The Supreme Court’s Decision-Making Process
Attorneys and litigants alike often wonder how their case makes its way through the Supreme Court. You file a notice of appeal and docketing statement and then brief the case according to the Court’s scheduling order. But what is happening behind the scenes? Who decides the case, and what does the decisional process look like? An abridged description follows. This information comes from the Supreme Court’s Internal Operating Procedures, which can be found on the Court’s website.
One of the first things that happens once an appeal is docketed is screening by Supreme Court staff to ensure that appellate jurisdiction exists. The appellant assists with this jurisdictional check by accurately responding to the docketing statement questions regarding timeliness of the notice of appeal and substantive appealability. If the Court has concerns regarding its jurisdiction, it will issue an order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed. Generally, in civil appeals, even if the respondent files a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, the Court will wait until after the settlement process is completed before making a decision regarding its jurisdiction.
Assignment to the Court of Appeals
The docketing statement also helps the Supreme Court determine which cases should be assigned to the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court presumptively assigns certain types of cases according to NRAP 17(b).
For appeals that the Supreme Court decides to retain, cases are assigned to one of four decisional tracks in order to tailor the decision-making process to the needs of each case. These tracks are: (1) en banc chambers track; (2) panel chambers track; (3) en bank staff track; and (4) panel staff track. Some cases are automatically designated as en banc cases soon after the case is docketed. These include cases that involve ballot or election questions; judicial or attorney discipline; the death penalty; approval of pre-paid legal service plans; questions of law certified by a federal court; disputes between branches of government; the administration of the judicial system; or that raise as a principal issue a question of first impression involving the Nevada Constitution.
The Writ, Appellate Briefs
June 2017, Vol.39, No. 6 (Pages 8 & 9)
About McDonald Carano
McDonald Carano has shaped the Nevada landscape for nearly 70 years. With over 50 lawyers in our offices in Las Vegas and Reno, we are Nevada's law firm for business. We proudly represent Fortune 500 companies, financial and governmental institutions, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, commercial law and government affairs counsel. Our dedication to clients, innovative thinking and practical solutions based in sound business and legal judgment are at the heart of our practice. For more information, visit mcdonaldcarano.com, call 702.873.4100 (Las Vegas office) or 775.788.200 (Reno office), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You have chosen to send an email to McDonald Carano. The sending or receipt of this email and the information in it does not in itself create an attorney-client relationship. If you are not already a client, you should not provide us with information that you wish to have treated as privileged or confidential without first speaking to one of our lawyers. If you provide information before we confirm that you are a client and that we are willing and able to represent you, we may not be required to treat that information as privileged, confidential, or protected information, and we may be able to represent a party adverse to you.
I have read this and want to send an email.