United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM M. CONLEY, DISTRICT JUDGE.
court is in receipt of appellant's motion for stay (dkt.
#27), as well as attorney Wendy Alison Nora's ex
parte submission of her medical documentation supporting
the request for a 90-day stay and then an additional 30 days
to file an opening brief. (See dkt. #34). Typically,
such a proffer of medical information would be enough to
justify a requested stay. Unfortunately, there is nothing
typical about Attorney Nora, who has a history of frivolous
and dilatory tactics recognized by this and other courts.
See In re Nora, 778 F.3d 662 (7th Cir. 2015)
(finding sanctions warranted against Nora because “her
arguments in this appeal were motivated by improper
purposes”); Spencer v. Fed. Home Loan Mortg.
Corp., Nos. 15-cv-332-wmc, 15-cv-327-wmc, 2015 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 96663, at *1-*2 (W.D.W.I. July 24, 2015) (Conley,
J.) (noting that “each appeal appears motivated by the
goal to further delay a warranted state court
foreclosure” and that “[t]he bankruptcy court,
this court and the Seventh Circuit are all familiar with
debtor Sheila Spencer and her attorney Wendy Alison
Nora's efforts to delay foreclosure on Spencer's
home.”); Rinaldi v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., Nos.
13-cv-336-JPS, 13-CV-643-JPS, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182089
(E.D.W.I. April 9, 2014) (concluding court “ha[d] no
choice but to impose sanctions” because its prior order
noted that “any further frivolous submissions
will result in an award of appropriate sanctions
against the Rinaldis' attorney”),
aff'd 778 F.3d 672 (7th Cir. 2015); In re
Schmid, 494 B.R. 737, 748 (W.D.W.I Bankr. 2013)
(“At every turn, the Debtor has sought delays of these
proceedings . . . .”); In re Disciplinary Action
Against Nora, 450 N.W.2d 328 (Minn. 1990) (suspending
Attorney Nora for misconduct in three cases, including one in
which “the litigation was undertaken to buy time and to
delay efforts to recover certain farm land”).
amply documented in appellee's response, cause for
skepticism is further fueled by its torturous, now seven-year
quest to obtain and enforce a judgment of foreclosure on the
Lisses' home, which Attorney Nora has successfully
delayed by various maneuvers in state and now federal court,
most recently by petition for review by the Wisconsin Supreme
Court and “tag-team” bankruptcy filings by the
appellant and his wife. Indeed, even before this court,
Attorney Nora has successfully dragged out the briefing on
the merits by satellite skirmishes, of which her current
motion may well be the latest. Indeed, Attorney Nora has now
taken the time to file a “response” to
appellee's response to her motion because it contains a
request that factual representations be struck in the first
twelve paragraphs of Lisse's motion, which in fairness
reads like an opening appellate brief, demonstrating that her
diagnosis of “intermittent symptoms of mild”
Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) caused by a fall
on January 17, 2017, has not to date prevented her from
carrying on her practice of law in two states. Of course, her
condition may still require her cessation of her practice
altogether for 90 days for her symptoms to resolve fully, as
indicated by the four sentence letter written “To Whom
It May Concern” by her neurologist.
complicating this matter are the related appeals involving
Lisse's wife (17-cv-206-jdp, 17-cv-207-jdp,
17-cv-208-jdp), which were consolidated with each other
before Judge Peterson, but not with this case. All of these
appeals, including the one before me, involve: 5701 Leanne
Lane McFarland, WI 53558, (compare 17-cv-206-jdp
dkt. #7-10, with 16-cv-617-wmc dkt. #26); appear to
involve the same or similar issues; same or similar
objections by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. for the benefit of (or as
Trustee, in trust for the registered holders of) Ace
Securities Corp. Home Equity Loan Trust, Series 2006-NC3,
Asset Backed Pass-Through Certificates (compare
generally 17-cv-206-jdp docket with
16-cv-617-wmc docket and 16-bk-12556-cjf Dkt. #42
with 16-bk-10935-cjf Dkt. #34); and efforts by the
respective debtors to challenge the validity of the same note
(and its assignment to HSBC) (compare 17-cv-206-jdp
dkt. #6 at 10-11 with 16-cv-617-wmc dkt. #27 at
2-3), despite the decision of the Dane County Circuit Court
that HSBC was the holder of the note with standing to enforce
the same, see HSBC Bank USA, N.A. v. Lisse, 367
Wis.2d 749, 877 N.W.2d 650 (Ct. App. 2016) (unpublished)
(affirming Circuit Court decision). They have another common
denominator: in all appeals, Attorney Nora is representing
the court's skepticism, it is in no more position than
appellee to second guess the medical opinion of Ms.
Nora's neurologist. Accordingly, the court will GRANT the
pending motion as follows:
(1) This matter is stayed until December 20, 2017, with
appellant's brief due January 19, 2018.
(2) No further extensions will be granted to Attorney Nora
absent new, extraordinary circumstances. As a consequence, if
there is any possibility that she will be unable to complete
and file appellant's brief by that date, whether for
medical reasons or otherwise, she should promptly notify her
client and encourage him to retain new counsel, with the
understanding that the court will dismiss this bankruptcy
appeal unless a supporting brief is filed on or before the
deadline, whether by Attorney Nora, new counsel, or the
appellant pro se.
(3) Appellee will have 30 days to file its response after the
initial brief is served, and there will be no reply brief
unless specifically requested by the court.
(4) Appellant's request for judicial notice (dkt. #35) is
DENIED AS MOOT and appellee's request to strike portions
of appellant's pleading (dkt. #38) is DENIED.
(5) Counsel is to advise the court promptly of any action on
the pending petition for review to the ...