United States District Court, D. Nevada
EXCEDIS CORPORATION, a Nevada limited liability company, Plaintiff,
EDWARD BOLLMAN, et al., Defendants.
ORDER RE: ECF NO. 92
WILLIAM G. COBB, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court is the Motion to Withdraw as Counsel filed by
Attorney Elizabeth Stallard, Esq., and her law firm, Downey
Brand, LLP, attorneys for Plaintiff/Counterdefendant Excedis
Corporation, and Third Party Defendants Thomas Ripley,
Patrick Hogan, Jean Hogan and Catherine Ripley (ECF No. 92).
Edward Bollman and James Kerr filed a “Limited
Opposition” to the Motion to Withdraw (ECF No. 94).
Excedis Corporation (“Attn: Jean Hogan”) filed a
Declaration (ECF No. 95), which requests that the court set
the Stallard/Downey Brand motion for a hearing “in
which all parties would have an opportunity to be
heard.” (Id., at 2.) The Declaration reflects
service upon Ms. Stallard/Downey Brand. The document also
appears on the court's docket which means other counsel
of record in this matter would have been served as well
(i.e., Albert Thuesen, III, Esq., and Coit Law Group).
Similar Declarations (and requests for a hearing) were filed
by Ms. Hogan individually (ECF No. 96), by Patrick Hogan (ECF
No. 97) and by Catherine Mead (ECF No. 98).
court conducted a hearing on counsel's motion on May 7,
2018. Appearing by telephone were Elizabeth Stallard, Esq.,
Albert L. Thuesen, III, Esq., Patrick Hogan, and Jean Hogan.
Ms. Mead and Mr. Riley did not participate.
court commenced its review of the Stallard/Downey Brand
motion which the court noted was predicated upon former
Nevada Rule of Professional Conduct (NRPC) 166, which was
superseded in 2006 by Rule 1.16 (which is the same rule as
ABA Model Rule 1.16). Even though counsel cited an outdated
rule, nevertheless former Rule 166 and current Rule 1.16 are
counsel (Attorney Stallard) was reluctant to provide
specifics about the basis for the requested withdrawal, Ms.
Stallard represented the primary basis for her and the
firm's request to be relieved as counsel of record was
the failure of her clients to fulfill their financial
obligation to Downey Brand/Stallard.
court thereupon requested Attorney Thuesen (counsel for
Defendants/Counterclaimants and Third Party Plaintiffs Edward
Bollman and James Kerr) to terminate his involvement in the
court's status conference, which he did. The court
thereafter continued discussions with Ms. Stallard, Mr. Hogan
and Ms. Hogan about the grounds for the requested withdrawal
of counsel. The court advised Mr. Hogan and Ms. Hogan that
the court found there was good cause for granting the motion
to withdraw. This portion of the proceedings was sealed, and
Mr. Thuesen was thereafter requested to resume participation
in the conference, which he did. The court advised Mr.
Thuesen of the court's ruling on granting the motion to
Stallard was instructed by the court to provide Mr. Thuesen
with contact information for the Plaintiff Excedis
Corporation and Third Party Defendants Ripley, Mead and the
court reminded the participants in the hearing that while the
individually named parties formerly represented by Ms.
Stallard/Downey Brand could appear pro se (i.e.,
representing themselves), Excedis Corporation could not
proceed without counsel. The court advised the parties of the
rule of the federal courts that a corporation may only appear
in federal court through licensed counsel. Rowland v.
California Mens Colony, Unit II Mens' Advisory
Council, 506 U.S. 194, 200-201 (1983); In re America
W. Airlines, 40 F.3d 1058, 1059 (9th Cir.
1994); HDR Insurance Managers, LLC v. Summit Insurance
Services, Inc., No. 2:09-cv-0380-LRH-GWF (D. Nev. 2011);
Jones v. All American Auto Protection,
Inc., 2015 WL 5255205 (No. 3:14-cv-00199-LRH-WGC, D.
court will allow Excedis Corporation until Friday,
June 8, 2018, to secure and retain substitute
counsel. If no attorney has entered an appearance by that
date, Defendants/Counterclaimants/Third Party Plaintiffs
Bollman and Kerr may seek what relief they deem appropriate
under the circumstances.
court advised the parties the case deadlines established by
the court at the discovery conference conducted on April 16,
2018 (ECF No. 91) would remain intact.
Clerk is directed to serve this Order via CM/ECF and upon
Plaintiff Excedis and Third Party Defendants Thomas Hogan,
Patrick Hogan, Jean Hogan and Catherine Mead. Attorney
Stallard is directed to serve this Order upon Third Party
Defendant Thomas Ripley.