United States District Court, D. Nevada
FREDERICK H. SHULL, JR., Plaintiff,
THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND AND THE OCHSNER MEDICAL GROUP, Defendants.
J. Dawson United States District Judge.
the Court is plaintiff Frederick Shull's Motion to Reopen
Case (ECF No. 50). If the Court grants that motion, Shull
also moves to transfer the case to the Eastern District of
Louisiana (ECF No. 51) and to amend his complaint for the
fourth time (ECF No. 52).
31, 2019, this Court found that it lacked personal
jurisdiction over The University of Queensland and Ochsner
Clinic Foundation and granted Ochsner Clinic Foundation's
motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 48). Shull now asks the Court to
reconsider that decision, arguing that Ochsner's failure
to include certain parties in its Certificate of Interested
Parties (ECF No. 2) robbed Shull of his opportunity to bring
suit against them. Had he been able to include those parties,
Shull argues, this Court would not have dismissed his claims.
However, Ochsner's Certificate of Interested Parties did
not violate the local rules, and even if it did, that
violation would not be enough to overturn the Court's
prior judgment in Ochsner's favor. Therefore, the Court
denies Shull's Motion to Reopen.
dispute arises out of his time as a medical student at the
University of Queensland. Shull incurred hundreds of
thousands of dollars in student debt to attend the university
with the ultimate goal of practicing medicine in the United
States. According to Shull, the university led him to believe
that, though its students frequently attended classes in
Queensland, Australia, they were eligible to take the United
States Medical Licensing Exam and perform their clinical
rotations at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans,
Louisiana. However, due to Shull's admittedly poor
academic performance, he was not eligible to sit for the
exam, nor was he qualified for clinical rotations in New
brought this suit seeking damages against both the university
and Ochsner, but the Court dismissed his claims for lack of
personal jurisdiction. In its order of dismissal, the Court
found that “[t]he defendants are domiciled in Australia
and Louisiana[, ] and they have no connection to Nevada. . .
Nothing could have suggested to the defendants that they
would later be expected to defend themselves in a Nevada
court.” Order of Dismissal 6, ECF No. 48. Having
dismissed each of Shull's claims, the Court entered
judgment in favor of each defendant. ECF No. 49. Shull now
moves to set aside that judgment under Rule 60(b)(1),
alleging that the Court's prior order was based on a
always, the Court construes pro se filings liberally and in
that party's favor. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007). Despite that leeway, the pro se party is still
“bound by the rules of procedure.” Ghazali v.
Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 53 (9th Cir. 1995).
is an “extraordinary remedy” that should be used
sparingly to correct serious errors. See Carroll v.
Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). As such, it
is generally disfavored. LR 59-1. Due to the interests of
judgment and finality, reconsideration is appropriate only
where the Court has committed clear error, has been presented
with newly discovered evidence, or when the controlling law
has changed since judgment was entered. Kona Enter. v.
Estate of Bishop, 229 F.3d 877, 890 (9th Cir. 2000).
Indeed, reconsideration carries a high bar for relief.
Likewise, the standard to set aside a judgment under Rule 60
carries a high burden. The Court may relieve a party from a
final judgment only if that party demonstrates (1) mistake,
inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect; (2) newly
discovered evidence that could not have been discovered
earlier; (3) fraud; (4) a void judgment; (5) a satisfied or
discharged judgment; or (6) any other reason that justifies
relief. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b).
does not meet that standard. His argument is based on
Ochsner's Certificate of Interested Parties that it filed
shortly after this case was removed from state court. There,
Ochsner disclosed only one potential party with a direct
financial interest in the case: its parent company, Ochsner
Health System. Cert. Interested Parties 1, ECF No. 2. It
further certified that “[n]o publicly traded company
owns 10% or more of Ochsner Clinic Foundation's
stock.” Id. Shull argues that Ochsner's
certificate should have also disclosed the partnership
between Ochsner and the University of Queensland and the
identity of Dr. Ronald G. Amedee “in his capacity as
The University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Peter Hoj's
delegate.” Mot. to Reopen 4, ECF No. 50. Ochsner's
failure to dislcose Dr. Amedee and the UQ-Ochsner
partnership, Shull claims, violated Local Rule 7-1.1 and
warrants overturning the Court's judgment for the
Rule 7-1.1 requires each litigant to identify and disclose
any third party that “[has] a direct, pecuniary
interest in the outcome of the case.” The certificate
is intended to reveal any potential conflicts between the
judges assigned to the case and the third parties who share a
financial interest with the litigants. See Preston v.
United States, 923 F.2d 731, 735 (9th Cir. 1991).
Failure to file the Certificate of Interested Parties
generally results in an order to show cause, and continued
failure may result in sanctions to the offending party or
dismissal of the case. See Adv. Architectural Metals,
Inc. v. S.W. Regional Council of Carpenters, No.
2:08-cv-0252-ECF-PAL, 2008 WL 2775011 (D. Nev. June 13,
Ochsner did not violate Local Rule 7-1.1, and even if it had,
that violation would not warrant overturning the judgment.
Shull contends that Ochsner's omission of Dr. Amedee from
its Certificate of Interested Parties prevented Shull from
including Amedee in his suit. Mot. to Reopen at 5. Shull
misunderstands the purpose of the Certificate of Interested
Parties. The Certificate of Interested Parties is a tool to
assess potential conflicts between the judge and third
parties not a menu from which a plaintiff selects defendants.
It does not require a defendant to disclose any party that
the plaintiff could presumably sue. It requires disclosure of
any party with a “direct, pecuniary interest in the
outcome of the case.” LR 7-1.1(a). There is no evidence
that Amedee has the type of direct, pecuniary interest that
LR 7-1.1 contemplated, and Shull does not allege such an
interest. Therefore, Ochsner did not violate LR 7-1.1.
assuming Ochsner violated the rule, disturbing the judgment
would not be the appropriate remedy. Failure to file a
Certificate of Interested Parties interferes with Court's
docket, delays a case, and wastes judicial resources.
United States v. Dilullo, No. 2:07-cv-0321-KJD-PAL,
2007 WL 3124544 at *1 (D. Nev. Oct. 23, 2007). Thus, willful
violations are punishable by sanctions up to and including
dismissal of a case. Id However, Shull presents no
authority-nor has the Court found any-that supports his
assertion that such a violation could be grounds for