Archive for the ‘litigation’ Category

One Good Change Deserves (Needs) Another

In 2015, the Nevada Legislature raised Nevada Justice Courts’ Jurisdictional limit from $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 effective on January 1, 2017. This statute requires any cases filed until December 31, 2016 seeking damages up to $10,000.00 should be filed in Justice Court. The Statute, as amended, will require that any cases filed on or after January 1, 2017 seeking damages up to $15,000.00 should be filed in Justice Court.

An issue this brings up is when should a case seeking damages between $10,000.00 and $15,000.00 be filed? Attorneys and their clients should analyze which Court will give them better advantages to determine if they should file before or after the January 1, 2017 if they fall within this range of damages and the decision will not be effected by the relevant Statute of Limitations.

NRS 4.370(a) governs Justice Courts’ Jurisdictional limits. For cases filed until December 31, 2016, it states:

For cases filed on or after January 1, 2017, it states:

It all seems plain and simple until you look to a Rule which governs Pleadings in Nevada. One of the statements in Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure requires Complaints filed in Nevada District Courts to aver Jurisdiction in that Court. Specifically, the NRCP 8(a) states:

Where a claimant seeks damages of more than $10,000, the demand shall be for damages “in excess of $10,000” without further specification of amount.

This rule requires the Plaintiff to allege the Jurisdictional basis for a case being heard by the District Court while forbidding her from alleging a specific amount of damages in excess of the Jurisdictional limit for Justice Courts. A District Court Judge could dismiss a Complaint or require a Plaintiff to amend her Complaint if she alleges a specific amount in excess of $10,000.00

I have checked the Nevada Supreme Court’s website and do not see any changes, or proposed changes to NRCP 8(a) that would amend the required Jurisdictional Statement to comport with the new Jurisdictional limit of Juste Courts. Crafty counsel could take advantage of this inconsistency.

If a Plaintiff drafts her Complaint to comply with NRCP 8(a), Defense Counsel could file a Motion to Transfer Jurisdiction to Justice Court pursuant to NRS 3.221 since the claim for damages will be “in excess of $10,000.00 which falls within the Justice Courts’ Jurisdiction. This may turn out unsuccessful and a waste of the Court’s time, but some attorneys and their clients won’t have a problem doing so.

On the other hand, if the Plaintiff files her Complaint stating that the case has a value in excess of $15,000.00 to demonstrate that the District Court has Jurisdiction, Defense Counsel can file a Motion to Dismiss citing a violation of NRCP8(a) as currently written.

While I have not see it yet, I am sure that the Nevada Supreme Court Justices will resolve this inconsistency to prevent gamesmanship by Counsel and their clients from taking advantage of a technicality and wasting valuable Court time and resources.

First Trial of 2013

Well, I’m about two weeks out from My first Trial of the new year. This time it’s a conventional trial. It should last  about 4 or 5 days. My client was injured when a grocery store employee struck him in the ankle while pushing carts into place.

My client attempted conservative care. When that failed, he had to have surgery on his ankle to repair  a torn tendon. The surgery improved his condition, but he continued to experience pain and discomfort in his ankle for some time.

We will be seeking compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, and poison and suffering caused by the accident.

Two days till trial

I’ve met with the client and prepared him for Trial.  He has a copy of the Exhibits to review to refresh his memory about the two accidents, his injuries and treatment from a few years ago.

In the meantime, other cases continue to move forward.  I’ve got a Deposition tomorrow with an out of State client who came in today to get ready for her Deposition.  That took about an hour to discuss the Deposition process and her Deposition in particular.  Tomorrow’s Deposition will take an hour or so plus some more time to finish getting the client ready and comfortable with the process.

I have a Mediation on Friday that I’ve also been preparing for: going over medical records; getting the client ready for the process; and writing a Mediation Brief for the Arbitrator to read.

On top of all of the case work, life continues on the administrative front as well.  Making sure money is distributed to clients and the office runs as smoothly as possible. Life goes on and it’s good to be busy.

Will Be Ready For Trial

I spent some time this morning working on my Trial Outline for next week’s Short Trial. It’s important to keep it simple so can get through it without having to look at it too much and organized so that I get the important points across to the Jury.

With this case, I have to be able to make sure I cover all of the facts for two accidents – both the facts of the accident as well as the medical treatment for the accidents.

Since there are two accidents in this case, the Defendants will be jointly and severally liable for my client’s damages and injuries that occurred after the second accident UNLESS the Defendants can convince the Jury that the damages can be apportioned. The Nevada Supreme Court decided this office in a case known as Kleitz. You can read this case at Kleitz.

One of the Defendants has retained an doctor to review the medical records and render an opinion on causation and apportionment. Just guess what he says…

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