The purpose of this guide is to describe the publications (official and unofficial), that contain Nevada's laws, and where to find a physical and/or electronic copy. Hard copies are typically found in the Law Library, and online copies can be found on both free and commercial legal research websites.
This guide covers judicial opinions from the Nevada Supreme Court and the Nevada Court of Appeals (as published officially in the Nevada Reports and unofficially in the Pacific Reporter), current and historical (pre-Nevada Revised Statutes) statutory codes, and administrative regulations published by the state's many executive agencies.
Unfortunately, some of the resources in this guide are not freely available on the Internet. Please contact the Law Library at email@example.com or 775-684-1640 if you need assistance locating a resource.
There are no print sources available for trial-level opinions or orders for Nevada's trial courts, although some may be discoverable online through Westlaw or Lexis (Washoe County and Clark County).
Why is there a lack of availability?
Trial level orders settle a dispute between a "plaintiff" (the person who has suffered an injury, be that emotional, physical, or financial) and the "defendant" (the person who allegedly caused the injury). The decision by the trial court judge as expressed in the written order is binding only between the plaintiff and the defendant. It does not create law for individuals who were not involved in that dispute. This final order might be the result of a jury determining facts in favor of one party or another, the application of law to the facts, or a general factual determination by the judge.
Now, if the "loser" at the trial court level decides to appeal his or her case to an appellate court, that person becomes known as the "appellant," and the "winner" at the trial level becomes known as the "respondent" or "appellee."
Facts are unique to the individual parties, but the proper application of the law is something that affects all Nevada citizens. As such, the opinions written by Nevada's two appellate courts (the Nevada Supreme Court and the Nevada Court of Appeals) address contested issues of law. Citizens rely on these cases to know how Nevada's laws are interpreted and applied. This is why appellate court cases are more widely published than trial-level opinions.