Report: Nevada courts see uptick in cases

Kathy Woods Nov. 24, 2009, 12:01am

Nevada Supreme Court building

CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline)-Judges in Nevada are swamped, a report by the state Supreme Court said Monday.

Courts in the Silver State had to deal with more than 400,000 more non-traffic cases than the year before, an annual report notes.

"Our annual reports have become an invaluable tool for the courts, the Legislature, the Executive Branch and local governments to assess our work and plan for the future of the Nevada judicial system," Chief Justice James Hardesty said.

"The report details not only the workloads of every court in the state, but also provides information about the numerous programs that have made our court system one of the most progressive in the country," Hardesty added.

During fiscal year 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court had 2,152 filings and disposed of 2,167 cases.

Nevada has no intermediate Court of Appeals therefore, the Supreme Court must consider all appeals filed which is why it is one of the busiest appellate courts in the United States.

For the first time ever, civil cases topped the 200,000 mark. At the district court level, civil filings rose over 18 percent.

Statewide the average number of cases per district judge was 1,944.
"Remarkably, Nevada's judiciary as a whole cleared 92 percent of all the cases filed," Hardesty wrote.

Specialty civil courts have been developed in Nevada to help take the strain off regular dockets, the report said.

Clark and Washoe counties, for instance, have developed Business Courts designed to expeditiously resolve business disputes and prevent interruptions in business operations because of prolonged litigation.

Business Courts allow businesses to bring their legal troubles to judges experienced in business law. The judges offer case management, opportunities for innovative judicial resolution through settlement, close complex litigation, and consistent decisions to help with business planning.

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