United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
CENTENNIAL BANK, Guardian of the Estate of Mary Moore Stiny PLAINTIFF
RENA WOOD DEFENDANT
MARSHALL JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Motion for order, No 87, granted as modified. The
Court appreciates counsel's collaboration and
Centennial's clarifying reply, No 100. It adopts
their agreed framework with some tinkering.
the Hoxie house. Centennial should provide Wood with names of
two local real estate agents by 8 June 2018. Wood should pick
one by 15 June 2018. As soon as practicable, the house should
be listed for a period of ninety days at no less than the
appraised value. The proceeds from the sale will be placed
into this Court's registry pending a final decision on
the merits. Status report on progress toward sale due by 1
the tax return issues. The parties agree that they should be
corrected and amended. This must be done by 1 September 2018
and the parties must file notice with the Court. As for the
costs, those will be paid from Bank of America account No.
xxxxx-5307 and subject to reimbursement by Wood after
judgment on the merits. The same goes for the prior costs,
including those associated with the returns from 2015 to
2017, No 100 at 4. Many of these tax and cost issues
can't be decided short of a decision on the merits.
No 90 at 1-2.
the caregiver claims. The Court will hold a hearing. The
claimants must appear before the Court and present their
claims, and the parties may examine them under oath. The
parties should file simultaneous five-page briefs seven
calendar days before the hearing so the Court can prepare for
it. On that date, they should also deliver a set of agreed
exhibits to Jonesboro chambers and file their exhibit list.
the Old Pocahontas Road house. There is no agreement about
the sale of this property; and it may be profitable in its
current condition. So it will not be sold. And Mrs.
Stiny's personal effects should remain in storage there,
at no cost to any party. The Bank must, however, check on the
personal effects from time to time to make sure that they are
being safely stored. Weather damage, for example, could be a
real and preventable issue. The Bank should provide monthly
reports to Wood through counsel.
the Court appreciates the update on the BMW. It looks forward
to Centennial's status report on 29 June 2018. Nq 90
Motion to approve 2017 accounting, Nq 91, granted.
This report looks very good. Attorney's fees related to
this accounting will be addressed in due course on a complete
record. None are requested with specificity at this point.
Second motion for attorney's fees, N° 93,
reluctantly granted as modified. The Court understands that
oversights happen. It also understands that many legal issues
in this case necessarily involve California trust law. So,
Darvish's communications with lead counsel are justified
in most instances. The Court authorizes payment of $7, 000 of
the $9, 112.50 requested. This reduction is necessary to rein
in unexpected charges at an hourly rate that is 50% higher
than the reasonable and customary rate in this District. The
Court directs Wood and Linder & Associates to pay $2, 475
as re-financing related fees; Wood must pay the balance from
the Bank of America account.
"emergency motion to extend discovery cut-off date,
" Nq 101, is denied without prejudice.
no emergency. The three depositions have been rescheduled.
The Court assumes the documents requested will be produced
sufficiently in advance of those depositions to be useful
there. And the parties are free to conduct any needed
clean-up discovery this summer by agreement.
and relatedly, Darvish's role in this case must be
reduced to conform to the Court's prior Order and
reasonableness. He is second chair with a limited area of
responsibility. To repeat: "Lilly is lead counsel. Fees
incurred for Darvish's work should be the minimum
necessary to adequately represent the Trust on the California
law issues raised by Centennial/' No 79 at 4.
recent papers demonstrate too big a role. Lilly must take the
lead on all filings with this Court; no more Darvish-only
filings. Lilly must direct and guide all the work. Lilly
must, for example, depose Baker and Robbins; Darvish should,
of course, help prepare Lilly on any material California
trust law issues. But unless Wood wants to pay for travel
time and expenses, Darvish may participate in the Arkansas
depositions only by telephone or video conference. Likewise,
because of the substance involved and for efficiency, Darvish
must depose Tennen, with Lilly helping on the preparation and
participating only by telephone or video conference. Darvish
has an important but limited part in this case; to get paid
with trust funds, he must ride shotgun, not drive.
Court notes that Centennial has several lawyers. If the real
issue on Wood's side of the case is "we need more
hands on general litigation tasks, " then Lilly should
find additional ...