Mediation of certain claims required before action commenced or complaint amended; procedure; appointment of special master; effect of failure to mediate in good faith.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, before a claimant commences an action or amends a complaint to add a cause of action for a constructional defect against a contractor, subcontractor, supplier or design professional, the matter must be submitted to mediation, unless mediation is waived in writing by the contractor, subcontractor, supplier or design professional and the claimant.
The claimant and each party alleged to have caused the constructional defect must select a mediator by agreement. If the claimant and the other parties fail to agree upon a mediator within 20 days after a mediator is first selected by the claimant, any party may petition the American Arbitration Association, the Nevada Arbitration Association, Nevada Dispute Resolution Services or any other mediation service acceptable to the parties for the appointment of a mediator. A mediator so appointed may discover only those documents or records which are necessary to conduct the mediation. The mediator shall convene the mediation within 30 days after the matter is submitted to the mediator and shall complete the mediation within 45 days after the matter is submitted to the mediator, unless the parties agree to extend the time.
Before the mediation begins:
The claimant shall deposit $50 with the mediation service; and
Each other party shall deposit with the mediation service, in equal shares, the remaining amount estimated by the mediation service as necessary to pay the fees and expenses of the mediator for the first session of mediation and shall deposit additional amounts demanded by the mediation service as incurred for that purpose.
Unless otherwise agreed, the total fees for each day of mediation and the mediator must not exceed $750 per day.
If the parties do not reach an agreement concerning the matter during mediation or if any party who is alleged to have caused the constructional defect fails to pay the required fees and appear, the claimant may commence an action or amend a complaint to add a cause of action for the constructional defect in court and:
The reasonable costs and fees of the mediation are recoverable by the prevailing party as costs of the action.
Any party may petition the court in which the action is commenced for the appointment of a special master.
A special master appointed pursuant to subsection 5 may:
Review all pleadings, papers or documents filed with the court concerning the action.
Coordinate the discovery of any books, records, papers or other documents by the parties, including the disclosure of witnesses and the taking of the deposition of any party.
Order any inspections on the site of the property by a party and any consultants or experts of a party.
Order settlement conferences and attendance at those conferences by any representative of the insurer of a party.
Require any attorney representing a party to provide statements of legal and factual issues concerning the action.
Refer to the judge who appointed the special master or to the presiding judge of the court in which the action is commenced any matter requiring assistance from the court.Ê The special master shall not, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, personally conduct any settlement conferences or engage in any ex parte meetings regarding the action.
Upon application by a party to the court in which the action is commenced, any decision or other action taken by a special master appointed pursuant to this section may be appealed to the court for a decision.
A report issued by a mediator or special master that indicates that a party has failed to appear before the mediator or special master or to mediate in good faith is admissible in the action, but a statement or admission made by a party in the course of mediation is not admissible.