Wasting Time With Generic Orders

In the Las Vegas based state district courts, it is typical for the judge to task the prevailing party with drafting a proposed order on a given motion. I am still consistently surprised by the volume of generic orders I receive that merely state the motion is granted or denied. This shortcut actually makes life more difficult later, as Nevada’s Court of Appeals recently noted.

Zimmerman v. Crossroads Commons, Ltd., LLC concerned an order granting summary judgment in a negligence claim.[1]  The appeal never reached the merits because the order was deficient.  It “fails to set forth any undisputed facts. The section of the order that is titled “Findings of Fact” actually set forth summary conclusions of law. Moreover, the order fails to actually set forth any determinations regarding that law as applied to the facts of the case.”  The result?  Reversed and remanded for further proceedings. 

On remand, the district court will presumably enter a more detailed order that the parties will appeal again.  That appeal will go to the back of the line like everyone else and languish for who knows how long until an appellate court can get to it.  So taking a shortcut while drafting the original order, saving maybe 15 minutes, resulted in another 12-18 months of delay.  Just do it right the first time.

[1] No. 75269, 2018 Nev. App. Unpub. LEXIS 955 (App. 2018).  As usual, unpublished dispositions from the Court of Appeals are not citable authority.