Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Court Annexed Arbitration vs. Court Annexed Mediation

Civil practitioners in Clark and Washoe counties are familiar with the Nevada Mandatory Court Annexed Arbitration Program.   We know that unless exempt, cases of a value of $50,000 or less are required to go through the mandatory arbitration program before they can proceed to a trial.  Nev. Arb. R. 1.  The idea behind the program is to provide a simplified procedure for obtaining a prompt and equitable resolution of certain civil matters.  Nev. Arb. R. 2.  

But did you know that there is an alternative to Mandatory Arbitration?  That alternative is the Nevada Court Annexed Mediation Program.   NMR 1.  Participation in the Court Annexed Mediation Program satisfies the ADR requirement imposed by the Nevada Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules.  Nev. A.D.R. 2.  

How do parties opt out of the Court Annexed Arbitration and move their case into the Court Annexed Mediation?  NMR Rule 2. says that it is by stipulation of the parties filed within 14 days of filing of an answer by the first answering defendant.  The parties can select a mediator so long as the private mediator verifies his or her willingness to comply with the timetables of the program.  If the parties do not select a mediator, the parties are issued a list of three qualified mediators.  Each party strikes a name and the Commissioner assigns the matter to one of the remaining mediators.  

We know that the arbitration process is fast.  But the mediation process is faster.  The Rules require that the mediation take place within 60 days from the date of the mediator’s appointment.  NMR 6.   The last mediation that I presided over was conducted 43 days after my appointment by the Court.  A Court appointed Mediator is allowed to charge $150 / hour up to $2,000 per case.  NMR 10.  My last bill for a half day mediation was $1,260.00.  The matter resolved during the mediation.  

All matters not resolved in Mediation are entered into the Short Trial Program.  NMR 9.  If post mediation one of the parties does not want to go to Short Trial, that party can file a timely demand to remove the case from the Short Trial.  NSTR 5 (a)(2).  

If you have questions about Nevada’s Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution programs, please contact Mike Mills at 702.240.6060×114 or email him at