Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Is Clark County A Summary Judgment Black Hole?

“Should We Even Try?”

Countless times during my first meeting with the client, I have heard recitations about how unfair it is that the client has to defend against facially unsupportable allegations.  “Can’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 Coverage Lawyers Mills & Associates 702-240-6060 When giving that answer, I wasn’t being insensitive.  I was just passing on to the client what I had learned by experience; in Nevada State District Courts the dismissal 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 now charge $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 Coverage Lawyers 702-240-6060