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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Legal Information

New proposed statewide rules for guardianship were a hot topic at the recent Joint Guardianship/Probate/Trust/Elder Law Bench Bar Meeting. James Berchtold and John Michaelson, who both served on the Nevada Guardianship Commission sub-committee tasked with developing new guardianship forms, provided an overview. The sub-committee that worked on the forms kept pro se litigants in mind as they developed and vetted the forms. It is not clear yet if the forms will be mandatory. The new proposed rules are referred to the Nevada Rules of Guardianship Procedure NRG. The EJDC guardianship rules that the court had been operating under have been suspended.

There are 81 proposed forms for guardianship, totaling 360 pages. The comment period for the proposed rules and forms closes July 5. See the First Interim Report Attached Proposed Guardianship Rules and Forms Filed First Interim Report of the Guardianship Commission.at this link:  18-20489

Comments must be made in writing to the Nevada Supreme Court by July 5, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. to the Nevada Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, 201 South Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada 8970.

A public hearing will be held July 18 at 1:30 p.m. in the Nevada Supreme Court courtroom at 201 S. Carson Street in Carson city, NV and video-conferenced to the courtroom at 408 E. Clark Ave in Las Vegas. (Filed Order Scheduling Public Hearing and requesting Public Comment: 18-20646).

Another topic of interest at the joint bench-bar meeting: The Electronic Notary Act is going into effect July 1. Assembly Bill 413 out of the legislative committee on the judiciary has the details: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/79th2017/Bills/AB/AB413.pdf

As of July 1, remote notarization will be allowed  in Nevada, one of first three states to adopt the new law governing electronic notarization of documents. Special training and licensure requirements are necessary to perform electronic notarization, including the requirement that the  Notary archive  the electronic record of the notarization process. The Secretary of State’s Office has  prepared for the new process, and  plans are in the works to have a representative attend a future joint bench-bar meeting to provide an overview of the statutory changes and related  regulations, and address questions.

The question of presumptively confidential documents was discussed at the bench-bar. A reminder was given to be cautious about including personal information such as Social Security numbers that can be viewed publicly. Attorneys were directed to ADKT 410 section 6 on redaction https://www.leg.state.nv.us/CourtRules/PCD.html and  Supreme Court Rules  Part VII  Rules Governing Sealing and Redacting Court Records.

Judge Gonzalez asked those in attendance at the bench-bar meeting for comments on processes to improve probate and adult guardianship. A court committee has been established to examine ways to improve those processes. The incoming Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell will chair the committee. Comments can be directed to her office.

The joint bench-bar meetings are a great way to stay current on what’s happening in the areas of guardianship/probate/trust/elder law.

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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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The recent Civil Bench-Bar Meeting had great attendance. Several interesting discussions shed light on new Supreme Court Decisions, proposed rule changes and courtroom decorum. A subject that generated a lot of discussion was judges’ pet peeves. The top 10 are listed below.

 

Judges’ Pet Peeves

 

  1. Impolite/uncivil attorneys (including those who interrupt).
  2. Attorneys’ lack of preparation.
  3. Putting exhibit on Elmo (monitor) and showing to jury without prior motion to admit and/or publish.
  4. Asking prospective jurors voir dire questions based upon hypothetical, which seeks to have them pre-commit to verdict in violation of EDCR 7.70(c).
  5. Cutting side deals for extensions of time…and forgetting to tell the Judge.
  6. Filing Oppositions/Replies at the last minute and expecting the Judge to read them.
  7. Requesting to appear at hearing by telephone, and then providing the Court a non-direct telephone number to attorney.  That is, the telephone number is directed to the attorney’s receptionist, who forwards the judge’s call to the attorney’s secretary, who forwards the call to the attorney or worse—his voice mail or says he’s not available.  (not all departments use CourtCall)
  8. Failure to timely provide courtesy copies with tabs for exhibits.
  9. Failure to comply with NRCP 56(c) (statement of uncontested material facts with supporting citations to evidence in the record) and the Choy case, 265 P.3d 698 (affidavit required for 56(f) continuance.
  10. Providing stacks of depositions that are not excerpted to make the relevant parts easy to locate.

 

Other recommendations that came out of the discussion include a suggestion that attorney read trial orders to cut down on question in the courtroom.  And, when sending and order, on the last page include a description of what it is and the case number. A lot was covered and a tasty lunch was sponsored by the judges.  The next civil Bench-Bar meeting will be Aug. 13 at 12:05 p.m. in courtroom 15D.

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Mock Trial at Eighth Judicial District Court

A mock trial in the real courtroom of District Court Judge Doug Herndon gave students from the Meadows School a good look at how the justice system works. The students took on the roles of attorneys, jurors and witnesses in a case to determine if Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK.

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