United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. Koppe United States Magistrate Judge.
prefer not to spend their time lecturing and cajoling
violating attorneys into compliance through the imposition of
sanctions. Dela Rosa v. Scottsdale Mem. Health Sys.,
Inc., 136 F.3d 1241, 1244 (9th Cir. 1998).
Unfortunately, the egregious misconduct of attorney Luis Ayon
requires the expenditure of that time in this case. Pending
before the Court is an order for Mr. Ayon to show cause why
he should not be sanctioned. Docket No. 70. For the reasons
explained below, the Court SANCTIONS Mr.
Ayon in the amount of $1, 000 in attorneys' fees and in a
$3, 000 fine payable to the Clerk. The Court also
REFERS Mr. Ayon to the Nevada State Bar for
potential discipline for his ethical lapses.
Ayon represented in this case two individually-named
Defendants (Tom Dadon and Daniela Dadon) (hereinafter
“Tom” and “Daniela”) and several
corporate defendants (Flamingo 316, Dadon Condos, and
Meridian Resorts LLC 220 E Flamingo Unit 316 Series). United
States District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey ordered that a
mandatory settlement conference be held. Docket No. 60. On
March 27, 2019, the undersigned issued an order setting that
settlement conference for May 9, 2019. Docket No. 61. The
Court outlined therein the requirements for the settlement
conference, including that “[a]ll individual
parties” must personally appear unless a motion for an
exception was filed and granted. Id. at 1-2. The
deadline to seek an exception to the attendance requirements
was set for April 3, 2019. See Id. at 2. The Court
also required the submission of a settlement statement by May
2, 2019, that included identification of “[t]he names
of the people who will attend the settlement
request for an exception to the settlement conference
attendance requirements was filed by Mr. Ayon for any of his
clients. Mr. Ayon violated the order to submit a settlement
statement by May 2, 2019, resulting in the issuance of an
order requiring that he do so by May 6, 2019. Docket No. 64.
In the untimely settlement statement that was signed by Mr.
Ayon on May 6, 2019, he represents as follows:
1. Names of People Attending the Settlement
Shaul Dadon, Tom Dadon, Daniela Dadon, and Itay Dadon are
defendants in this matter and have full settlement authority.
Luis A. Ayon, Esq. is lead counsel for Flamingo 316, LLC,
Dadon Condos, LLC, Tom Dadon, as Trustee of T&D Nevada
Trust, Meridian LLC and Flamingo East Flamingo Unit 316
Series and will be attending the settlement conference.
Settlement Statement at 1-2 (emphasis in original). Although
this section is written (intentionally or otherwise) with
some imprecision, its import is that Mr. Ayon would be
attending the settlement conference with Tom, Daniela, Shaul
Dadon, and Itay Dadon.
7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a stipulation to reschedule the
settlement conference because of an unforeseen personal
conflict for its corporate representative. Docket No. 65. The
Court held a telephonic hearing that afternoon and determined
that the settlement conference would proceed as scheduled.
See Docket No. 67. At no time during that hearing
did Mr. Ayon request a continuance of the settlement
conference because of his own clients' inability to
attend. See Hearing Rec. (05/07/2019).
the settlement conference convened at 9:00 a.m. on May 9,
2019, Mr. Ayon appeared with only Itay Dadon. See
Docket No. 69. The Court ordered that Tom and Daniela appear
within 20 minutes, but Mr. Ayon represented that compliance
was impossible because they were in Israel. Mr. Ayon further
represented that he had only just become aware of that fact,
and specifically represented that he did not know of their
inability to attend when the Court held the above telephonic
hearing on May 7, 2019. Mr. Ayon asked the Court to proceed
with the settlement conference anyway, as he thought
settlement could be achieved with participation of only Itay
Dadon. Given the non-compliance with its order,
however, the Court vacated the settlement conference.
Court then reviewed the recording of the telephonic hearing
from May 7, 2019. During a recess that was nonetheless
recorded, Mr. Ayon had discussed with another attorney his
clients' non-attendance at the then-imminent settlement
conference: “Yeah, I think my clients should be fine.
I don't know if I can get everyone there, though,
but I'll have someone with settlement
authority.” Hearing Rec. (05/07/2019) at 3:11
p.m. (emphasis added). Quite obviously and contrary to his
later representation, Mr. Ayon did indeed have reason to
believe during this hearing that not all of his clients would
be appearing as had been ordered, but he did not seek relief
from the Court.
circumstances are problematic standing on their own. They are
even more concerning given the fact that the Court admonished
Mr. Ayon only a few months earlier for very similar conduct
in another case. See Bank of N.Y. Mellon v. Painted
Desert Community Assoc., No. 2:17-cv-01466-JCM-NJK,
Docket No. 64 (D. Nev. Nov. 13, 2018). In that case, Mr.
Ayon's settlement statement was unclear as to whether all
individual defendants he represented would be appearing at
the Court-ordered settlement conference, so the Court issued
an order reiterating that all individual parties were
required to appear. See Painted Desert, Docket No.
58. Mr. Ayon responded by filing an untimely request for one
of his clients to be excused from appearing, supported by his
declaration that he had “inadvertently failed to file
this motion earlier due to the fact that counsel never dealt
with [his absent client].” See Painted Desert,
Docket Nos. 59, 60. The Court noted the deficiencies with the
request, including that it was filed the night before the
settlement conference and effectively granted the relief
being sought because the client was not in Nevada, but the
Court allowed Mr. Ayon's client to appear telephonically
so that the settlement conference could proceed. See
Painted Desert, Docket No. 61. The Court did not condone
that behavior, however, and left no doubt that similar
behavior would not be tolerated in the future:
The Court issues this order separately to
ADMONISH attorney Luis Ayon and [his client]
for violating a clear Court order. Rather than seeking an
exception to the Court's attendance requirements by
filing a timely request, Mr. Ayon and [his client] ignored
those requirements and effectively provided [his client] the
relief she sought by seeking relief at the last minute.
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH COURT ORDERS IN THE FUTURE MAY
RESULT IN THE IMPOSITION OF SANCTIONS.
Painted Desert, Docket No. 64 at 1 (emphasis in
original). Despite that warning, Mr. Ayon has not corrected