Wheels of Justice – Part III

Cogburn Law
Madeleine Jones
May 22, 2013

We previously discussed the general time-frame for a personal injury case in the Non-Binding Arbitration Program.  This program is designed for cases having a value of less than $50,000, so if your case is worth more than $50,000 then your case will stay at the District Court level.  A case at the District Court level will take at least one year to litigate if not more.  During this time period we conduct discovery on important issues in your case and hire experts.  This process can be time consuming, but is absolutely necessary to maximize your chance of obtaining a successful jury verdict.  As the Plaintiff, we have the burden of proof. We use this time to gather evidence that will help prove your case.

The District Court is extremely busy as multiple cases are filed each day.  Currently, cases are being set for trial 4-6 months after the close of discovery, i.e. after the one year of discovery. For example, let’s assume we start discovery on your case on June 1, 2013 and we elect one year to complete discovery. That means we have until June 1, 2014 to complete all of our discovery, and right now your trial would not be set until the Fall of 2014.

To further delay matters, the original trial date you get is not a guaranteed trial date.  Instead, your case, along with many other cases, is placed on a trial stack.  A trial stack is a span of 4-6 weeks that the Court has blocked off to conduct trials.  Cases that are older than your case will take priority, as will medical malpractice cases.  As such, cases rarely go to trial on the first trial date that is set.  If your case cannot be scheduled on the trial stack because other cases took up the time slots, then your case gets moved to the next trial stack, which may be a few months later and the whole process starts over again.

This can be frustrating for you, and that is understandable but unfortunately this is the reality.  Hopefully knowing about the expected timeline at the outset will help you better prepare for the long road ahead.


If you have been involved in an accident and you are in need of an experienced and aggressive Las Vegas personal injury attorney, call Cogburn Law Offices today. We can help.