Alternate dispute resolution (ADR) programs provide effective methods for
resolving disputes in addition to the traditional and formal adversarial
litigation process. ADR promotes several important interests. Litigants’
interests are served by addressing and resolving disputes in less time and
at less expense than by trial. The public interest is served by removing
cases from the formal trial calendar that need not be fully litigated before
a judge or jury. Besides the obvious cost savings, the courts have the
opportunity to bring the more complex cases to trial earlier.
As part of its case management system, the Judges of the Ninth Judicial
District Court and Clerk of the Court provide several ADR methods including
mediation, settlement conferences, arbitration and just recently the short
In 1994, the Ninth Judicial District Court adopted the Nevada Arbitration
Rules (NAR) as published by the Nevada Supreme Court. The arbitration
program is court annexed which means that it is sponsored, funded, and
administered by the District Court and Clerk of the Court.
Application: As expressed in NAR 2(A), “The purpose of the program is to
provide a simplified procedure for obtaining a prompt and equitable
resolution of certain civil matters.” The arbitration program applies just
to civil actions where money is the only issue in dispute. Typical examples
of such cases are money claims for personal injuries sustained in motor
vehicle accidents and money actions for failure to perform according to a
contract. This program provides a method for resolving cases that do not
involve substantial sums of money but exceed the maximum sums that may be
awarded in Small Claims or Justice Courts.
As stated in Rule 4 of the Ninth Judicial District Court (NJDCR), all civil
cases seeking just monetary relief that have a probable jury award value not
in excess of $25,000, exclusive of interest and costs, are presumed under
the arbitration rules to be in the arbitration program.
Exemption Request: If a party to a money only lawsuit believes that their
case has a probable jury award value in excess of $25,000, the party must
request that the matter be exempted from the arbitration program as required
under NAR 5. This is accomplished by filing a formal exemption request
certifying and stating a summary of facts which supports the exemption
request. The Judge assigned to the case will determine whether the action
should be exempted based on the facts presented.
Arbitration Process: Unless the monetary action is exempted from the
arbitration program, the Arbitration Commissioner will send a “Selection of
Arbitrator” list to the litigants from which an arbitrator will be selected
and appointed as provided in NAR 6. The potential arbitrators are selected
from a pool of experienced attorneys or persons with other professional
Once the arbitrator is appointed, the arbitration proceeds as set forth in
the arbitration rules. Based on the evidence presented at the arbitration
hearing, the arbitrator issues an award which is filed with the Arbitration
Commissioner. The decision of the arbitrator is not binding and either party
to the action may file a written request for a trial de novo as provided in
NAR 18. Otherwise, the award is reduced to a judgment which is issued by the
District Court Judge.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Arbitration Program
What is the monetary threshold for arbitration cases in the Ninth Judicial
District Court arbitration program?
Dollars($25,000). See NJDCR 4 & NAR 3.
Will a request for exemption from arbitration stated in the caption of the
complaint and/or in the body of the complaint that the case has a value in
excess of $25,000 be entertained by the Arbitration Commissioner and Court?
No. A separate
exemption request certifying and stating a summary of facts supporting the
exemption request must be filed. See NAR 5. NAR 3 lists the actions that may
be exempted categorically by designation in the caption of the complaint.
Short Trial Program
The Ninth Judicial District Court has adopted the Short Trial Program as
provided by NRS 38.258 and the Nevada Short Trial Rules. (See NJDCR 28) The
Short Trial Program in the Ninth Judicial District applies to cases having a
monetary of less than $25,000, unless the parties establish a different
ceiling of recovery by stipulation. Presently it is limited to actions
wherein the litigants consent to participate in the Short Trial Program,
understanding that it is binding upon the parties.
Who do I contact for information about the arbitration and short trial
Master Steve McMorris serves the Court as Arbitration Commissioner and
administers the Short Trial Program. You may contact him at (775) 783-1479
or (775) 782-9820. Any documents concerning the programs are submitted to
the Clerk of the Court.