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  • Nevada Short Trial Rules

  • Nevada Short Trial Rules

    Rule 1. The Short trial program. In judicial districts subject to the mandatory arbitration program, the Short Trial Program shall be available in all actions that would otherwise qualify for the court-annexed arbitration program as provided in NRS 38.250 et seq.; in all other judicial districts establishment of the Short Trial Program is voluntary. Cases exempt from the arbitration system may, by stipulation of the parties, be placed into a short trial status. Participation in the Short Trial Program shall be by mutual consent of the parties pursuant to stipulation.

    Rule 2. Calendaring. Unless otherwise stipulated to by the parties, or for good cause shown, a short trial shall be calendared, depending on courtroom availability, to commence not later than 120 days from the date the parties stipulate the same into the Short Trial Program after the arbitrator’s decision, and 180 days for cases that are directly entered in the Short Trial Program prior to arbitration. Where a request for trial de novo has been filed, a stipulation to use the short trial procedure shall be filed within 30 days of the arbitrator’s decision unless, by stipulation of the parties or for good cause, the court approves a later filing.

    Rule 3. Applicability of rules. The Nevada Rules of Evidence and Civil Procedure apply in short trials except as otherwise specified by Rule 8 herein or as stipulated to by the parties.

    Rule 4. Reporting. There shall be no formal reporting of the proceedings unless paid for by the party or parties requesting the same.

    Rule 5. Juror selection and voir dire. Twelve potential jurors will be selected from the county jury pool. Each side shall be allowed 15 minutes of voir dire, which time shall not be deducted from the 3 hours of presentation time provided under Rule 6. Each side shall be entitled to strike 2 jurors by peremptory challenge. Challenges for cause will remain the same as provided by statute. In the event the resulting jury panel is greater than 4 members, the first 4 members called will constitute the jury panel.

    Rule 6. Conduct of trial. Plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) shall be allowed 3 hours each to present their respective cases unless a different time frame is stipulated to and approved by the court. Presentation includes opening statements, closing statements, presentation of evidence, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, and any other information to be presented to the jury, including rebuttal. Cross-examination of witnesses shall be attributed to the party cross-examining for calculation of time allowed. For the purposes of this Rule, all plaintiffs collectively shall be treated as one plaintiff, and all defendants collectively shall be treated as one defendant.

    Rule 7. Depositions, interrogatories and admissions. Each party is permitted to quote directly from relevant depositions and video depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions, or any other evidence as stipulated to by the parties.

    Rule 8. Documentary evidence. Subject to a timely objection pursuant to Rule 11, or as otherwise stipulated to by the parties, any and all documents that would be admitted upon testimony by a custodian of records or other originator such as wage loss records, auto repair estimate records, photographs, or any other such documents as stipulated to, may be admitted into evidence without necessity of authentication or foundation by a live witness.

    Rule 9. Entry of judgment. Judgment shall be entered upon the short trial jury verdict form, and the judgment upon jury verdict, including any costs or attorney’s fees, shall be filed with the clerk or confirmed pursuant to NRS 38.135 if no complaint has been filed in the first instance. A decision of at least 3 of the 4 jurors is necessary to render a verdict. A judgment arising out of the Short Trial Program may not exceed $40,000.00 per plaintiff exclusive of attorney’s fees, costs and prejudgment interest. Jurors shall not be notified of this limitation. Where cases not subject to mandatory arbitration were brought into the Short Trial Program, the parties may establish a different ceiling of recovery by stipulation.

    Rule 10. Pretrial memorandum. Seven working days prior to the scheduled short trial, the parties shall personally serve on each other and the court a joint pretrial memorandum. Memoranda shall contain a brief statement of the nature of the claim(s) and defense(s), a complete list of witnesses, including rebuttal and impeachment witnesses, and a description of the substance of the testimony of each witness, and a list of exhibits.

    Rule 11. Evidentiary objections. Within 5 working days of trial, the parties shall file with the court all evidentiary objections to documents proposed to be utilized as evidence and presented to the jury at the time of trial.

    Rule 12. Jury instructions. Standard jury instructions will be taken from the Nevada Pattern Civil Jury Instructions. Any proposed or agreed to additions to the jury instructions shall be included in the pretrial memorandum. All stipulated and proposed instructions must be presented to the court prior to trial under Rule 13. The court shall encourage limited jury instructions.

    Rule 13. Pretrial conference. Prior to, or within 3 working days of the scheduled short trial, the parties shall have a telephonic conference with the presiding short trial judge to discuss all matters needing attention prior to the trial date. During the pretrial conference the presiding short trial judge may rule on any motions or disputes including motions to exclude evidence, witnesses, jury instructions or other pretrial evidentiary matters. After the pretrial conference, the counsel for the parties should meet and mark all exhibits prior to trial.

    Rule 14. Evidentiary booklets. Parties may create evidentiary booklets that may include, but are not limited to, photographs, facts, diagrams, and other evidence to be presented to the jury. Such booklets shall be submitted with the joint pretrial memorandum. Any evidentiary objections relating to such booklets shall be raised at the Rule 13 telephonic conference or shall be deemed waived.

    Rule 15. Attorney’s fees and costs. Imposition of attorney’s fees and statutory taxable costs awarded by the short trial judge shall be consistent with the Nevada Arbitration Rules under NRS 38.250 et seq. N.R.C.P. 68 and NRS 17.115 shall apply to short trials.

    Rule 16. Review of verdict. The scope of judicial review of a short trial verdict is limited to the statutory provisions of NRS 38.115 for modification or correction of award and NRS 38.145 for vacating award.

    Rule 17. Pro tempore judges. Short trials shall be conducted by the district court or by pro tempore judges selected from a qualified court panel list, pursuant to procedures adopted therefore by each of the district courts, provided, however, that pro tempore judges must:

    (A) Be members of the State Bar of Nevada.

    (B) Have the equivalent of 15 years of civil trial experience or, in the alternative, be a retired jurist, or presently acting pro tempore judge with a civil background. The panel of judges shall be selected and trained by a committee composed of court representatives and representatives of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee of the State Bar of Nevada.

    (C) The parties may stipulate to a particular pro tempore judge within 21 days of the date the case is assigned to the Short Trial Program. Absent such timely stipulation, the person designated by the district court to administer this aspect of the program shall randomly select the names of 3 judicial panelists and send the same to the parties. Each party may strike one name within 10 days, and the judge shall be selected from the remaining name(s).

    Rule 18. Fees for pro tempore judges. Court-designated judges for short jury trials shall be entitled to remuneration of $150.00 per hour, with a maximum per case of $1,500.00, paid equally by the parties unless otherwise stipulated.

    Rule 19. Allocation of fees. Judicial and juror fees shall initially be borne equally by the parties subject to retaxation pursuant to Rule 15.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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