Nevada Supreme Court in Las Vegas
"The Las Vegas Courthouse"

The Nevada Supreme Court has courthouses in both Las Vegas and Carson City. The Las Vegas location is at:

"Las Vegas Courthouse"

408 East Clark Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89101

The Las Vegas Courthouse phone number is (702) 486-3232. The building is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, not including holidays.

The Las Vegas Courthouse is also residence to the Nevada Court of Appeals, the state's new intermediary court.

In this article, our Las Vegas Nevada criminal defense attorneys discuss the Las Vegas location of Nevada's Supreme Court, including its:

Also see our information page on the Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City.

Court building
The Las Vegas Courthouse opened in 2017.

1. Jurisdiction of the Nevada Supreme Court

As the highest court in the state, Nevada' Supreme Court hears Nevada appeals cases from all of Nevada's 11 district courts (which includes family courts.)

Unlike the United States Supreme Court -- which is choosy about what cases it hears -- Nevada's Supreme Court hears every case that is appealed to it.

2. Justices of the Nevada Supreme Court

Seven justices sit on Nevada's highest court. They are elected and serve six-year terms. Currently, a majority of the justices are women -- a first for Nevada.1

The longest-serving justice acts as the "chief justice" for two years. Vacancies are filled by appointments made by the Nevada governor.

Most appeals are heard and decided by three-justice panels. At any one time, one panel is in Las Vegas and the other is Carson City. But for particularly important cases, all seven justices will convene "en banc" to hear an appeal.

The justices' decisions do not have to be unanimous. Instead, a majority of the justices decide a ruling: On a three-justice panel, two of the three justices would need to vote the same way. And on an en banc panel, four out of the seven justices would need to vote the same way.

3. Purpose of the Nevada Supreme Court

courtroom
Las Vegas Courthouse courtroom, courtesty of Las Vegas Review-Journal

The justices in the Las Vegas Courthouse never hold trials. Instead, they review appeals of trials in order to determine whether any mistakes were made that deprived the defendant of a fair trial. 

When defendants get convicted of a crime, they are welcome to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. This requires the defense attorneys to write a lengthy "brief", explaining all the ways that the defendant was prejudiced at trial and why the verdict and/or sentence was wrong.

After defendants ("appellants") submit the appellate brief, the prosecution ("respondent") submits an "answering brief" that argues against the defendants' claims. Defendant then have the opportunity to submit a "reply brief" in support of their initial claims.

Sometimes justices will decide how to rule on an appeal based solely on the briefs. Other times, they hold an oral argument between the defense attorney and the prosecution. These oral arguments can take place in Las Vegas or Carson City, they usually last 30 minutes, and the justices are free to ask either side questions.

After reading the briefs and possibly listening to oral arguments, the justices can either:

  • affirm the trial judge's decision, which means nothing changes;
  • modify the trial judge's decision, which is a partial win for the defendant; or
  • reverse the trial judge's decision, which means the justices overturn the guilty verdict or sentence

In some cases, the judges issue written opinions that serve as legal precedence for all lower courts in Nevada.

When the justices decide to modify or reverse a trial court verdict or sentence, the case gets "remanded" back down to the trial level to be fixed in accordance with the justices' ruling.

4. Nevada Court of Appeals

The Nevada Court of Appeals is very new, having been installed only in 2015 following a 2014 ballot measure. The appellate court has three judges, and it serves as the intermediary court between the district court and the state supreme court.

Prior to 2015, every case appealed from a Nevada district court reached Nevada's Supreme Court. Now, about a third of those cases get routed to the Court of Appeals. Nevada's Supreme Court tends to assign cases to the appellate court which are not precedent-setting and do not have large-scale ramifications for the state.

Part of the reason for having an intermediary court is to help lessen the backlog of cases. However, the backlog continues to increase in part due to Nevada's growing population and the improving economy. Lawmakers predict that the number of appellate court judges may need to be increased in order to handle the backlog.2

seal
The Las Vegas Courthouse building opened in 2017.

5. Other facts about the Las Vegas location of the Nevada Supreme Court

The Las Vegas Courthouse is very new, having opened only in 2017. Prior to 2017, justices in Las Vegas would hear cases on the top floor of the Regional Justice Center a few blocks away.

The Las Vegas Courthouse was made from 125 tons of sourced marble stone in only 14 months. The building is gold-certified LEED, short for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. The design helps save in energy and water as well as improve indoor air quality.3

Call a Nevada criminal defense attorney...

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Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation today.

Do you want to appeal your guilty verdict or unfair sentence to the Nevada Supreme Court? Then contact our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation.

We will explain to you the entire appellate process, which starts by filing a notice of appeal as soon as possible. If you do not file an appeal within a designated time frame following your conviction, you may miss your chance completely.

Then if you do choose to go ahead with an appeal, our skilled appellate lawyers will write a thorough and persuasive "brief" in an effort to convince the justices to overturn the verdict and/or lighten the sentence in your case. We are also prepared to advocate for you in front of the justices and field their questions in Las Vegas or Carson City.

Our attorneys also offer free consultations if you or a family member has just been arrested. We can discuss how best to go about fighting charges in an effort to avoid ever having to appeal your case. Perhaps the prosecutor can be persuaded to lessen the charges or even drop them completely. And if not, we are available to go to trial and fight for a full acquittal.


Legal References

  1. Rachel Crosby, "Women reign supreme Historic female majority a milestone on Nevada's high court", Las Vegas Review-Journal (January 11, 2019).
  2. Riley Snyder, "Nevada Supreme Court again facing growing backlog of cases", The Nevada Independent (December 30, 2018).
  3. Marvin Clemons and John Treanor, "Just 14 months after start, Nevada Supreme & Appellate Courts building opens Monday", News3 KSNV (March 24, 2017).

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Our attorneys want to hear your side of the story. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a FREE consultation with a criminal defense lawyer. We may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed altogether. And if necessary, we will champion your case all the way to trial.

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