United States District Court, D. Nevada
U.S.A. DAWGS, INC., a Nevada corporation, Plaintiff,
CROCS, INC., a Delaware corporation, KIM LAWRIE, a Washington resident, ERIK RUFER, a Washington resident, and KELLY GRAY, a Colorado resident, Defendants.
URGA WOODBURY HOLTHUS & ROSE WILLIAM R. URGA (Nev. Bar
No. 1195) ARNOLD & PORTER KAYE SCHOLER LLP MICHAEL A.
BERTA (admitted pro hac vice) SEAN M. CALLAGY (admitted pro
hac vice) Attorneys for Defendants CROCS, INC., KIM LAWRIE,
ERIK RUFER, and KELLY GRAY
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' THIRD MOTION FOR
SANCTIONS (ECF. NO. 53)
HONORABLE JAMES C. MAHAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is defendants Crocs, Inc.
(“Crocs”), and Kim Lawrie, Erik Rufer, and Kelly
Gray's (together, “Defendants”) Third Motion
for Sanctions. (ECF No. 53). Plaintiff U.S.A. Dawgs, Inc.
(“Dawgs” or “Plaintiff”) opposed (ECF
No. 61), and Defendants filed a reply. (ECF No. 62).
Defendants also filed a supplemental brief in support of its
motion, as directed by the court. (ECF Nos. 63, 64). Dawgs
filed a response to Defendants' supplemental brief. (ECF
No. 65). On April 15, 2019, counsel for Dawgs and Defendants
appeared and presented argument concerning the present
Motion. (ECF Nos. 80 (minutes of hearing), 81 (transcript of
hearing)). Consistent with the reasons stated on the record,
which are incorporated herein, the court makes the following
findings of fact and conclusions of law, and hereby GRANTS
main objective of Rule 11 is to deter baseless filings and
curb litigation abuses. Salman v. State of Nevada Comm.
On Judicial Discipline, 104 F.Supp.2d 1262, 1270 (D.
Nev. 2000). Further, Rule 11 addresses two separate problems:
“first, the problem of frivolous filings; and second,
the problem of misusing judicial procedures as a weapon for
personal or economic harassment.” Aetna Life Ins.
Co. v. Alla Med. Servs., Inc., 855 F.2d 1470, 1475 (9th
Cir.1988) (quoting Zaldivar v. City of Los Angeles,
780 F.2d 823, 830 (9th Cir. 1986)).
considering a Rule 11 motion must decide (1) whether a
violation has occurred and, if so, (2) whether to impose
sanctions. Smith & Green Corp. v. Trustees of Const.
Indus. & Laborers Health & Welfare Trust, 244
F.Supp.2d 1098, 1103 (D. Nev. 2003). Where “the
complaint is the primary focus of Rule 11 proceedings, a
district court must conduct a two-prong inquiry to determine
(1) whether the complaint is legally or factually baseless
from an objective perspective, and (2) if the attorney has
conducted a reasonable and competent inquiry before signing
and filing it.” Christian v. Mattel, Inc., 286
F.3d 1118, 1127 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Buster v.
Greisen, 104 F.3d 1186, 1190 (9th Cir. 1997)).
Rule 11(b) has been violated, the court may impose
appropriate sanctions upon the attorneys, law firms, or
parties that are responsible for the violation. Smith
& Green, 244 F.Supp.2d at 1103. The identity of the
person(s) subject to sanctions depends on the nature of the
Rule 11(b) violation. For a violation of Rule 11(b)(2), as
distinguished from Rule 11(b)(3), sanctions must be imposed
on the offending party's attorney, not the party itself.
Chien v. Skystar Bio Pharm. Co., 256 F.R.D. 67, 72
(D. Conn. 2009) (citing Rule 11(c)(5)(A) for proposition that
“[s]anctions for the legal insufficiency or
frivolousness of the complaint must run against the attorney
Local Rule 54-14(b)(3)
Rule 54-14(b)(3) sets out the following factors relevant to a
motion for attorneys' fees:
(A) The results obtained and the amount involved;
(B) The time and labor required;
(C) The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;
(D) The skill requisite to perform the legal service
(E) The preclusion of other employment by the attorney due to
acceptance of the case;
(F) The customary fee;
(G) Whether the fee is fixed or contingent;
(H) The time limitations imposed by the client or the
(I) The experience, reputation, and ability of the
(J) The undesirability of the case, if any;
(K) The nature and length of the professional relationship