Up until this point, fighters haven’t had the best record when going up against athletic commissions. A lot of dudes have appeared with sob stories or reasonable explanations and been sent home with the same suspension they’d have landed if they hadn’t shown up at all. But Nick Diaz’s gameplan seems a little different. He’s going to lawyer his way through this thing, and now his lawyer has gone on the offensive:
The law does not permit the NSAC to suspend our client indefinitely pending a hearing and determination of the complaint, but imposes a reasonable and definite time limit when which the complaint must be heard and determined. By enactment effected May 22, 2009, Nevada’s legislator amended NRS 233B.127(3) to provide that “[p]roceedings relating to the order of summary suspension must be instituted and determined within 45 days after the date of the order unless the agency and the licensee mutually agree in writing to a longer period.” [emphasis added] (Prior to this amendment, the time limitation was that the proceedings be instituted and determined “promptly”.) Requests for documents, including documents which are not relevant to the matters in dispute and which are protected by statutory and common law privilege, do not operate to extend the time limit within which a hearing must be held pursuant to the statutory limitation.
The final day for the hearing and determination of the NSAC’s complaint against Mr. Diaz was therefore April 6th, 2012 — 45 days after the date of the Summary Suspension Order. In discussions with Mr. Kizer, following the Summary Suspension Order, Mr. Kizer informed me and others that this matter would be placed on the NSAC’s April agenda. Our client was and is confident that there is no basis for disciplinary action against him and therefore did not object to a delay beyond the required 45 day time limit as long as the matter was heard and determined in April.
However, our client objects to any further delay.
We presume that the NSAC will comply with its statutory obligation to have this matter heard on April 24th, 2012. If not, my client takes the position that the NSAC has by virtue of its delay irrevocably elected to discontinue or abandon its complaint against Mr. Diaz. The NSAC has no authority to hear or determine the complaint at a later date, and any such purported hearing or determination of the complaint would be ultra vires the NSAC’s statutory powers.
It will still be interesting to see how all this plays out when Diaz gets his day in front of the NSAC. They’re sticklers for rules, but is that only when the rules swing their way? Or do they just cherry pick what they want and ignore what’s inconvenient? While Nick’s lawyer has done a helluva job interpreting the NSAC rules in his client’s favor, it’s the commission who gets final say on how they interpret their own regulations.