United States District Court, D. Nevada
J. Koppe United States Magistrate Judge.
Court ordered Defendant to answer or otherwise respond to the
complaint by May 24, 2019. Docket No. 20 at 1. Defendant
violated that order and, instead, responded to the complaint
more than a month later on July 2, 2019. Docket No. 23.
Pending before the Court is the order for Defendant's
counsel to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed.
Docket No. 22.Defendant's counsel responded to that
order to show cause. Docket No. 25.
one of hundreds of cases arising out of homeowner association
foreclosure sales. Counsel asserts that his failure to comply
with the Court's order stems primarily from an oversight
caused by having “a great many pending homeowners
association lien litigation cases.” Docket No. 25 at 3.
Hence, counsel seeks to be excused from complying with the
basic orders of this Court because he has overextended
himself. “This explanation is simply no
defense at all.” Greene v. Alhambra Hosp. Med.
Ctr., 2015 U.S. Dist. 72697, at *4 (D. Nev. June 3,
2015). “When parties choose to undertake mass
litigation, they must make the proper preparations for doing
so.” U.S. Bank N.A. v. SFR Invs. Pool 1, LLC,
2018 WL 701816, at *1 (D. Nev. Feb. 2, 2018).
“Regardless of how many cases involving homeowners'
association foreclosure sales an attorney or law firm is
handling, the attorney handling a particular case has an
obligation to exercise due care and reasonable professional
diligence in that particular case.” Carisbrook
Asset Holding Trust v. SFR Invs. Pool 1, LLC, 2019 WL
2393614, at *3 n.2 (D. Nev. June 6, 2019). Quite simply, the
overextension of counsel is not a valid excuse for violating
a clear order; it is cause for alarm.
setting deadlines are critical to the Court's management
of its docket and violations of such orders are neither
technical nor trivial. Martin Family Trust v.
Heco/Nostalgia Enterps. Co., 186 F.R.D. 601, 603 (E.D.
Cal. 1999). Having proffered no legitimate excuse for
violating the order in this case, sanctions are appropriate.
Cf. U.S. Bank, 2018 WL 701816, at *3 (imposing a
fine on counsel who violated order setting deadline to file
amended complaint). As a means of deterring similar
misconduct moving forward, the Court will impose a fine of
$200 on counsel. This fine must be paid by counsel
personally, and may not be passed on in any way to the
client. Payment shall be made to the “Clerk, U.S.
District Court” no later than July 22, 2019. A notice
of payment shall be filed by July 23, 2019. Counsel is
cautioned that his course must be corrected as future
violations may result in more significant sanctions. See,
e.g., Garcia v. Geico Cas. Co., 2014 WL
7474773, at *4 (D. Nev. Jan. 6, 2014) (imposing quintupled
sanction for repetition of same misconduct).
other respects, the order to show cause is
 The order to show cause was also
directed at Defendant itself, but that aspect of the order to
show cause is hereby DISCHARGED as the fault
for the violation lays squarely with counsel.
 Counsel also asserts that the parties
were attempting to settle this case and that there was
discussion of a possible amended complaint, so counsel did
not want to incur the expense of complying with the
Court's order. See Docket No. 25 at 3-4. At the
outset, this excuse is completely at odds with counsel's
assertion that the violation of the Court's order was
inadvertently caused by his competing professional
commitments. Either he was too busy to mind the deadline or
he intentionally chose to ignore it in an effort to save
money; it cannot be both. At any rate, choosing to ignore an
order is not allowed. To the extent grounds existed to extend
the deadline that had been set, a request for relief had to
be filed. Absent the granting of such request, compliance
with the Court's deadline was mandatory.
 Counsel attests that the violation of
this order was due to inadvertence. See Docket No.
25 at 4. As noted above, that assertion is contradicted by
counsel's own assertions that he chose to violate the
order in an effort to save resources. At any rate, Rule 16(f)
sanctions may be imposed regardless of whether the violation
was intentional. See, e.g., Lucas Auto.
Eng'g, Inc. v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 275 F.3d
762, 769 (9th Cir. 2001). Whatever ...