Judge Dianne Steel opened the Guardianship Bench Bar meeting on an upbeat note, telling attorneys in attendance that things are really moving fast. She commended those working to address guardianship issues saying they were, “focused, dedicated, thinking outside the box, and creative.”
Judge Steel also offered updates including:

  • A significant step has been made by the court to issue orders right from the bench. The ability to issue orders before individuals leave the hearing will save time, money and avoid missed dates and frustration.
  • The court plans to give out anniversary dates for the first granting of guardianship of any nature. This is to improve consistency and facilitate tracking. This is particularly important to ensure that the 60-day, report of guardian and annual accounting deadlines are met.
  • Mandatory status checks will continue on every Friday. Judge O’Malley will continue to assist in case review to look at every case that has slipped out of compliance.
  • In April, the court will review old cases again to ensure that nothing has slipped through the crack

The Guardianship Compliance Officer Riley Wilson provided an update on new software that will simplify guardianship accounting. District Court is adapting open-source guardianship accounting software developed by a Minnesota court. It’s being compared to Turbo Tax for ease of use. It is believed that the new software will streamline guardianship accounting processes and reports, and offer the ability to upload backup docs to the system. Once the software is sufficiently adapted for the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court, beta testing will begin.

Each Guardianship Committee provided an update, and Deputy DA Jay Raman with the major fraud unit gave a brief presentation and addressed questions.

 Tips for guardianship court: Information on how to get it right in guardianship court.

  • Attorneys can’t stipulate a trial away. Counsel should do whatever needs to be done before the trial date. If a trial can’t go forward, a motion should be filed to continue
  • In pre-trial memorandums, just put the facts (just the facts). Pre-trial memorandums are not intended to be opening statements and should not have trial exhibits attached.
  • To get a hearing – file a petition with a Citation or a notice of hearing. Don’t forget to file your certificate of service.
  • What happens when no one shows? A Minute Order is issued and the case is closed for failure to prosecute.
  • Filings should have the subject first and the title should reflect the substance of the filing (i.e. Petition for Termination).

Judge Steel said that the court continues to evaluate what the caseload needs are and reminded everyone that the Self-Help Center has forms needed for guardianship filings. Attorneys who complete the two-hour adult guardianship bench bar receive two free Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits. Upcoming Guardianship Bench-Bar meetings will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., March 14 at the Zenoff Hall training room and April 18 (location TBD).