United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO STAY EXECUTION OF JUDGMENT,
TERMINATING APPLICATION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, AND
DENYING MOTION TO EXTEND TIME TO FILE APPEAL RE: ECF NOS. 61,
TIGAR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are Plaintiff Sheila Mason's motion to shorten
time, motion to stay execution of judgment pending motion for
reconsideration, application to proceed in forma pauperis,
and motion to extend time to file notice of appeal. ECF Nos.
61, 62, 70.
application to proceed in forma pauperis is terminated as
moot. ECF No. 62. No fees are currently due.
request to shorten time is granted in part and denied in
part. ECF No. 61. She noticed her motion to stay for May 24,
2018, but simultaneously requested an order shortening time
to April 19, 2018. The request for an order shortening time
is denied. However, the Court finds the motion to stay
suitable for resolution without oral argument, vacates the
May 24 hearing, and now issues this ruling. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 78(b); Civil L.R. 7-1(b).
Defendants themselves acknowledge, it is unclear whether
Mason intended her motion to stay “to also serve as a
motion for relief from judgment, ” but “she
appears to bring it under Rules 60(b)(1), (3), and (6) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” ECF No. 67 at 4.
Given Mason's pro se status, the Court liberally
construes the motion as seeking relief under Rule 60(b).
Mason filed her motion within 28 days after judgment was
entered. See ECF No. 58 (judgment entered on April
3, 2018); ECF No. 61 (motion filed on April 16, 2018). Thus,
the time to file an appeal does not run until the date of
this order. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(A)(vi). Mason's
motion to extend time to file a notice of appeal is therefore
denied as moot. ECF No. 70.
motion to stay, Mason does not dispute that she signed the
mediator's proposal that formed the basis of the judgment
in this case. ECF No. 53 at 5 (signed mediator's
proposal); ECF No. 57 (order granting Defendant's motion
to enforce settlement). Instead, she argues that she was not
“properly informed or advised by counsel during
mediation . . . [or] leading up to mediation” and seeks
to file a motion for reconsideration presenting facts to
support that assertion. ECF No. 61 at 5-6. These arguments do
not present an adequate basis to stay or set aside the
judgment. Under binding Ninth Circuit law,
“[a] party will not be released from a poor litigation
decision made because of inaccurate information or advice,
even if provided by an attorney.” Latshaw v.
Trainer Wortham & Co., 452 F.3d 1097, 1101-02 (9th
Cir. 2006) (affirming denial of relief under Rule 60(b)(1));
see also Id. at 1102-04 (affirming denial of relief
under Rules 60(b)(3) and 60(b)(6)). To the contrary,
“parties should be bound by and accountable for the
deliberate actions of themselves and their chosen counsel.
This includes not only an innocent, albeit careless or
negligent, attorney mistake, but also intentional attorney
misconduct. Such mistakes are more appropriately addressed
through malpractice claims.” Id. at 1101;
see also Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626,
633-34 (1962) (“Petitioner voluntarily chose this
attorney as his representative in the action, and he cannot
now avoid the consequences of the acts or omissions of this
freely selected agent. Any other notion would be wholly
inconsistent with our system of representative litigation. .
. .”). Mason's motion for a stay of judgment is
denied. ECF No. 61.
implicit request for leave to file a motion for
reconsideration is also denied. As explained above, even if
Adams failed to provide proper legal advice, that would not
justify setting aside the judgment based on the signed
mediator's proposal. Mason's arguments as to the
inadequacies of her attorney are therefore not material -
i.e., they would not affect the outcome of this case.
See Civil L.R. 7-9(b)(1) (when a party seeks
reconsideration based on a “difference in fact or law .
. . from that which was presented to the Court, ” that
difference must be “material”).
IS SO ORDERED.
 Mason's reply brief raises a
different theory: that the judgment must be set aside because
no one previously argued that federal law should govern
interpretation of the agreement in this case. ECF No. 74 at
4-8. Mason relies on language from the dissenting opinion in
In Re J.T. Thorpe, Inc., which stated that the Ninth
Circuit has “held that settlement agreements are
typically governed by state law. But this is an atypical case
because clear and substantial interests of the National
Government will suffer major damage if the state law is
applied.” 870 F.3d 1121, 1131-32 (9th Cir. 2017)
(Korman, J., dissenting) (quotation marks, alterations, and
citations omitted). “Generally, the Court does not
consider new arguments made for the first time in a reply
brief.” Rodman v. Safeway Inc., 125 F.Supp.3d
922, 930 (N.D. Cal. 2015), aff'd, 694 Fed.Appx.
612 (9th Cir. 2017). But even if the Court were to consider
this argument, it would not change the result.
Thorpe implicated federal interests because it
concerned asbestos trusts created under federal bankruptcy
law. Thorpe, 870 F.3d at 1123. No similar federal
interest exists here.
 Although Mason seeks a stay pending
appeal, she has not filed an ...