United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER REGARDING AWARD OF ATTORNEY FEES
FERENBACH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Linda Cox v. Richland Holdings, Inc., et
al., No. 2:16-cv-02914-APG-VCF. On January 2, 2018, the
Court entered an Order setting a hearing on Plaintiff's
motion to disqualify Defendants' attorneys. (ECF No. 70).
The hearing was set for February 15, 2018 at 10:00 a.m.
(Id. at 3). Copies of the Order were electronically
distributed to several members of The Law Office Of Vernon
Nelson (Plaintiff's counsel in this case), including John
P. Skalak, Margaret G. Foley, Vernon Nelson, and Melissa
Ingleby. Plaintiff's counsel failed appeared at the
February 15, 2018 hearing. (ECF No. 88). The Court contacted
The Law Office Of Vernon Nelson at 10:00 a.m. on February 15,
2018. Ms. Ingleby stated she had not received notice of the
hearing. A show cause hearing was scheduled and the Law
Office of Vernon Nelson was ordered to appear at the February
27, 2018 hearing. (ECF No. 90). On February 27, 2018, the
Court held a show cause hearing. (ECF No. 98). Appearing for
Plaintiff was Margaret Foley. Chad Clement, Jared Moser, and
Timothy Lepore appeared on behalf of Defendants. (ECF No.
98). The court heard presentations from the parties. Due to
The Law Office of Vernon Nelson's failure to appear at
the February 15, 2018 hearing, the Court imposes sanctions
against The Law Office of Vernon Nelson. Defense counsel was
ordered to file affidavits and exhibits supporting their
request for attorneys' fees and costs. Id.
March 6, 2018, Defendant The Langsdale Law Firm, P.C. filed a
Declaration of Timothy J. Lepore in Support of Sanctions
Against Linda Cox's Counsel in Response to Court's
Order to Show Cause (ECF No. 99). Richland Holdings, Inc.
d/b/c AcctCorp of Southern Nevada and Parker & Edwards,
Inc. filed its Declaration of Defense Counsel's Request
for Reimbursement of Attorney Fees and Costs as a Sanction
Against Plaintiff's Counsel (ECF No. 100).
March 8, 2018, Nelson requested opportunity to respond. (ECF
No. 101). The request was granted. (ECF No. 104). The
response date was March 13, 2018. The response was not timely
filed. (ECF No. 107).
award of attorney's fees for civil contempt is within the
discretion of the district court.” Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich Legal & Prof'l Publications, Inc. v.
Multistate Legal Studies, Inc., 26 F.3d 948, 953 (9th
Cir. 1994). “Sanctions for civil contempt may be
imposed to…compensate the party pursuing the contempt
action for injuries resulting from the contemptuous
behavior.” Gen. Signal Corp. v. Donallco,
Inc., 787 F.2d 1376, 1380 (9th Cir. 1986). The courts
have “emphasize[d] that attorneys' fees are an
appropriate component of a civil contempt award.”
In re Dyer, 322 F.3d 1178, 1195 (9th Cir. 2003).
Nelson offers no reasonable excuses for his failure to
calendar a hearing set by the court. Mr. Nelson's failure
to attend the hearing is not excusable.
reasonable attorneys' fees and costs associated with
attending and preparing for the February 15, 2018 hearing are
awarded. All other attorneys' fees and costs, which are
listed in the Declaration (ECF No. 100) will not be
considered. Marquis Aurbach Coffing (“MAC”) spent
approximately 5.6 hours and incurred approximately $1, 391.00
and $1, 802.00, respectively, in attorney fees in preparing
for and attending the February 15, 2018 hearing. Reviewing
those exhibits and the invoices submitted in support of the
Declaration, the court finds that the fees requested for
preparing and attending the February 15, 2018 hearing are
fairly reasonable; thus, the Court awards Richland Holdings
$3, 000 in attorneys' fees.
The Langsdale Law Firm
reviewing The Langsdale Law Firm's Declaration for
Reimbursement of Attorneys' Fees and Costs (ECF No. 99),
attorneys' fee and costs associated with litigating the
motion to disqualify will not be awarded. The fees incurred
for the preparation and attendance of the February 15, 2018
hearing are reasonable, thus, the Court awards The Langsdale
Law Firm $1, 500 in attorneys' fees.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that The Law Firm of Vernon Nelson must
pay Three Thousand Dollars ($3, 000) to Richland Holdings on
or before March 29, 2018.
FURTHER ORDERED that The Law Firm of Vernon Nelson must pay
One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1, 500) to The ...