Margaret Schmidt is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ Las Vegas office. Her practice includes general liability, personal injury, coverage litigation, professional liability, and quiet title disputes. Ms. Schmidt has extensive experience representing individuals and businesses in Nevada state and federal district courts, defending cases at the appellate level and resolving cases through arbitration and mediation.
Ms. Schmidt successfully resolved lawsuits involving premises liability, insurance bad faith, contract disputes, directors and officers liability, errors and omissions, and bankruptcy adversary proceedings. She has also succeeded in numerous appeals to the Nevada Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Most recently, she argued a case in the Ninth Circuit involving constitutional challenges to Nevada’s non-judicial foreclosure statutes.
Ms. Schmidt earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Brigham Young University in 2008, and received her J.D. from the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2011. While in law school, Ms. Schmidt served as the Vice President of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and externed for the Honorable Judge Jennifer Elliott in the Eighth Judicial District Court of Nevada. Ms. Schmidt is admitted to practice in the State of Nevada, the U.S. District Court of Nevada and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Schmidt was born in Wimbledon, England, grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Las Vegas in 2008. When not at the office, she enjoys visiting art galleries, playing volleyball, volunteering at local animal shelters, and spending time with her family.
The Nevada Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bank of America, N.A. v. Thomas Jessup, LLC Series VII, 135 Nev. Adv. Op. 7, 435 P.3d 1217 (Nev. 2019) (“Jessup”) represents the current departure from ideologies established in SFR Investments Pool 1 v. U.S. Bank, 130 Nev. 742, 750, 334 P.3d 408, 414 (Nev. 2014). To contextualize the shift, it is beneficial to examine the statute at the heart of this ever-expanding body of law, NRS 116.3116. Since 1991, Nevada has provided homeowner associations (HOAs) with the statutory authority to impose a lien for unpaid assessments owed on a property. Pursuant to NRS 116.3116, up to nine months of common expense assessments accrued under the lien are given priority over a first deed of trust. Considering the effect of a “superpriority” lien foreclosure for the first time, the Nevada Supreme Court reasoned in SFR Investments that such priority was created “to avoid having the community subsidize first security holders who delay foreclosure” of underwater properties. Thus, a bank risks losing its security interest by foreclosure of the superpriority lien if it fails to pay at least nine months of HOA assessments owed on a defaulted property.
In its most recent decision concerning Nevada’s ever-problematic home owners’ association (“HOA”) lien statute,  the Nevada Supreme Court addressed the statute’s mandatory award of attorneys’ fees and costs. Nevada Revised Statutes (“NRS”) 116.3116(8) provides, “[a] judgment or decree in any action brought under this section must include costs and reasonable attorney’s fees for the prevailing party.” Parties have invoked this provision as a means for obtaining fees and costs in any lawsuit invoking NRS 116.3116. However, the holding in Carrington Mortg. Holdings, LLC v. R Ventures VIII, LLC, 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 46 (Nev. 2018), upends NRS 116.3116(8)’s application outside a very specific context.
After years of litigation in the lower courts and countless appeals to the Ninth Circuit and Nevada Supreme Court concerning the “Federal Foreclosure Bar,” the issue was finally put to rest by the Nevada Supreme Court on May 17, 2018 in in Saticoy Bay LLC Series 9641 Christine View v. Fed. Nat’l Mortgage Ass’n, 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 36 (2018).
SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. First Horizon Home Loans, 409 P.3d 891 (Nev. 2018)
The Nevada Supreme Court recently reversed a district court’s decision to set aside a homeowner’s association (HOA) foreclosure sale in favor of the mortgage lender. Upon purchasing the subject property at its own foreclosure sale, the lender claimed it was entitled to be re-served all NRS Chapter 116 notices as the property’s new owner. On appeal, the Nevada Supreme Court clarified that an HOA need not start the entire foreclosure process anew each time the property changes ownership.
Nationstar Mortgage, LLC v. Saticoy Bay LLC Series 2227 Shadow Canyon, 405 P.3d 641 (Nev. 2017)
Nevada’s homeowners association (HOA) lien statute, NRS 116.3116, is a creature of the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act of 1982 (UCIOA), which Nevada adopted in 1991 and codified as NRS Chapter 116. As it existed prior to 2015, NRS 116.3116 provided an HOA with a statutory lien against a unit for unpaid assessments, and for a portion of that lien to be prior to a first deed of trust (aka the “superpriority” lien).
Clark County School District v. Makani Kai Payo, 403 P.3d 1270 (Nev. 2017)
In a recent decision entitled Clark County School District v. Makani Kai Payo, 403 P.3d 1270 (Nev. 2017), the Nevada Supreme Court reversed a jury’s negligence verdict awarding past and future medical damages to a student who sustained an eye injury during his physical education class.
In the early morning hours of April 10, 2010, Carey Humphries (“Humphries”) was walking through the casino floor at New York-New York Hotel & Casino (NYNY) when another patron, Erick Ferrell (“Ferrell”), made unwanted advances and lewd comments towards her. After Humphries made a “spitting gesture” and turned to walk away, Ferrell attacked her, resulting in a skull fracture and other injuries. Lorenzo Rocha (“Rocha”) was playing at a nearby slot machine and attempted to intervene, receiving injuries to his face and head from doing so.