Judicial Disqualification in Nevada
Pursuant to Nevada Supreme Court Rule 48.1(3), each side in a civil action in a district court is allowed one change of judge as a matter of right. See Chapter 27. On occasion, Nevada’s Code of Judicial Conduct, or the due process clause of the Nevada Constitution, may also be deemed to be relevant to a judicial disqualification motion. Generally speaking, however, disqualification for cause of all Nevada judges, other than Nevada Supreme Court justices, is controlled by Nev. Rev. Stat. §1.230, which enumerates substantive grounds for disqualification; and by NRS 1.235, which sets forth the proper procedure for disqualifying district court judges.
The disqualification of Nevada Supreme Court justices is governed by NRAP 35 and Nev. Rev. Stat. §1.225. Pursuant to these provisions, disqualification of a Supreme Court justice is warranted on the ground of bias whenever the challenged justice is a party to a proceeding or otherwise interested in it, has been counsel to a party in the proceeding, or is related to a party or an attorney for a party.
1. To see a 2009 Las Vegas Review-Journal Article discussing the reasons why judicial ethics experts Flamm and Hazard believed that a Supreme Court Justice should recuse from a high-profile case (she ultimately did so) click here
2. For judicial ethics expert Jeffrey Stempel’s 2008 Memorandum to the Nevada Judiciary regarding the viability of the “duty to sit” doctrine in Nevada click here
3. For an overview of recusal and disqualification law in Nevada which is updated annually see Flamm, R., Judicial Disqualification: Recusal and Disqualification of Judges, §§ 27.11 and 28.30. See also Whitacre Inv. Co. v. State, No. 29401, No. 29477, No. 29549, SUPREME COURT OF NEVADA, 113 Nev. 1101, 1115, 946 P.2d 191 (1997) (“contained in the moving papers is an opinion, in affidavit form, expressed by Richard Edward Flamm, the leading authority on judicial disqualifications…Mr. Flamm is the author of Judicial Disqualification: Recusal and Disqualification of Judges, a nationwide treatise published by Little, Brown and Company in 1996. The treatise examines in detail the principles which have been espoused by the nation’s courts in deciding judicial disqualification motions and appeals”). To locate Nevada libraries that have the current edition of Judicial Disqualification click here.