Nevada's Newly Established Intermediate Appellate Court

Posted on February 17, 2015

Posted by: Jon J. Carlston

In November 2014, voters in Nevada voted to amend the Nevada constitution to create an intermediate appellate court. Until the passage of this amendment, Nevada was one of ten states that did not have an intermediate appellate court. The Nevada Supreme Court was the only appellate court in Nevada hearing and deciding appeals from final judgments entered by Nevada's 82 district court judges. As a result, Nevada's Supreme Court was one of the busiest in the nation. Each of its seven justices was averaging approximately 333 cases per year - more than three times the American Bar Association's ("ABA") recommended 100 cases per year.

Historically, the Nevada Supreme Court has had the highest number of filings of all states without an appellate court. This backlog forced the Nevada Supreme Court to resolve most appeals through unpublished written orders that only bound the parties to the appeal. The lack of published opinions has arguably led to the same issues being litigated repeatedly. The new intermediate Court of Appeals is designed to decide the more routine cases, thus allowing the Supreme Court to issue more published opinions affecting or modifying Nevada's existing laws. In the past, the Nevada Supreme Court typically issued precedent-setting published opinions in 3 to 4 percent of all appeals. This Court of Appeals should also provide for speedier resolution of appeals. Currently, it takes approximately 18 months for an appeal filed in Nevada to be decided.

The new Court of Appeals will use the "push-down" model. Appeals filed in Nevada will continue to be filed with the Office of the Nevada Supreme Court Clerk, and will remain assigned to the Supreme Court until they are ready to be decided. The Supreme Court will then decide which matters should be assigned to the Court of Appeals. Approximately 700 cases each year will be assigned to the three judges on the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court will establish the types of matters to be reviewed by the lower court. It will also be possible to seek review of a decision made by the Court of Appeals to the Nevada Supreme Court. However, the Nevada Supreme Court retains the sole discretion to accept petitions for review, and such review will only be granted in extraordinary cases. This deflective model will allow the Supreme Court to speed up the appeals process by assigning cases to the lower court, while retaining those cases that raise questions of first impression or issues of important public policy. This will result in more published opinions that establish guidance on Nevada law, improved decisions in the district courts, and improved access to the appellate process.

This Court of Appeals will consist of three judges, but the Nevada Legislature law increase the number of judges. The initial three judges were appointed by a selection process and will serve terms of two years. After this initial two year term has concluded, the judges of this court will be elected in the general election to serve a term of 6 years, similar to all judges in Nevada.
The newly established intermediate court began its work in January 2015. Its initial members are the Honorable Justices Abbi Silver, Jerome "Jerry" Tao, and Michael Patrick Gibbons. The Court is based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and is housed inside the Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas.

Jon J. Carlston is an Associate with Kring & Chung, LLP's Las Vegas, NV office. He can be contacted at (702) 260-9500 or at jcarlston@kringandchung.com.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Premium Av Preeminent 5.0 out 5 Rating Peer Review Rated LexisNexis Martindale Hubbell Avvo Super Lawyers OC Metro Register
Contact

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Office Locations

Irvine Office
38 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606

Phone: 949-345-1621
Fax: 949-261-8800
Irvine Law Office Map

Los Angeles Office
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2700
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 213-232-1633
Map & Directions

Temecula Office
41955 Fourth St., Suite 315
Temecula, CA 92590

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 951-331-4520
Fax: 951-257-0450
Map & Directions

Sacramento Office
2620 J Street #1
Sacramento, CA 95816

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 916-266-9000
Fax: 916-266-9001
Map & Directions

San Diego Office
11682 El Camino Real, Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92130

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 858-436-0268
Fax: 858-436-0279
Map & Directions

Las Vegas Office
1050 Indigo Dr., Suite 200
Las Vegas, NV 89145

Phone: 949-345-1621
Phone: 702-260-9500
Fax: 702-260-9434
Map & Directions