Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nevada Votes for Intermediate Appellate Court

Following up on my earlier post regarding the Nevada ballot question regarding the addition of an intermediate appellate court in Nevada, voters in that state approved the measure by only a slight margin. Ballotpedia has this summary.  This move leaves only nine states without an intermediate appellate court.

Seah Whaley of the The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that legislative appropriation is underway and seems uncontroversial. Applications for newly created judgeships are being taken by the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection with interviews planned for early December and appointment by the Governor in early 2015.  The court will sit in both Carson City and Las Vegas.

Appeals will apparently still be filed with the Nevada Supreme Court, which will then assign some cases to the intermediate appellate court. This strikes me as an unusual arrangement.

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An usual arrangement, perhaps. but not without precedent. It's basically the model that California used for many years under the Constitution of [I forget what year]. I'm not sure I would have recommended it, but it may have reassured some voters that significant cases would still be decided by the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Norm Vance | Nov 10, 2014 3:57:36 PM

Mississippi does the same thing. They call it "deflecting" cases. In practice, certain kinds of cases (divorce, workers comp, post-conviction relief) end up going to the intermediate court.

Posted by: Anderson | Nov 11, 2014 8:48:38 AM

Thank you for those examples. I suspected it wasn't completely unprecedented, but the only place I could recall seeing it was as part of a proposal for a layer of federal appellate courts between the circuits and the Supreme Court.

Posted by: David R. Cleveland | Nov 11, 2014 9:10:35 PM

Utah also has a highly complex jurisdictional scheme, with some matters going directly to the Court of Appeals, others directly to the Supreme Court, and still others going to the Supreme Court but then "poured over" into the Court of Appeals (although the Supreme Court can retain the ones it picks out).

Posted by: Justin | Nov 18, 2014 9:48:13 AM

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