Nevada Supreme Court issues 4 opinions

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Hoagland v. State - In a panel decision (Justices Hardesty, Douglas and Pickering), the Court finds that necessity may be asserted as a defense to a DUI charge, but the district court in this case did not erred in refusing to instruct the jury on necessity because the defendant's offer of proof was insufficient as a matter of law to satisfy an element of the defense.  The Court holds that a DUI violation is not a strict liability offense and recognizes that necessity is a common law defense.  The Court also notes that due process requires that there be an opportunity to present every available defense.  The Court finds, however, that the defendant did not proffer evidence establishing that he did not substantially contribute to the emergency or create the situation, which is an element of the necessity defense.  Here, the defendant's offer of proof showed that he parked his truck, in which he was living, in a prohibited parking stall at the Salvation Army.  The Court finds that the defendant's action of parking in a prohibited stall created the situation requiring him to operate his truck while under the influence.

J.D. Construction v. IBEX Int'l Group - In a panel decision (Justices Hardesty, Douglas and Pickering), the Court address the proper scope and nature of NRS 108.2275 proceedings where a property owner seeks to expunge a frivolous or excessive mechanic's lien.  The Court finds that the trial court must determine the material facts in order to reach a conclusion as to whether a lien is frivolous or excessive, but the trial court is not required to hold a full evidentiary hearing.

San Juan v. PSC Industrial Outsourcing - In a panel decision (Justices Hardesty, Douglas and Pickering), the Court holds as follows: " Our case law holds that a person who hires an independent contractor is not, without more, vicariously liable to the independent contractor's employees for their employer's torts, even though the job involves inherent danger or "peculiar risk."  The issue presented by this appeal is whether this rule depends on the employer being solvent and competent.  We hold that it does not.  The Nevada workers' compensation system covers injured workers without regard to their employer's solvency.  And competence, judged after the fact and without regard to the hirer's knowledge or fault, does not differ meaningfully from negligence.  Holding a person who hires an independent contractor vicariously liable when the contractor turns out to be incompetent but not if he proves negligent draws a distinction the law does not support."

Cramer v. State, DMV - In a panel decision (Justices Hardesty, Douglas and Pickering), the Court holds as follows:  " In 1995, the Legislature enacted NRS 50.320, which permits the use of an affidavit to prove a person's blood-alcohol content in certain proceedings, including driver's license revocation hearings, by a person who has been previously qualified to testify as an expert witness by a district court.

            In Cramer v. State, Department of Motor Vehicles, Docket No. 53248, we conclude that NRS 50.320 limits the use of an expert witness affidavit to persons previously qualified by a district court to testify as an expert witness.  Therefore, an administrative hearing officer lacks discretion to admit expert witness testimony by affidavit when the affiant has not been qualified by a district court or the affidavit fails to state the district court in which the affiant was permitted to testify.

            In State, Department of Motor Vehicles v. Joseph, Docket No. 53380, we reject the suggestion that the district court qualification requirement in NRS 50.320 can be satisfied by way of a stipulation entered into by parties in a separate, unrelated district court case."

The Court has issued 38 opinions this year, four of which were in criminal cases.


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This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on October 7, 2010 10:12 AM.

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