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Volume XII, Number 274

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Nevada Supreme Court Deems Independent Medical Evaluation Statute Unconstitutional

In 2019, the Nevada Supreme Court updated all of its Rules of Civil Procedure, including Rule 35, which governs requests to mentally or physically examine a claimant. The local plaintiffs’ bar was unhappy with the changes to Rule 35 and lobbied the Legislature to abrogate the rule by enacting Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 52.380, which contains the plaintiffs’ bar’s favored language. The conflicting statute and rule created a mess in local courts as different judges applied different standards. 

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in Lyft, Inc. v. Dist. Ct., 137 Nev. Adv. Op. 86 (Nev. 2021), that NRS 52.380 is unconstitutional as a violation of the separation of powers. In Lyft, the defense requested a Rule 35 examination; the plaintiff insisted that the examination be governed by NRS 52.380 and the district court agreed. The Court allowed the plaintiff “to have his attorney present to observe and make an audio recording of each exam.” The Supreme Court reviewed NRS 52.380, concluded it plainly conflicted with Rule 35, and the multiple conflicts between the two could not be reconciled or harmonized. The Court concluded, “NRS 52.380 is unconstitutional because it attempts to abrogate an existing rule of procedure that this court prescribed under its inherent authority to regulate the judicial process.”

© 2022 Wilson ElserNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 4
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About this Author

Michael Lowry Las Vegas Retail Manufacturing Attorney Wilson Elser Law Firm
Partner

Michael Lowry has an active litigation and defense practice, with clients among the country’s largest and most recognizable brands in several industries, such as retail, restaurant and hospitality, commercial transportation, manufacturing and more. As a member of the firm’s emergency response team, when transportation clients face a catastrophic event, Michael and other members of Wilson Elser’s 24/7 go-team arrive on the scene to help gather and preserve information that may be critical to the client’s defense, as well as liaison at the scene with investigating...

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