State high court criticizes Laub & Laub
August 3, 2005
The Nevada Supreme Court has admonished the Reno-based law firm of Laub & Laub for its conduct in a case where a former client sued them.
Gloria Kendall sued the Laubs over their handling of a case on her behalf. The Laubs operate a prominent personal-injury practice in Reno and Lake Tahoe.
The lawsuit alleges Joe Laub appeared for the settlement conference with attorneys for Kendall and advised the settlement judge he had full authority to negotiate the case. According to the court file, those in attendance spent a significant amount of time reaching a settlement.
But before the deal could be finalized at a second conference, the judge was told Joe’s father and law partner, Melvin Laub, had rejected the agreement.
“The settlement judge believes these actions show appellants failed to participate in good faith in the settlement conference,” the high court order states. The settlement judge called for sanctions against the Laubs. Kendall’s attorney Peter Chase Neumann asked those sanctions include a $50,000 fine plus dismissal of their appeal in the case, pointing out the Laubs also failed to file an opening brief in their appeal.
The high court noted that all parties in a case are required to participate in good faith in settlement conferences and that the process in this case “may have been compromised because appellant Melvin Laub was not personally present at the conference.”
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“Although we decline to impose monetary sanctions, we strongly admonish appellants and counsel for appellants for not fully complying with the requirements,” the court stated in its order.
This isn’t the first time Joe Laub has run into trouble with the high court.
He was suspended from practicing law for six months a year ago when the court agreed with the bar association he jeopardized the privacy of client files, provided a client with misleading cost and expense information and assigned a non-lawyer in their firm to handle legal duties.
In other business, the high court accepted the resignation of Sean M. Liles from the Nevada Bar.
Liles is charged in a formal complaint before the Southern Nevada disciplinary board.
According to the petition before the court, Liles stipulated to a $758,000 judgment because of unspecified conduct and violations.
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.