Nevada Supreme Court issues 4 opinions

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Attn: attorneys practicing criminal law - read this opinion!  It's a civil case but deals with criminal law issues.

In Flamingo Paradise Gaming v. Att'y General the Court considers a facial challenge to the constitutionality of Nevada's Clean Indoor Act.  The Court finds that the district court correctly ruled that under a facial challenge the statute is constitutional for civil enforcement but unconstitutionally vague for criminal enforcement.  "A statute containing a criminal penalty is facially vague when vagueness permeates the test of the statute, while a statute that involves only civil penalties is only facually vague if it is void in all its applications.

In Zana v. State, the Court considers whether testimony regarding prior bad acts is admissible when the resulting court proceedings were sealed or expunged.  The Court concludes that the district court may permit testimony that is confined to a witness's personal experiences so long as the witness does not rely on the previously sealed or expunged court proceedings and does not testify that such proceedings took place.  The Court next considers whether there was jury misconduct and concludes that the alleged misconduct did not prejudice the verdict.  During a weekend break in deliberations, a juror had engaged in an internet search for a particular pornographic website that was mentioned during the trial, but the juror was unable to locate the website.  He told the other jurors about his failed attempt at investigation.  The Court also considers whether the district court erred in denying a motion to sever lewdness courts from child pornography counts, and concludes that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying the motion because evidence presented for each count was admissible for the other counts.

Argentena Consol. Mining Co. Jolley Urga - The Court concludes that absent an enforceable charging lien or the client's request or consent to the district court's adjudication of a retaining lien, the district court is without jurisdiction to adjudicate an attorney-client fee dispute in the underlying action.  It further concludes that when the client asserts legal malpractice as a defense against the attorney's claim for fees, it is particularly inappropriate to summarily adjudicate the fee dispute in the underlying action.  It instructs that when the district court lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the fee dispute or the client objects to the court's adjudication of the dispute based on its legal malpractice claim against the attorney, the attorney seeking to recover fees should file a separate action to do so.

In re Estate of Miller - This appeal presents three narrow but previously undecided issues concerning offer of judgment practice under NRCP 68 and NRS 17.115.  Reversing, we hold that (1) a judgment obtained on or after appeal can qualify as a "more favorable judgment" for purposes of the fee-shifting provisions of NRCP 68 and NRS 17.115, (2) appellate fees are recoverable, and (3) an unrepresented party who serves an offer of judgment may recover fees later paid to a lawyer hired to prosecute or defend the case.  

 

 

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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on September 24, 2009 9:30 AM.

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