Judge Flanagan upholds July Order v. Aaron Katz

Judge Flanagan upholds July Order v. Aaron Katz

  • September 22, 2016

September 21, 2016. Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan upholds July Order requiring Aaron Katz to pay IVGID its attorney’s in the sum of $226,466.80.

 On July 15, 2016, after five years of litigation, Washoe District Judge Patrick Flanagan entered an order awarding IVGID its attorney’s fees in the amount of $226,466.80 plus other court costs in the amount of $2,925.95. Within days after the award, Mr. Katz engaged counsel and filed a motion to alter or amend judgment, asking Judge Flanagan to undo his order awarding attorney’s fees. IVGID opposed the motion and the court entered an order on September 21, 2016, denying Mr. Katz’s challenge.

In stern, but somewhat colorful language, Judge Flanagan reiterated that the court has authority to award attorney’s fees against a party who has brought a frivolous or vexatious claim. A “frivolous” claim is one that is both baseless and made without a reasonable and competent inquiry. “Vexatious” is defined as an action without reasonable cause or excuse other than to harass for annoy. The court concluded:

“…this Court can find no other explanation for [Mr. Katz]’s actions other than to unnecessarily prolong this litigation with baseless and unreasonable claims.” …

“Throughout this litigation, [Mr. Katz] has shown that the motives for his claims were nothing more than to harass and burden the Defendant with excessive public records requests. In addition, [Mr. Katz]’s actions throughout this litigation have been nothing short of appalling and a waste of judicial resources. Again, by his actions, [Mr. Katz] has led this court to one undeniable conclusion: this was a frivolous lawsuit.”

The court’s entire order can be read here: katz-v-ivgid_order-09-21-16.

Project MANA – Stella Foodie Event & Fundraiser

Project MANA – Stella Foodie Event & Fundraiser

  • August 8, 2016

It’s no secret that I am a “foodie” and that I proudly serve on the Board of Trustees for Project MANA. I don’t want my favorite food-related fundraising event of the year, Project MANA’s 3rd Annual Stella Foodie Event & Fundraiser, to be a secret either.

That’s why I am inviting you to join me at this delicious event on Tuesday, August 23 at Stella in the The Cedar House Sport Hotel, Truckee, to show your support for Project MANA. You’ll enjoy a terrific meal while supporting our community –  just take a look at the menu! I urge you to register today as this event always sells out!

As Lake Tahoe’s main local food pantry, Project MANA has been serving the needy, the ill, the elderly and children for 25 years now. Food distribution occurs four times weekly in North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region and totals nearly 2,500 meals weekly, 10,000 meals monthly, and 130,000 meals annually. Project MANA also offers other resources including weekly home deliveries for those in need that cannot get to distribution centers, and emergency and cooking compromised non-perishable food supplies. And each Fall they host the Let’s Talk Turkey food distribution that provides Thanksgiving meals to hundreds of local families.

This year, Project MANA’s 25th, brought big change – we moved our food distribution warehouse and some offices from Incline Village to Truckee. In doing so, Project MANA needs to raise additional funds this year, in the form of a capital campaign, to cover hard costs such as the move, the new warehouse space and necessary refrigeration, and to ensure there is no gap in services provided.

If you cannot attend the Stella event but would like to contribute to Project MANA, you can do so here.

Andrew N. Wolf Appointed to Incline Village/Crystal Bay Citizen Advisory Board

  • August 31, 2015

Washoe County Commissioner Chair Marsha Berkbigler recently appointed Andrew N. Wolf, a managing partner at Incline Law Group, to the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Citizen Advisory Board.

Wolf is a real estate lawyer with extensive experience in land use, business and construction law who has practiced for more than 25 years in Incline Village.

“I am excited to continue providing service to our community through participation on the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Citizen Advisory Board,” Wolf said in a statement. “I look forward to taking part in creating sustainable growth and policies for Incline Village and Crystal Bay.”

Wolf and his family reside in Incline Village. He is a board member and corporate secretary for the Diamond Peak Ski Education Foundation and a member of the Incline Village Golf Club.

He has taught Risk Management and Business Law classes at Sierra Nevada College and occasionally serves as Judge Pro Tem for the Incline Justice Court of Washoe County.

Washoe County’s CABs are asked to study and advise their commissioners on local public issues, including regulations that guide planning for and building neighborhoods, development proposals, public safety, scope of local government services, discussions on how to allocate local taxpayer funds, the status of erosion control and road programs, and the need for regional open space programs, according to the county.

Project MANA Mountain Kids Cook-Off at Northstar

  • June 23, 2015

Cassell von Bayer, a partner at Incline Law Group, has served on the Board of Trustees for Project Project MANA logoMANA for over three years and feels very strongly about their mission: to reduce the incidence of hunger and its detrimental effects upon individuals, families, the community and the region. In addition to providing hunger relief, Project MANA has developed programs designed to alleviate the causes of hunger and promote nutrition through education and awareness.

Cassell invites you to join her at the 1st Annual Mountain Kids Cook-Off, a brand new kid’s culinary competition and fundraiser being produced jointly by Project MANA and Northstar California, taking place at Northstar.

PMANA Mtn Kids Cookoff Kids ages 8-12 are invited to submit a video (due July  17) explaining why they should be one of the lucky teams  selected to battle it out at the Mountain Kids Cook-Off.  Ten teams will be selected to cook in the semi-final round on Sunday, August 16 at the Northstar Zephyr Lodge. Teams will be given a platter of secret ingredients and will have to create a dish to excite the judges. All participants will receive a logo-ed apron, and two lucky teams will be selected to compete in the finals on Saturday, September 12 during the 30th anniversary of the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival. Two final teams will battle it out on the Village Stage in front of their friends and families for the winner’s trophy and more cool prizes!

The semi-final round (Sunday, August 16) will also be a fundraiser benefiting Project MANA, a local Tahoe-based non-profit. Families, friends and spectators will be invited to attend the semi-finals to cheer on their teams during the on-mountain luncheon. Tickets are $20 per adult and $10 per child and all proceeds will go directly to Project MANA. Complimentary tickets will be available on an as-needed basis to a limited number of families. Please contact Project MANA directly for details.

For more information on entering the challenge, please email karis-at-projectmana.org, call (775) 298-0008 or click here for more detail and where to send video submissions.

Incline Lake Will Be A Lake No More

  • January 6, 2015

Forest Service Issues Final Decision — Incline Lake will be a lake no more.

On January 2, 2015, the United States Forest Service issued its final decision that the Incline Lake dam will not be rebuilt and the lake will not be refilled.  The decision is linked here.  The other competing alternative, rejected by the Forest Service, was to reconstruct the dams and restore the lake for recreation and as a fishery.  The Forest Service’s explanation of the competing alternatives and the basis for its conclusions are set forth in the notice linked above.  Overall planning for the site has been in limbo since the Forest Service acquired Incline Lake as part of a 777 acre transaction, due to the need to first determine the fate of the lake and the dams.  With this decision, further planning for the site can proceed.

Incline Lake

Incline Lake

IVGID Beach Access Suit Rejected by Nevada Supreme Court

  • November 12, 2014

In 2008, two lawsuits challenging Incline Village General Improvement District’s (IVGID) policies regarding access to the District’s beaches were filed. One lawsuit was filed by Frank Wright in federal court. The other case, also filed in early 2008, was filed in a Nevada state court by Steven Kroll.

IVGID ultimately prevailed in Mr. Wright’s lawsuit, which sought access to IVGID’s beaches based on his alleged rights under the federal Constitution, citing freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and equal protection, etc. Several years ago, the federal district judge granted IVGID’s motion for summary judgment, thereby dismissing Mr. Wright’s case entirely, and the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment in IVGID’s favor.

In the separate case filed by Mr. Kroll, IVGID initially moved the case to federal court where, eventually, a different federal district judge applied all the same reasoning that was applied to dismiss Mr. Wright’s case, and, accordingly dismissed all of Mr. Kroll’s federal constitutional claims and then returned the case back to the Second Judicial District Court (our Nevada state court in Reno), for further proceedings regarding Mr. Kroll’s state law claims.

A little more than two years ago, the state district court in Reno granted IVGID’s motion for summary judgment, disposing all state law-based claims asserted by Mr. Kroll. Thereafter, Mr. Kroll appealed to the Nevada state Supreme Court. Mr. Kroll’s appeal has been pending since October, 2012.  On Monday, November 10, 2014, 25 months after Mr. Kroll filed his appeal, our state Supreme Court entered its ORDER OF AFFIRMANCE, which you can read here by scrolling to the bottom and referencing document #14-36978The Order of Affirmance was issued by all of the court’s seven justices unanimously. It is not a published decision which means it cannot be cited as precedent in future cases, although the legal analysis and argumentation as set forth in the Order of Affirmance can certainly be used again should the need arise. The Order of Affirmance indicates the court’s unanimous and sweeping rejection of all claims asserted by Mr. Kroll under Nevada state law, including his key assertion that IVGID’s statutory authorization to acquire and manage facilities for public recreation absolutely precluded IVGID from restricting beach access to certain property owners.

With this Order of Affirmance, and after nearly seven years, the ongoing uncertainty raised by this remaining legal challenge to IVGID’s beach access policies is now gone.

Paella Event to Support Project MANA

Paella Event to Support Project MANA

  • October 8, 2014

At Incline Law Group, we feel being a part of our community and giving back are very important. Personally, I am on the board of Directors at Project MANA (Making Adequate Nutrition Available) – A Hunger Relief Agency. Our mission is to reduce the incidence of hunger and its detrimental effects upon individuals, families, the community and the region.  In addition to providing hunger relief, we have developed programs designed to alleviate the causes of hunger and promote nutrition through education and awareness.

I invite you to support Project MANA, along with me, through your attendance at our Foodie Event Series. The next event, a Paella Dinner, features Chef Gerard Nebesky, who, on national television, won “Throwdown with Bobby Flay!” Armed with giant paella pans, buckets of ocean fresh seafood, and baskets of farm fresh vegetables, he will recreate his winning paella dish for attendees. Not only will he delight taste buds at this event, but he will demonstrate the preparation of this classic dish from Spain.

Please join me for this delicious event on Friday, October 17 from 6-9 pm at the D.W. Reynolds Building in Incline Village. Tickets are $150 each and can be purchased from Project MANA.

In addition to Chef Gerard’s Paella, attendees will be treated to dessert by Pastry Chef Dave Meade of Rustic Lounge in Tahoe Vista, CA. Chef Meade walked away with top dual honors at last year’s Tahoe Chocolate Wine and Roses Event: People’s Choice Award and Outstanding Original Taste. All guests will also receive a gift to take away!