson, 133 Nev. Adv. Op. 29 (June 1, 2017)

The Civil Bench-Bar meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at noon. Lunch is usually provided. The meetings give attorneys the opportunity to get their questions and concerns addressed and to get the latest news that may affect their practice. The May Bench-Bar meeting had record attendance and included a tour of the new Nevada Supreme Court building.

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Civil Bench-Bar meetings always provide plenty of food for thought for those practicing civil law, but the January 10 noon meeting in courtroom 3A, will have the added bonus of featuring a chili cook-off. It’s a tasty way to get the latest Civil Division info, find out which lawyer or judge cooks-up the meanest chili, and mingle.

At the December Bench-Bar, Judge Susan Johnson, now the Presiding Civil Division Judge, passed the baton for presiding over the Bench-Bar Meetings to Judge Nancy Allf. There were a lot of interesting hot topics at the meeting including: the implications of the the $15,000 threshold for Justice Court cases, new marijuana laws and the idea of raising the arbitration limit. Procedural issues were discussed for de novo cases including some quick tips on how to do things right and avoid wasting time. Nevada State Bar President Bryan K. Scott addressed concerns and fielded questions on a variety of topics. He noted that bar counsel investigators have been hired and the backlog of attorney discipline actions have been reduced. Laughlin Constable Jordan Ross provided information on complex civil enforcement in his jurisdiction.

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the upcoming Civil Bench Bar meeting and don’t forget it is in courtroom 3A.

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