Calculating the Proper Days with a Nevada Offer of Judgment is Crucial as is the Understanding of NRCP 68
Offer of Judgments have many rules that apply to the basic core rule that a party may have to pay attorney fees and costs if they are incorrect in their decision to accept such an offer. The Nevada Supreme Court has outlined many rules as they apply to Offer of Judgments in Nevada Law. Here is a summary:
1.) An Offer of Judgment is irrevocable after it is served for 10 days
2.) An Offer of Judgment mandates an award of Costs and Discretionary attorney fees if beaten at trial.
3.) An Offer of Judgment must be made 10 days prior to trial as calculated from the actual trial date. Pursuant to NRCP 6(a), the trial date itself, is excluded from the computation and the day the offer is served is included.
4.) An Award of Attorney’s Fees are Discretionary and Costs are Mandatory. Under former NRCP 68, attorney’s fees and costs may be allowed as follows: “If the judgment finally obtained by the offeree is not more favorable than the offer, the offeree shall not recover costs, nor attorneys’ fees, but shall pay the costs and attorneys’ fees, if any be allowed, of the party making the offer from the time of the offer.”
In addition, NRS 17.115(4)(b) provides that
If the party to whom the offer of judgment is made fails to obtain a more favorable judgment, he cannot recover:
(b) Costs or attorney’s fees,
and the court shall order him to pay to the party who made the offer that party’s taxable costs incurred from the date of filing the complaint, and may order ․ reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the party making the offer from the time of the offer.
PALACE STATION HOTEL CASINO INC v. JONES
PALACE STATION HOTEL & CASINO, INC., Appellant, v. Keith JONES, Respondent.
– June 15, 1999
BEFORE: MAUPIN, AGOSTI and BECKER, JJ.
I. Offer of Judgment
Nevada’s offer of judgment rule is set forth in NRCP 68 and NRS 17.115. At the time of the underlying action, NRCP 68 provided in pertinent part: “At any time more than 10 days before the trial begins, any party may serve upon the adverse party an offer to allow judgment to be entered for the money or property or to the effect specified in the offer, with costs then accrued.” 1
NRS 17.115(1) provides that:
At any time more than 10 days before trial, either informally or at any pretrial conference presided over by a judge of the court in which the action is pending, any party may serve an offer in writing to allow judgment to be taken in accordance with the terms and conditions stated at that time.
NRCP 6(a) prescribes the manner in which the ten-day time period provided under NRCP 68 and NRS 17.115 is to be computed. See NRCP 1.
In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, ․ or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a non-judicial day, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, or a non-judicial day.