Attorney's Fees Sanctions

News & Analysis as of

Party’s Willful Destruction of Data Did Not “Optimize” the Case for Dismissal

Ericksen v. Kaplan Higher Educ., LLC, No. RDB-14-3106, 2016 WL 695789 (D. Md. Feb. 22, 2016). Where a plaintiff “willfully [ran] a computer program that she knew, given her computer expertise, would destroy at least some...more

The Punishing Effect of Rule 11

Federal courts correct bad litigation behavior, eventually. People take being sued personally, and lawsuits can take an emotional toll on defendants, whether as an individual or as a representative of an employer. Anger...more

Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC - USDC, S.D. New York, June 9, 2016

District court awards defendants $400,000 in legal fees in copyright infringement suit over Shakira’s hit song “Loca,” in which plaintiff’s claims were shown to be based on fabricated evidence. In 2012, Mayimba Music...more

Defendant's "Piecemeal" Approach to Discovery and Review of Only Select Files of Corporate Employees Results in Sanctions

In this patent infringement action, the defendants conducted a "piecemeal approach to discovery, reviewing only the files of select corporate employees." The district court found that this approach was contrary to the Federal...more

Sanctions Implemented After Party Fails to Preserve Emails (California)

Mathew Enter. v. Chrysler Grp. LLC, No. 13-cv-04236-BLF, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67561 (N.D. Cal. May 23, 2016) - In this price discrimination case, the plaintiff’s internal and external emails concerning its dealership...more

Attorneys must be precise in representations to court

On May 19, Judge Andrew Hanen of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a scathing order criticizing the conduct of several Department of Justice attorneys defending the federal government against a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects The Government’s Position In The Largest EEOC Fee Sanction Case Ever

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a landmark case for EEOC litigation involving fee sanctions, while employer CRST successfully argued that a ruling “on-the-merits” is not necessary to be a prevailing party, the SCOTUS remanded the case...more

Mayimba Music Inc. v. Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC - USDC, Southern District of New York, March 31, 2016

In copyright infringement dispute over Shakira’s song “Loca,” district court denies plaintiff’s motion to set aside judgment that plaintiff’s work was fabrication and partially grants defendants’ motion for attorneys’ fees...more

Bank Hit with Sanctions for Violation of the Automatic Stay

A recent case from the Western District of North Carolina, Statesville Division, reminds us all of the consequences for violating the automatic stay. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC apparently continued its efforts to collect a debt...more

Federal Court Awards Sanctions Against the Filer of Improper Rule 11 Motion

Be careful what you wish for. That was the message Middle District of Florida Judge Carlos Mendoza delivered in Claudet v. First Federal Credit Control, Inc., 14-CV-2068  (M.D. Fla. Nov. 17, 2015) to the filer of an improper...more

Business Litigation Reporter October 2015

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

Failure to Engage in Basic Litigation Hold Results in Sanction (California)

HM Electronics, Inc. v. R.F. Technologies, Inc., 2015 WL 4714908 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2015) - In this trademark infringement case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants interfered with the plaintiff’s prospective...more

Fruitful Harvest of Attorneys’ Fees and Sanctions for Farmville Creator Zynga

Order Granting Motion for Attorneys’ Fees: Granting Motion in Part for Sanctions, Segan LLC v. Zynga Inc., Case No. 14-cv-01315-VC (Judge Vince Chhabria) - We previously reported on the Segan v. Zynga case when Judge...more

“When in Doubt, Disclose”: Seventh Circuit Levies Sanctions for Undisclosed Class Conflict in Southwest Airlines Voucher...

The Seventh Circuit’s message to the bar in Levitt v. Southwest Airlines Co. (In Re: Southwest Airlines Voucher Litigation), No. 13-3264 (7th Cir. Aug. 20, 2015), was “short and simple: when in doubt, disclose.” Slip Op. at...more

The DIGEST Of Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Agency Processing - Agency Failed to Develop Adequate Record to Make Determination on Claim of Sex Discrimination Based on Gender Stereotype. Complainant alleged that he was subjected to ongoing hostile work environment...more

The Big Three: The 9th Circuit Joins The 6th Circuit and 7th Circuit in Holding That Sanctions For Bad-Faith Litigation Tactics...

In Law v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (2015 S.O.S. 13–56099 – filed August 27, 2015), the Ninth Circuit joined the shortlist of Circuit Courts to hold that sanctions for bad-faith litigation tactics under 28 U.S.C. section 1927...more

Business Court Awards Rule 11 Sanctions For Baseless Fiduciary Duty Claim

It is probably a good idea for a corporation to avoid making fiduciary duty claims against its employees (unless they are also officers and directors). Clients (or their lawyers) who insist on making such claims are liable...more

Court Awards The EEOC Attorneys’ Fees And Contempt Fines In Post-Judgment Discovery Dispute

In EEOC v. Northern Star Hospitality, Inc., No. 12-CV-214 (W.D. Wis.), a case we have blogged about previously here, Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin imposed contempt...more

Menomonie Restaurant Owner in Contempt of Court

Wisconsin Company Held in Contempt for Failure to Provide Information and Pay EEOC's Attorney's Fees - MADISON, WISCONSIN - North Broadway Holdings, Inc., owner of a restaurant previously known as Sparx Restaurant, and...more

An Effective Way to Fight an Objectively Frivolous Lawsuit

An angry client calls: “I have been sued.” But this time, there is absolutely no basis in law or fact for the lawsuit. The client asks: “Can I get the case dismissed and recover my attorney’s fees against the lawyer...more

Court Sanctions Plaintiffs for Failing to Voluntarily Dismiss Baseless Complaint

My clients sometimes bemoan the reluctance of courts to award attorneys' fees to litigants forced to defend frivolous lawsuits. However, in Norkus v. ING U.S. Inc., the Honorable Robert Holmes Bell reaffirmed that in the...more

Creditor's Willful Violation of Automatic Stay Results in Fee Award

In Snowden v. Check Into Cash of Washington Inc. (In re Snowden), 2014 DJDAR 12677, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit decided a bankruptcy case involving the award of attorney fees....more

Orange County Sanctioned for Frivolous Appeal

In a scathing opinion issued on December 12, 2014, the Fifth District Court of Appeal took Orange County and its attorney to task for its appeal of an order awarding attorneys fees in connection with the County’s violation of...more

Tort Actions Against Public Entities – CCP § 1038 Sanctions Cannot be Awarded Against Parties’ Counsel

Kathryn Settle v. State of California - California Court Of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 23, 2014) - When a public entity is sued in tort, Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) § 1038 requires a mandatory...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Sanctions Against the EEOC In Action Fraught with Delays

Many employers who have dealt with the EEOC in large cases suffer frustration over inexplicable delays combined with at times unreasonable requests for information and/or relief. In a recent case from the Fourth Circuit, that...more

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