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Case Summary Citation

683 F.3d 1140 (9th Cir. 2012)

Abstract

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit imposed personal sanctions upon plaintiffs’ attorney for needlessly litigating an adjudicated NEPA claim and misrepresenting the merit of that claim to his clients. The court held that plaintiffs, though aware of the initial suit involving the claim, were misled by counsel into pursuing the claim in the instant suit, and therefore should not be sanctioned with an award of defendants’ attorneys’ fees. The court found plaintiffs’ counsel acted in bad faith, and intended to harass defendants and cause delays in development. Consequently, the court awarded defendants all litigation costs through trial and appeal. The court imposed sanctions under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 and through its inherent powers.

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