Vietnam-based Israel’s emergency motion is denied


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona denied yesterday Vietnam-based lawyer Barry J. Israel’s motion to suspend the scheduling order deadlines for him and another lawyer in Junior Larry Hillbroom’s lawsuit.

Manglona said it is within the court’s inherent power to “manage its own affairs so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases.”

However, the judge said, it is not her practice to press pause on scheduling orders simply because a dispositive motion is pending before the court.

“Such an order would necessarily result in delays that would impact the November trial date if the decision on the dispositive motion does not dispose of the case,” Manglona said.

Israel, through counsel Theodore W. Frank, filed yesterday the emergency motion, to ask the court to suspend the scheduling order deadlines until his and lawyer David J. Lujan’s pending motions are ruled upon by the court.

The first motion is Israel’s request to dismiss Hillbroom’s lawsuit for lack of federal jurisdiction, that is set for a hearing on Sept. 19.

The second motion is Lujan’s amended motion to suspend proceedings owing to Hillbroom’s alleged fugitive status. The hearing date on this request is pending.

Frank said if either of these two motions are granted, they will dispose of the action.

Therefore, Frank said, while these two motions are pending, it is reasonable that the parties avoid incurring expenses that may be for naught and/or wasteful—should either motion be granted.

“Such relief benefits all parties, as each party would otherwise have to incur trial preparation expenses with the Nov. 19, 2019, trial rapidly approaching,” Frank said.

Hillbroom is suing Israel and Lujan for allegedly conspiring with former trustee Keith Waibel to inflate their contingency fee when the fortune of the late DHL co-founder Larry Hillblom was still undergoing probate proceedings in the Superior Court. Israel and Lujan have denied the allegations.

Hillbroom is one of the four DNA-proven children of Hillblom. His name is spelled differently from that of Hillblom.

Hillblom died in a seaplane crash off Anathan waters on May 21, 1995. His body was never recovered.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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