New Local Rules for District of Nevada

On May 1 the District of Nevada began utilizing amended local rules. The amended rules themselves are available here, a court prepared summary is here. There are many and I strongly urge those practicing in a federal court to actually read the rules, or risk having your name associated with orders like these.  There are at least two changes relating to discovery.

What does “meet and confer” mean?

LR IA 1-3(f) now defines it.  It “means to communicate directly and discuss in good faith the issues required under the particular rule or court order.”  This is nothing new, but for some reason the court felt it necessary to then state the “requirement is reciprocal and applies to all participants. Unless these rules or a court order provide otherwise, this requirement may only be satisfied through direct dialogue and discussion in a face-to-face meeting, telephone conference, or video conference.”  For those looking for creative ways to avoid that requirement, “[t]he exchange of written, electronic, or voice-mail communications does not satisfy this requirement.”  The moving party “must submit a declaration stating all meet-and-confer efforts, including the time, place, manner, and participants. The movant must certify that, despite a sincere effort to resolve or narrow the dispute during the meet-and-confer conference, the parties were unable to resolve or narrow the dispute without court intervention.”  If not, the motion may be automatically denied and the moving party sanctioned.

Additional requirement for the proposed discovery scheduling order.

LR 26-1(b)(7) now requires the parties to “certify that they met and conferred about the possibility of using alternative dispute-resolution processes including mediation, arbitration, and if applicable, early neutral evaluation.”  Personally, I do not understand the benefit of this section.  It is similar to the requirement in the local state courts.  The state court version has made absolutely no difference in any case in which I have been involved.