United States District Court, D. Arizona
Leslie E. Orman, Petitioner,
Central Loan Administration & Reporting, et al., Respondents.
Dominic W. Lanza, United States District Judge.
before the Court is Jeremy Claridge's motion for
reconsideration. (Doc. 44.) Claridge formerly served as
Petitioner Leslie Orman's counsel in the above-captioned
case. He now seeks reconsideration of the Court's
December 16, 2019 order awarding fees to Central Loan
Administration & Reporting (“Cenlar”) and
CitiMortgage Inc. (“Citi”) (collectively,
“Respondents”). (Doc. 39.) Specifically, Claridge
seeks to alter his share of Respondents' fees from 10% of
Respondents' costs to a flat $1, 000 contribution. (Doc.
44 at 3.) For the following reasons, the Court will grant the
motion in part and deny it in part.
factual and procedural background of this case is detailed in
the Court's previous order. (Doc. 39.) In a nutshell,
Orman sought confirmation of a $10.3 million arbitration
award that was based on a legally nonexistent contract.
Because the arbitration “agreement” had never
been agreed to, the Court vacated the award. (Id. at
8-9.) The Court also determined that Orman's motion to
confirm had been filed in bad faith. (Id. at 9-13.)
As such, the Court found that sanctions were appropriate.
(Id.) In the Court's view, both Claridge and
Orman were responsible, but Claridge's actions were the
result of poor decision-making, rather than spite.
(Id.) Accordingly, the Court allocated 10% of
Respondents' costs to Claridge and the remaining 90% to
now seeks reconsideration of the allocation of costs. (Doc.
44 at 3.) Pursuant to LRCiv. 7.2(g), Claridge asks that,
rather than 10% of Respondents' costs, the Court impose a
specific dollar amount-$1, 000-against him.
LRCiv. 7.2, the Court may grant a motion for reconsideration
if (1) “[t]here are material differences in fact or law
from that presented to the Court” that the moving party
could not have known at the time of the Court's decision;
(2) “[t]here are new material facts that happened
after the Court's decision”; (3) there was
a change in law after the Court's decision; or (4) the
moving party makes a “convincing showing that the Court
failed to consider material facts presented to the
Court.” Honeywell Int'l, Inc. v. Western
Support Group, 2013 WL 2369919, *1-2 (D. Ariz. 2013)
aside that the motion is untimely (LRCiv. 7.2(g) sets a
14-day deadline), Claridge's motion fails on the merits.
The motion explains how Claridge's representation of
Orman came to pass, provides some insight into Claridge's
home life, and apologizes to the Court for Claridge's
role in this proceeding. The apology is noted, but it does
not fall within any of the four grounds listed above.
Claridge has pointed to a single “new” fact- the
hourly rate charged by Respondents' attorneys. (Doc. 44
at 1.) But that fact is immaterial to whether sanctions
should have been imposed. In the end, the basis for
Claridge's suggested change in the allocation of costs
largely comes down to his preference-he would rather pay a
flat fee than continue to participate in the resolution of
the fee process. (Doc. 44 at 3.)
also asserts that arguing the reasonableness of
Respondents' attorneys' fees is a task that falls to
Orman and Orman alone. (Id. at 3.) That is
incorrect. When sanctions are imposed, the Court reviews the
submitted fee statements and determines for itself what is
reasonable. Edwards v. Vemma Nutrition, 2019 WL
5684192, *12-14 (D. Ariz. 2019). To assist in that endeavor,
both Claridge and Orman, pursuant to the Court's order,
may object to the reasonableness of Respondents' fees.
(Doc. 39 at 13-14.) In other words, Claridge is just as much
subject to the duties of a sanctioned party as Oman. The full
range of objections, including inability to pay, remains
available to him. See, e.g., Vemma, 2019 WL 5684192
at *13-14, *15-16. See also Gaskell v. Weir, 10 F.3d
626, 629 (9th Cir. 1993) (stating that the sanctioned party
has “the burden to produce probative evidence of his
inability to pay sanctions”).
it is largely unaddressed in his motion, Claridge also asks
for an extension of time to respond to Respondents' fee
statement. The Court will grant that request.
IT IS ORDERED that:
the extent Claridge's motion (Doc. 44) is a motion for
reconsideration, that motion is denied; and
the extent Claridge seeks an extension of time, his request
is granted. Claridge's objections to
Respondents' fee statement are now due by January
21, 2020. For the sake of simplicity, the ...