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Nevada Supreme Court Requires All Criminal Trial Sidebar Proceedings Be Recorded or Reported

No more secret sidebars in criminal trials.


 (1) “In [Daniel v. State, 119 Nev. 498, 507-08, 78 P.3d 890, 897 (2003)], we determined that SCR 250(5)(a) and due process require a district court to record all sidebar proceedings in a capital case either contemporaneously with the matter’s resolution, or the sidebar’s contents must be placed on the record at the next break in trial.”

Does this reasoning also apply in noncapital cases?

(2) If a prospective juror is equivocal about his or her ability to be impartial, should that juror be excused for cause?

Brief Answers:

 (1) Yes.  “Due process requires us to extend our reasoning in Daniel to defendants in noncapital cases, because regardless of the type of case, it is crucial for a district court to memorialize all bench conferences, either contemporaneously or by allowing the attorneys to make a record afterward.”

(2) Yes.   “[A] prospective juror who is anything less than unequivocal about his or her impartiality should be excused for cause.”

Preciado v. State

Preciado v. State, 130 Nev. Adv. Op. No 6 (02/13/2014)