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Las Vegas Sands Corp. v. First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corporation

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 30, 2015

LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP., Plaintiff(s),
v.
FIRST CAGAYAN LEISURE & RESORT CORPORATION, Defendant(s).

ORDER

JAMES C. MAHAN, District Judge.

Presently before the court is defendant First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corp.'s ("First Cagayan") motion for reconsideration. (Doc. # 46). Plaintiff Las Vegas Sands Corp. ("Sands") filed a response (doc. # 47) and defendant filed a reply (doc. # 48).

I. Background

Las Vegas Sands brought this action against the owners of sixty-three internet domains that were using Sands' trademark on websites for online casinos. Las Vegas Sands also named First Cagayan as a defendant because all of the infringing online casino websites identified First Cagayan as the provider of those services. ( See, e.g., doc. # 20 at 5). None of the defendants answered or otherwise responded to plaintiff's complaint.

Accordingly, on February 27, 2015, the court entered default judgment in favor of Las Vegas Sands and against defendants, including First Cagayan. (Doc. # 38). On March 30, 2015, Charles H. McCrea, Esq. and his law firm Hejmanowski & McCrea, LLC, filed a motion on behalf of First Cagayan to vacate the default judgment. (Doc. # 41).

On April 30, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion requesting a ninety-day extension to file and serve its opposition to defendant's motion to vacate. (Doc. # 44). Plaintiff asserted that it needed to further investigate Mr. McCrea's conflicts with the instant case. Plaintiff argued that Mr. McCrea was a partner with Lionel, Sawyer & Collins from 1976 to 1994, and again from 2006 through 2014. (Doc. # 44 at 2). For nearly a decade, Lionel, Sawyer & Collins represented Sands in a variety of matters. ( Id. ). Plaintiff asserted that Mr. McCrea personally represented Sands in several of these matters and gained extensive confidential information regarding Sands. ( Id. ).

Plaintiff expressed its concerns to Mr. McCrea and asked him to voluntarily withdraw. ( Id. at 3). Mr. McCrea declined. ( Id. ). Plaintiff believes Mr. McCrea's representation of First Cagayan may create a conflict of interest. ( Id. ). Plaintiff requested the ninety-day extension to investigate whether Mr. McCrea should be disqualified based on a conflict of interest. ( Id. at 1).

On May 5, 2015, the court granted plaintiff's motion. (Doc. # 45). The court ordered plaintiff to file its response on or before Monday, August 3, 2015. ( Id. ). On May 7, 2015, defendant filed the instant motion for reconsideration asking the court to reconsider its order granting plaintiff a ninety-day extension. (Doc. # 46).

II. Legal Standard

A motion for reconsideration "should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances." Kona Enters., Inc. v. Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000). Reconsideration "is appropriate if the district court (1) is presented with newly discovered evidence, (2) committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or (3) if there is an intervening change in controlling law." School Dist. No. 1J v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1263 (9th Cir. 1993).

Rule 59(e) "permits a district court to reconsider and amend a previous order, " however "the rule offers an extraordinary remedy, to be used sparingly in the interests of finality and conservation of judicial resources." Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003) (internal quotations omitted).

III. Discussion

First, defendant argues that Mr. McCrea has no conflict of interest in the instant litigation and that he and his firm should not be disqualified. Plaintiff responds that Sands moved only for an extension of time to investigate whether disqualification is necessary. (Doc. # 47 at 2). Therefore, plaintiff asserts that defendant is "put[ting] the cart before the horse" by presenting arguments to the court regarding the merits of Mr. McCrea's potential disqualification. (Doc. # 47 at 1).

Arguments on the merits of whether or not Mr. McCrea should be disqualified are premature. The issue before the court is reconsideration of the court's order granting an extension of time for plaintiff to file a response. The court will consider only whether defendant has presented newly discovered evidence, shown the court committed clear error or the initial decision was manifestly unjust, or presented an intervening change in controlling law, with respect ...


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