December 11, 2020
Mr. Kirk Nevada Walker, Esq. of Nevada Walker, PLLC represented Exley in the matter of Leverty & Associates Law Chtd. v. Exley as case number 19-15545 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Leverty appealed United States District Court – District of Nevada Order in case number 3:17-cv-00175-MMD-WGC, where the Court expunged the lis pendens on real property located in Nevada.
The underlying action was a suit by Leverty against Exley to recover attorneys’ fees accrued during a separate proceeding in Nevada state court. At a settlement conference, the parties orally agreed on the record to the essential terms of a settlement in which Exley would pay the outstanding attorneys’ fees. After further negotiations over the settlement language fell apart, the district court judicially enforced the settlement agreement. Around the same time, Leverty filed a lis pendens against the Property. The district court ordered the lis pendens expunged because the lawsuit did not affect the title or possession of real property and, in any case, was no longer pending.
Leverty argued that the district court’s order enforcing the settlement agreement with Exley gave Leverty an entitlement to the Property. Leverty also suggested that the settlement agreement’s incorporation of the attorney’s lien turned the case into one that affects the title or possession of real property. However, the Court found that the lien was granted in a separate Nevada state court proceeding and, thus, did not justify the subject lis pendens. Because the enforced agreement did not affect real property within the meaning of Nevada Revised Statute 14.010, the Court held that the lis pendens was properly expunged.