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By Jerry Carter. After a business court case was filed, two of the three Washoe County business court judges were preempted by the parties. Rather than automatically automatically assign the case to the remaining business court judge, the Clerk randomly reassigned the business court cases among all remaining general jurisdiction departments. In an Order, the Chief Judge upheld this action to preserve the randomness of case assignments. The Chief Judge explained:

“There are three business court departments in the Second Judicial District: Department B6, Department B7, and Department B13. Administrative Order 2012-11 contemplates that when two of the business court departments are removed from a case by peremptory challenge or recusal, the case will be randomly reassigned to another general jurisdiction department and Department 13. Administrative Order 2012-11 is consistent with WDCR 2.1(8). The purpose of the Administrative Order is to preserve the randomness of case assignments.”

“Here, Departments 6 and 7 have been peremptorily challenged. The fact that Department 6 was peremptorily challenged before the case was transferred to business court is a distinction without a difference. That Department has been removed by peremptory challenge and it would be inappropriate to randomly reassign the case to Departments B6 or B13 after the challenge of Department B7 was filed. Thus, to avoid an automatic referral to Department B13 the Clerk of the Court’s action was appropriate.”