ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

To Learn More About Alternative Dispute Resolution in Nevada Call Our Office Today at (702) 608-3030

 

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN NEVADA

Conflict must often be resolved by a court of law, but litigation can be a very stressful experience, especially when the case goes to trial.  When faced with conflict, there are alternatives to going to trial, often referred to as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) programs.  For example, the parties to a dispute can agree to arbitration or mediation in lieu of a trial.  Conflicting parties can also resolve their differences through negotiation. 

If the amount in controversy is less than $50,000.00, your case will likely be automatically assigned to the court’s mandatory arbitration program.  If any party is unsatisfied with the arbitration result, the case may be appealed to the Nevada Short Trial Program. 

Each of our attorneys were trained in the area of Alternate Dispute Resolution at the William S. Boyd School of Law which boast one of the Top 10 ADR programs in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.   

Mediation

What is Mediation? Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third person, called a mediator, mediates between two parties to encourage settlement of a dispute.  It is an informal process that has the objective of helping the parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement.  In mediation, decision-making authority rests with the parties.  The mediator’s role is to assist the parties in identifying issues, fostering joint problem solving and exploring settlement alternatives.

Mediators are generally attorneys but could also be qualified professionals in a particular field.  However, to be a mediator in Court’s mediation program the mediator must be licensed to practice as an attorney in Nevada and have at least 10 years of civil experience as a practicing attorney or judge. A mediator has complete discretion over the conduct of the proceeding.

Under the Court mediation program, after the conclusion of the mediation proceedings the mediator will file a report with the Court stating whether the matter was resolved, an impasse has been declared, or that no agreement was reached, or that the matter has been continued.  When matters cannot be resolved through negotiation, the parties do not lose any rights to continue to seek redress from a court of law. 

Arbitration

What is Arbitration? Arbitration is a process whereby a neutral third person, called an arbitrator, considers the facts and arguments presented by the parties and renders a decision, which may be binding or nonbinding on the parties.

The purpose of Arbitration is to provide a simplified procedure for obtaining a prompt and equitable resolution of certain civil matters.  Arbitration hearings are intended to be informal and expeditious.

All civil cases commenced in District Court that have a probable jury award of $50,000 or less per plaintiff are subject to the Court Annexed Arbitration Program (CAAP), except cases involving divorce, probate, class actions, or declaratory relief.  Regardless of the amount in controversy, the parties may agree in writing to submit their dispute to CAAP.  Often this agreement can be found in contract provisions.  

The Arbitration Commissioner selects the arbitrator for each case from a panel of arbitrators consisting of attorneys that are licensed to practice in Nevada.  However, the parties may agree to use a private arbitrator who is not on the panel.

Prior to the arbitration, each party provides the arbitrator with a pre-hearing statement setting forth that party’s arguments and identifying any witnesses and documents the party intends to rely on at the arbitration hearing.  At the hearing, each party presents their arguments, witnesses and evidence.  At the end of the hearing the arbitrator will issue a decision, which is called an “award.”  If the parties have agreed to binding arbitration the award will be final in most cases.  If the parties have not agreed to be bound by the arbitration award, any party has the right to request a “trial de novo” within 30 days, so long as they have paid the arbitrator’s fees and costs.

If no party has filed a request for trial de novo within 30 days, the prevailing party submits a form of final judgment to the commissioner that is in accordance with the arbitration award, which shall be signed by the district judge and will become a final judgment that cannot be appealed, except for very specific reasons.

If a party requests a trial de novo, the case will proceed in the district court as to all parties in the action and shall proceed under the “Short Trial Program,” unless one of the parties pays $1,000.00 to the Court to exempt the case from the Short Trial Program. 

Short Trial Program

What is the Short Trial Program? The purpose of the short trial program is to expedite civil trials through procedures designed to control the length of the trial, including, without limitation, restrictions on discovery, the use of smaller juries and time limits for presentation of evidence.  

In all cases that would otherwise qualify for mandatory CAAP arbitration, the parties may agree to bypass arbitration and proceed directly to the short trial program.  Likewise, cases exempt from the court annexed program may, by agreement of all parties, be placed in the short trial program.

The short trial may be presided over by district court judge or a pro tempore judge.  The judge can be selected by the parties or the commissioner can appoint the judge from a panel of pro tempore judges that are attorney that have practiced civil law for more than ten years.  The trial will normally be held not later than 120 days after the judge is assigned and no continuances will be granted except in cases of extraordinary circumstances.

A party is entitled to a trial by jury.  However, the number of jurors will be either 4 or 6.  The parties will each have only 3 hours to present their side of the case, including opening and closing statements.  A judgment may not exceed $50,000 per plaintiff, exclusive of attorney’s fees, costs and prejudgment interest, unless the parties agree otherwise.

Understanding which process your case will proceed through requires a thorough understanding of the applicable rules.  Therefore, it is extremely important that you hire an experienced Las Vegas Attorney to assist you. At Lucherini Blakesley Courtney, our attorneys have extensive litigation experience and are well equipped to assist you in resolving your dispute by whatever means available.  Call our office today at (702) 608-3030 to speak to an experienced attorney. 

Negotiation

A highly trained negotiator gets the better end of the deal every time.  The skilled negotiator understands that information is power, employing strategies to gain information without giving up much information.  The skilled negotiator understands how to maximize leverage and how to gain an advantage each time objective criteria are employed.  

Effective negotiations often replace the high costs associated with litigation.  A successful negotiation can also save a great deal of emotional hardship, particularly because negotiations are almost always less stressful than pursuing results by way of a lawsuit.   

At Lucherini Blakesley Courtney, P.C., our attorneys continually endeavor to hone their skills in art of negotiation.  Call our office today at (702) 608-3030 to speak with one of our highly trained negotiators.   

Free Consultation

To learn more about alternative dispute resolution in Nevada call Lucherini Blakesley Courtney today at (702) 608-3030 to schedule a free consultation.