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Ramirez and Bowman Exonerate Hotel on Appeal in Sexual Assault Case

April 19, 2017

Jorge Ramirez (Partner-Las Vegas) and Ellen Bowman (Associate-Las Vegas) prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a sexual assault case brought against a hotel. In the underlying case, Jennifer Arledge (Partner-Las Vegas) established at the district court level that the facts as alleged by the appellant were incorrect, and that under NRS 651.015, an innkeeper is not responsible for the actions of a third party if those actions were not foreseeable. NRS 651.015 takes away a function that is usually reserved for a jury by giving the court the authority to determine whether the actions were foreseeable based on the totality of the circumstances. The district court granted summary judgment, which was then appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The appeal was heard de novo so Jorge and Ellen had to convince the Ninth Circuit Justices that the statute did not violate the function of the jury, and that the district court’s determination on the application of Nevada’s unique statute was accurate. The Ninth Circuit ultimately agreed with Jorge and Ellen’s arguments and affirmed the summary judgment rendered by the district court. 

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