You are on page 1of 19

F I L E D

Electronically
06-14-2012:04:50:59 PM
Joey Orduna Hastings
Clerk of the Court
Transaction # 3020168
gr
LW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Code No. 3795
RICHARD G. HILL, ESQ.
State Bar No. 596
CASEYD. BAKER, ESQ.
State Bar No. 9504
SOPHIE A. KARADANIS, ESQ.
State Bar No. 12006
RICHARD G. HILL, LTD.
652 Forest Street
Reno, Nevada 89509
(775) 348-0888
Attorneys for Respondent Matt Merliss
IN THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF WASHOE
11 ZACHARY BARKER COUGHLIN, )
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
Case No.: Cll-03628
12 Appellant,
Dept. NO.7
13 v.
14 MAT MERLISS,
15
16
17
18
Respondent.
REPLY TO SUPPLEMENT TO OPPOSITION TO
MOTION FOR ATORNEYS FEES
Respondent, MT MERLISS, by and through his counsel, RICHARD G. HILL,
19 LTD., and CASEY D. BAKER, ESQ., replies to the "Supplement to Opposition to Moti

n for
20 Attorey's Fees" fled herein on June 9,2012 by Mr. Coughlin. Mr. Coughlin's supplement
21 is seriously tardy, and is nonsense. Mr. Coughlin's supplement should be stricken from the
22 record: This reply is based on the points and authorities below and all papers and pleadings
23 . on fle herein.
24
25
26
POINTS AD AUHORITIES
FACTS
A the court is aware, this is an appeal from a summar evcion order
27 entered in the Reno Justice Court. Merliss believes the court to be familiar with the
Pot Oice Box 2551
28
III
Ren, Nevada 69505
(775) 3480688
Fax(775) 3480858
, LAWOFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1 underlying substantive facts of this case, and will not needlessly repeat them here. The
2 pertinent procedural fads are as follows:
3 1. On October 27, 2012, the Reno Justice Court entered its Findings of Fact,
4 Conclusions of Law, and Order for Summary Eviction in case no. REV2011-001708. ROA,
5 Vol. II, pp. 75-80.
6 2. On January 14,2012, Coughlin fled his "Opposition to Motion for Atorey's
7 Fees," even though no such motion had been fled in this case.
8 3. On March 30,2012, this court entered an order denying Coughlin's appeal
9 from the summary eviction order. Merliss was the prevaiing party on appeal. Merliss fled
10 and served a notice of entry of that order on the same day.
11 4. On April 3, 2012, Merliss timely fled and served his memorandum of costs
12 and disbursements.
13 5. Coughlin's motion to retax was due by no later than April 9, 2012. Coughlin
14 did not fle any motion to retax as required by NRS 18.110, but instead fled a bizarre,
15 rambling, and abusive "opposition to memorandum of costs," to which Merliss replied on
16 April 12, 2012.
17 6. On April 19, 2012, Merliss timely fled and served his motion for attorney's
18 fees pursuant to NRS 69.05Q and NRS 7.085.
19 7. Coughlin's opposition to Merliss' motion for attorney's fees was due by no
20 later than May 7, 2012. Coughlin did not fle any opposition to the motion for fees.
21 8. On May 9, 2012, Merliss requested submission of his motion for attorney's
22 fees. That motion remains pending, awaiting the court's ruling.
23 9
.
On May 22, 2012, the Court entered an order granting Merliss'
24 memorandum of costs and disbursements.
25 10. On June 8,2012, Coughlin fled a "motion to alter or amend" the court's
26 award of costs.
27
III
Post Ofic Box 2551
28
III
Reno, Nevada 89505
(775) 348-888
Fa(775) 348-858
2
LAW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1 11. On June 9, 2012, more than a month afer his opposition was due, and
2 exactly one month afer the motion had been submitted for a decision, Coughlin fled the
3 instant "supplement," in which he purports to fnally oppose Merliss' motion for attorney's
4 fees.
5 LW AD AAYSIS
6 Mr. Coughlin's opposition, if any, to Merliss' motion for attorey's fees was due
7 by no later than May 7, 2012. DCR 13(3). WDCR 12(2). Coughlin's "supplement" is tardy,
8 having been fled more than a month afer it was due, and exactly one month afer the
9 motion was submitted to the court for a decision. Coughlin's failure to fe a timely
10 opposition should be construed by the court as an admission by Coughlin that the motion
11 is meritoriou and should be granted. DCR 13(3). King v. Cartlidge, 121 Nev. 926, 124 P.3d
12 1161 (2005).
13 Coughlin claims that the opposition he fled on January 14, 2012 is "a standing
14 order and applies and applied to any and all attorney's fees motion (sic) ever submitted in
15 this matter ... " Supplement to Opposition at 5:21-22. This is nonsense and without any
16 basis in the Rules or case law. Coughlin ofers no authority for the proposition that a
17 litigant can fle a pre-emptive opposition to a motion that may, or may not, ever be fled in
18 the future. In fact, both WDCR 12(2) and DCR 13(3) specifcally require that any opposition
19 must be fled" ... within 10 days afer service of a motion ... " (Emphasis added). Coughlin's
20 January 14, 2012 "opposition" was and is a fgitive document with no bearing on this case,
21 other than to show either (1) Coughlin's complete incompetence as an attorney, and/ or ()
22 that the fees he consistently and needlessly inficted on Merliss throughout this case were
23 by specifc design.
24 Substantively, Couglin's "supplement" proves the points made in
25 Merliss' motion. The fees in this case have reached such astronomical levels solely and
26 exclusively due to Coughlin's ridiculous ravings and his penchant for confrontation where
27 none should exist. He continues to fle nonsensical rants for no purpose other than to drag
a
x
66 28 this matter out and cost Merliss additional fees.
(775) 346-888
Fa
x
(775) 348-0858
3
LAW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1 Coughlin's "supplement" is 13 pages long. Approximately one-half of the
2 document contains nothing but irrelevant and unprofessional personal attacks on Merliss,
3 his counsel, various local judges, and Coughlin's public defenders. Threaded amongst these
4 attacks are Coughlin's inappropriate attempts to re-argue the merits of the underlying
5 eviction. The other half of the document consists of irrelevant and unanalyzed string cites
6 of authority that Coughlin copied and pasted from Westlaw. Nowhere in his "supplement"
7 does Coughlin make any coherent argument, or cite to any relevant authority, as to why
8 Merliss should not be awarded his fees.
9 Merliss was undisputedly the prevailing party on appeal. He is entitled to an
10 award of fees under NRS 69.050 as a matter of right. Coughlin's frivolous and vexatious
11 eforts to prolong this matter without any basis in law or fact are laid bare in Merliss'
12 motion. In the event it was not obvious already, Coughlin's "supplement" removes all doubt
13 that an award of fees under NRS 7.085 is also appropriate.1
14 Just as described in the motion for attorey's fees, Merliss has now been forced,
15 yet again, to incur additional fees to respond to Coughlin's "supplement," even though that
16 document is without any merit whatsoever. Coughlin's blind insistence on continuing his
17 rampage is not well-founded in either law or fac. But, rather, it is calculated solely to infict
18 m(re harm on Merliss. A discussed in detail in Merliss' fees motion, Coughlin's flings, and
19 each of them, have been perfectly and consistently frivolous and vexatious. Coughlin
20 must be stopped. Procedural sanctions are both necessary and appropriate.
21 This court possesses the inherent power "of equity and of control over the
22 exercise of[its] jurisdiction." Jordan v. State, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, 121 Nev. 44, 59,110
23 P.3d 30 (2005). That power includes the right to restrict a litigants access to the court's
24
III
25
26
27
Post Ofic Box 251
28
Reno, Nevada 89505
1 Coughlin's license to practice law in Nevada was suspended by the Nevada
Supreme Court on June 7, 2012. See EXHIBIT 1 hereto, which is a true and correct copy
of that Court's order. Nevertheless, NRS 7.085 still applies to all of Coughlin's conduct
referenced in the motion, and sanctions are appropriate.
(775) 348'0888
Fax(775) 348-858
4
LAW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1 processes. Id. In addition, "NRCP 11 permits a district court to impose appropriate
2 deterrent sanctions on a party who violates that rule by siging court documents that
3 are fivolous or presented for an improper purpose." Id. (Emphasis added). See
4 also, NRCP 11(C)(2).
5 Here, Coughlin has demonstrated his overwhelming and consistent propensity
6 to fle documents solely to vex and harass Merliss. His multiple and voluminous flings, and
7 each of them, including the instant "supplement," have been so defcient, and so devoid of
8 merit, as to raise a presumption that every document fled by him from this point forward
9 will be, and is, frivolous. Merliss specifcally asks the court to make suc a factua
10 fnding. Merliss frther requests that the court exercise its equitable and
11 statutory authority to sanction Coughln, and protect Merliss fom Couglin's
12 abuses, by entering a sanction order to the efect that Merliss is not required
13 to respond to any frher fiings by Couglin, until and unless direced to do
14 so by the court. Merliss asks that the scope of any such order include the June 8, 2012
15 "motion to alter or amend order granting memorandum of costs" fled by Coughlin. In
16 addition to the foregoing non-monetary sanctions, Merliss also asks for sanctions in the
17 amount of $500.00, as and for the fees he incurred to prepare this reply, and that Coughlin
18 be held in contempt of court if he fails to pay.
19 Reference is made to the Declaration of Casey D. Baker, Esq., attached hereto
20 as EXHIBIT 2, for authentication of all exhibits and a discussion of the fees incurred in
2 1 preparing this reply.
22 CONCLUSION
23 This case is over. Enough is enough. Coughlin lost at every level, and must now
24 face the consequences of his actions. Merliss is entitled to an award of fees pursuant to NRS
25 69.050 and NRS 7.085, as discussed in the instant motion. Coughlin's "supplement" is
26 tardy, and without any substantive merit. The conte:ts of the "supplement" only reinforce
27 the arguments made by Merliss in his motion. The January 14, 2012 "opposition" fled by
PoSI Oc Box 2551
28
11. 1
Reno, Navada 89505
(775) 348-0888
Fax(775) 3480858
5
LAW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1 Coughlin is a fgitive document that may nt be considered by the court. DCR 13(3).
2 WDCR 12(2). Coughlin's failure to timely ifle an opposition to Merliss' motion for
I
I
3 attorney's fees should be construed as an admision by Coughlin that the motion should be
4 granted. DCR 13(3). In addition to the fees requested in the motion, Merliss asks the court
5 for an additional award of fees in the amount I of $500.00, which represents two hours of
6 the undersigned's time to read, decipher, andi oppose Coughlin's frivolous "supplement."
7 Merliss further asks for a sanction order agains Coughlin to the efect that Merliss need not
8 respond to any future flings by Coughlin, untfl and unless directed to do so by the Court.
9
10 WHEREFORE, Merliss prays for n award of fees as prayed for in the motion
11 for attorney's fees fled herein on April 19, 2b12; for an additional award of fees in the
12 amount of $500.00, as and for fees incurred i preparing this reply; for a sanction order of
13 the court that Merliss need not respond to ant fture fling by Coughlin, until and unless
14 directed to do so by the court; and for such othr, frther, and additional relief as seems just
15 to the court in the premises.
16
17 AFFIRATION Pursunt to NR 239B.030
18 The undersigned does hereby afrm that the preceding document does not
19 contain the social security number of any peron.
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
J
DATED this \ l day of June, 012.
RICHARD G. HILL, LTD.
CASEYD. BAKER, ESQ.
652 Forest Street
Reno, Nevada 89509
Attorney for respondent Matt Merliss
Post Ofice Box 2551
28
Reno, Nevada 89505
(775) 348-0888
Fax(775) 348-0858
F I L E D
Electronically
06-14-2012:04:50:59 PM
Joey Orduna Hastings
Clerk of the Court
Transaction # 3020168
F I L E D
Electronically
06-14-2012:04:50:59 PM
Joey Orduna Hastings
Clerk of the Court
Transaction # 3020168
gr 1 Code No. 1520
LW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
RICHARD G. HILL, ESQ.
2 State Bar No. 596
CASEY D. BAKER, ESQ.
3 State Bar No. 9504
SOPHIE KARADANIS, ESQ.
4 State Bar No. 12006
RICHARD G. HILL, LTD.
5 652 Forest Street
Reno, Nevada 89509
6 (775) 348-0888
Attorey for Respondent Matt Merliss
7
8 IN THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEVADA
9 IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF WASHOE
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
ZACHARY BARKER COUGHLIN,
Appellant,
v.
MAT MERLISS,
Respondent.
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
Case No.: Cn-03628
Dept. NO. 7
DECLATION OF CASEY D. BAR. ESQ.
CASEY D. BAKER, ESQ., being frst duly sworn, deposes and under penalty of
18 peIury avers:
19 1. I am a resident of the Cit of Reno, County of Washoe, State of Nevada,
20 and over 18 years of age. This declaration is based on my personal knowledge, except those
21 matters stated on information and belief, and as to those items I believe them to be true.
22 This declaration is made in support of respondent's Reply to Supplement to Opposition to
23 Motion/or Attorey's Fees and represents my testimony if called on to present same in
24 court.
25 2. J am an attorney duly licensed as such by the State of Nevada to practice
26 before all courts of this State and maintain my ofce at 652 Forest Street, Reno, Nevada,
27 where I am employed as an associate for the law frm of Richard G. Hill, Ltd. I am also
:8
2
8 licensed to practice before the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.
(775) 38-666
Fax(775 ) 38-658
LAW OFFICE
RICHARD G. HILL
1 3. My ofce represents the respondent, Dr. Matthew Merliss, in this matter.
2 4. Attached hereto as EXHIBIT "I" is a true and correct (redacted) copy of a
3 billing "activit report" generated by my ofce showing work performed by my ofce in
4 connection with preparing the instant reply. I have only redacted those portions of the
5 billings which might reveal privileged information (Le., attorney-client andlor attorney
6 work produc) or charges which do not pertain to the instant matter. All charges arising
7 fom the entries on the attached report were actually, reasonably and necessarily incurred
8 on behalf of my client in this case. The data presented is, essentially, the billings sent to the
9 clients in a slightly modifed format.
10 a) The charges for my time were all assessed at the rate of $250.00 per
11 hour, which is my standard hourly rate. Upon investigation and experience, these rates are
12 well within the range of fees charged by other attorneys in the communit.
13 5. The total fees incurred by Merliss in connection with the preparation of
14 this reply are $500.00.
15 6. In accordance with the factors enunciated by the Nevada Supreme Court
16 in Brunzellv. Golden Gate Nat. Bank, 85 Nev. 345,349,455 P.2d31 (1969) and as set forth
17 in NRPC 1.5, I show the Court:
18 a) I have been pracicing law in Nevada for over 6 years. My practice
19 emphasizes collections, real estate, real estate litigation, construcion, construction defect,
20 business, business litigation and general commercial law.
21 My current standard hourly rate is $250.00 per hour. Upon inquir, I
22 understand that rate to be well within the range of fees charged by other atorneys with
23 comparable qualifcations in the community for similar serices. Te fees charged were
24 actually, reasonably and necessarily incurred.
25 b) Al of the work that was acually performed in connection with this
26 mater is itemized on EXHIBIT "1."The entries on EXHIBIT "I" identifed as "CB" were
27 entered by me, and were tnade as the charges were incurred. The billings show a total of
Post Ofc Box 2551
28
III
Reno, Nevada 89505
(775) 38-0888
Fax(775) 38-0858
2
lAW OFFICE
RICHARD G. Hill
1
3
hours spent on this matter, each and every instance of which was necessary and
2 reasonable under the circumstances. A the court can see, however, I have only charged the
3 client for 2 hours of the time I spent preparing the referenced reply. Reference is made to
4 the declarations of Rchard G. Hill and Casey D. Baker, attached to the motion for attorney's
5 fees fled herein on April 19, 2012, for a discussion of work that was perfored but not
6 billed to the client.
7 7. I have personally reviewed the exhibits attached to the instant motion, and
8 each exhibit is a true and correc copy of what it purports to be.
9 8. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
DATED this
L(t
1
day of June, 2012.
Post Ofic Box 2551
28
Reno. Nevada 89505
(775) 348-0888
Fax(775) 348-0858
3
****** IMPORTANT NOTICE - READ THIS INFORMATION *****
PROOF OF SERVICE OF ELECTRONIC FILING
A filing has been submitted to the court RE: CV11-03628
Judge: PATRICK FLANAGAN
Official File Stamp: 06-14-2012:16:50:59
Clerk Accepted: 06-15-2012:08:13:38
Court: Second Judicial District Court - State of Nevada
Case Title:
ZACHARY COUGHLIN VS. MATTHEW
MERLISS (D7)
Document(s) Submitted: Reply to/in Opposition
-**Continuation
-**Continuation
Request for Submission
Filed By: RICHARD HILL, ESQ.
You may review this filing by clicking on the
following link to take you to your cases.
This notice was automatically generated by the courts auto-notification system.
If service is not required for this document (e.g., Minutes), please disregard the below language.
The following people were served electronically:
CASEY BAKER, ESQ. for MATTHEW MERLISS
RICHARD HILL, ESQ. for MATTHEW MERLISS
ZACHARY COUGHLIN, ESQ. for ZACHARY
COUGHLIN
The following people have not been served electronically and must be served by traditional
means (see Nevada electronic filing rules):