Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

The Futility Of Summary Disposition Of Cases In Clark County, Nevada

“Why Should I Even Try?”

I don’t know how many times during my first meeting with the client, I have heard recitations about how unjust it is that the client has to defend against facially unsupportable allegations.  “Why don’t you just file a Motion and get us out of this case?” they ask.  My answer has always been “If only it were that easy!”

Nevada Insurance Lawyer Mills & Associates 702-240-6060 When giving that answer, I wasn’t trying to be inconsiderate.  I was just passing on to the client what I had learned by experience; in Nevada State District Courts dismissals of a case on a motion is a rare occurrence.

Well now, the data has been coming in to back up what has now only been anecdotal.  In 2009 the Clark County Clerk started tracking the likelihood that Motions for Summary Judgment would be granted.  The emerging data backs up what we the attorneys have known for some time.  Summary Judgments are as rare as hen’s teeth.

From July 2009, to Oct. 2010, Clark County reports that it filed 3008 Motions for Summary Judgment.  Of those Motions, only 318 were granted.  That is a dispositive result in only 10% of the filings.  Obviously, this expected rate of outcome would not be considered a real incentive to people to ask for summary disposition of their case.

An even greater disincentive is the fact that the Clark County Clerk now imposes a fee every time a party files a Motion for Summary Judgment.  They charge you $200.00 just to slide the Motion through the clerk’s window.  I would guess that these two factors working together would all but shut down the Summary Judgment filings in the county.  And what is even more ironic is that the Judges continue to complain about how their exceptionally high caseloads cause them to be so overworked.

With that said, I don’t see this situation changing anytime soon.  Once you are in a case, plan on being in it for the long haul, in spite of the Rule of Nevada Civil Procedure that says that Summary Judgment is a remedy that is available in this state.

Mills & Associates Insurance Lawyers 702-240-6060

About Michael Mills

Mr. Mills practices in the area of civil litigation and appeals, with particular experience in matters involving trucking liability, insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability, products liability and defense of personal injury. Mr. Mills is a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association, the Defense Research Institute Trucking Committee and the Nevada Motor Transport Association. Mr. Mills is licensed to practice before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court. He is also licensed to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Nevada and Utah, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Mills has created 3 Blogs for the benefit of the insurance industry. He serves as editor and publisher of the Nevada Insurance Law Blog, the Nevada Coverage and Bad Faith Blog and the Nevada Trucking Law Blog.

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