NRCP 16.1 governs pretrial discovery requirements.
Section (a) governs required disclosures. There are three areas of required disclosures which are broken down into section (1), (2), and (3). These disclosures cover initial disclosures, expert testimony disclosures, and pretrial disclosures. They are explained below.
Section (1) of NRCP 16.1 governs initial disclosures. Parties to litigation have an affirmative duty to provide relevant information for trial to the other party without awaiting discovery requests. This duty extends to such things as the name and contact info of all individuals who are likely to have information which is relevant to a claim or a defense in the case. Parties must disclose all documents and tangible information which are relevant to the case. Additionally, parties have an affirmative duty to disclose a computation of damages claimed as well as the information from which the damages are calculated from. The defense has an obligation to provide any and all insurance agreements which bay be used to satisfy a judgment in the case. All of these disclosures should be made within 14 days of the Rule 16.1(b) conference. Any parties served or joined after the conference has already taken place will have 30 days to disclose such information.
Section (2) of NRCP 16.1 governs disclosure of expert testimony. Parties shall disclose the names of any person who shall present evidence at trial. If the person presenting evidence is an expert then an expert report shall be prepared and submitted, signed by the witness. This report will contain a statement of all opinions to be expressed at trial and the reasons for those opinions, the data relied on by the expert, and any exhibits to be used as a summary of or to support opinions. The report needs to further supply the qualifications of the expert, including a list of publications by the witness for the preceding 10 years; the compensation paid for the testimony; and a list of any other cases in which the witness has testified in the past four years.
Section (3) governs pretrial disclosures. These pretrial disclosures concern those items of evidence which may or will be used at trial. This includes the name and contact info of any witness who will be called or who may be called. This also includes the designation of any witnesses who’s testimony may be presented by way of deposition and if so the relevant transcript of that testimony. Lastly this includes the identification of each document or exhibit which may be used at trial. All of these pretrial disclosures must be made at least 30 days prior to trial. Any objections to any of these disclosures being presented at trail must be made within 14 days following the submission of the pre-trial disclosures. Any objections not made within that time frame are thereby waived.
Section (4) tells us that all disclosures must be in writing, signed, and served on the other party.
Section (b) governs Meet and confer requirements
Section (1) governs attendance at early case conference. The parties to litigation must meet and confer within 30 days of the filing of the answer by the first appearing defendant. The parties must meet in person. The purpose of this meeting is for the parties to make or arrange for the initial disclosures discussed above in (a)((1) but it is also an opportunity for the parties to develop a discovery plan. The attorneys can agree to continue the time for the meeting for an additional period but such meeting must not be for a period in excess of 90 days. The plaintiff will designate the time and place for the meeting. Of course this early case conference is only for cases that do not fall within the court annexed arbitration program or the short trial program.
Section (2) discusses planning for discovery. At the meeting the parties need to develop a discovery plan. Such plan will include any changes which may need to be made to the 16.1(a)(1) initial disclosure rule; the subject matter on which discovery is necessary as well as when discovery should be completed; and any other changes that should be made in the limitations on discovery imposed; lastly the parties need estimate time necessary for trial.
Section (c) governs the case conference report. After the early case conference the parties need to file a joint case conference report. This report will contain things such as a description of the nature of the action; a proposed discovery plan; a written list of names exchanged pursuant to (a)(1)(b); a written list of all documents provided at the conference pursuant to the initial disclosure rule; a date on which discovery will close; a calendar date no later than 90 days before the close of discovery beyond which the parties shall be precluded from filing motions to amend the pleadings. Also within this case conference report the parties are expected to calendar a date by which expert disclosures come due. However that day must not be later than 90 days prior to the discovery cut-off date and rebuttal disclosures shall not be more than 30 days after the initial expert disclosures. The parties also need to calendar a date by which all dispositive motions must be filed. This date shall not be more than 30 days past discovery cut-off. Finally, the parties must estimate the time required for trial and also disclose whether a jury demand has been filed.
Section (d) governs how discovery disputes shall be handled. Discovery disputes must first be heard by the discovery commissioner. Following any hearing before the commissioner the commissioner must prepare and file a report with his or her recommendations for resolution. If either party wishes to object to this report and recommendation they must do so within 5 days of being served with a copy of the recommendations. The court may then affirm, reverse or modify the commissioner’s recommendations.
Section (e) discusses sanctions. The rule makes it clear that a case can be dismissed if the case conference of 16.1(b) is not held within 180 days of the first defendants answer. If the conference takes place but the plaintiff doesn’t file the report within 240 days after an appearance by the defendant then the case may be dismissed as to that defendant. If parties don’t comply with the other rules of 16.1 they may be sanctioned as pleases the court. Specifically the court may prohibit the use of witnesses, documents, or tangible things which should have been disclosed, produced, exhibited, or exchanged per these rules.