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Sonoma Springs Limited Partnership v. Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 23, 2018

SONOMA SPRINGS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
FIDELITY AND DEPOSIT COMPANY OF MARYLAND, et al., Defendants.

          HOLLEY, DRIGGS, WALCH, FINE, WRAY, PUZEY & THOMPSON JAMES W. PUZEY, ESQ. AUDREY DAMONTE, ESQ. Attorneys for Plaintiffs, SONOMA SPRINGS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP and SONOMA SPRINGS ASSOCIATES, LLC

          LAXALT & NOMURA, LTD. RYAN W. LEARY, ESQ. Attorneys for Defendants FIDELITY AND DEPOSIT COMPANY OF MARYLAND and ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY OF ILLINOIS

          SNOW CHRISTENSEN & MARTINEAU DAVID SLAUGHTER, ESQ. Attorneys for Defendants FIDELITY AND DEPOSIT COMPANY OF MARYLAND and ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY OF ILLINOIS

          STIPULATION AND ORDER TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING CONCLUSION OF GLOBAL SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

          LARRY R. HICKS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs SONOMA SPRINGS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP and SONOMA SPRINGS ASSOCIATES, LLC (hereinafter collectively “Plaintiffs”), by and through their counsel of record, HOLLEY, DRIGGS, WALCH, FINE, WRAY, PUZEY & THOMPSON, and Defendants FIDELITY AND DEPOSIT COMPANY OF MARYLAND, a Maryland Corporation and ZURICH AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY OF ILLINOIS, a Maryland Corporation (hereinafter collectively “Defendants”), by and through their counsel of record, SNOW CHRISTENSEN & MARTINEAU and LAXALT & NOMURA, LTD., stipulate as follows:

         1. This case follows from allegations by Plaintiffs that Defendants breached their duties under the contract and bonds related to the construction of low-income housing in Humboldt County, Nevada. Specifically, this legal dispute centers on performance and payment bonds furnished to Plaintiffs by Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, as surety for Ascent Construction, the general contractor on the construction project.

         2. Related to this matter are ongoing consolidated proceedings (Nos. CV21, 053 and CV21, 125) now pending in the Sixth Judicial District Court for the State of Nevada as between Ascent Construction and Plaintiffs, which relate to Ascent Construction's efforts to judicially foreclose on its mechanic's lien and the parties' performance of their obligations under the construction contract.

         3. On March 12, 2018, the parties to this action appeared before the Court for a Case Management Conference. During the Case Management Conference, the Court advised that it is amenable to conducting a global settlement conference between the parties to this matter, as well as those in the related proceedings before the Sixth Judicial District Court for the State of Nevada.

         4. On March 16, 2018, the parties filed a Supplemental Joint Case Management Report and Request for Settlement Conference (ECF No. 34) advising the Court that the parties wished to accept the Court's offer to conduct a global settlement conference.

         5. On March 20, 2018, the Court issued its order setting the matters for a settlement conference for April 30, 2018 (ECF No. 36).

         6. In connection with that settlement conference and in an effort to preserve resources, Plaintiffs and Defendants hereby agree to stay this action, including discovery and motion briefing, until after the conclusion of the April 30, 2018 settlement conference.

         7. To determine if a stay is appropriate, the Court considers (1) damage from the stay; (2) hardship or inequity that befalls one party more than the other; and (3) the orderly course of justice. See Dependable Highway Exp., Inc. v. Navigators Ins. Co., 498 F.3d 1059, 1066 (9th Cir. 2007) (setting forth factors). Here, the parties agree these factors support a temporary stay of litigation:

         a. Damage from Stay: Any damage from a temporary stay will be minimal if balanced against the potential fees, costs, and time that would surely ensue in this matter if litigation were allowed to continue, which could be mooted by a global resolution of the multiple actions. Indeed, the parties will be able to avoid the cost and expense of continued legal proceedings including continued briefing on the now pending Motion to Stay Case Pending Outcome of Litigation in Humboldt County, Nevada (ECF No. 30), as well as the need for discovery given the limited time available until its close. Moreover, if a global resolution is reached, the Court will be relieved of expending further time and effort resolving the pending motion and potential discovery disputes. Thus, a stay will benefit all parties involved herein.

         b. Hardship or Inequity: There will be no significant hardship or inequity that befalls one party more than the other given the relatively short period of the requested stay. The parties agree that any hardship or ...


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