Tuesday, January 18, 2011

atty. fees - federal court - 28 USC 1927 - multiplication of proceedings through unreasonable and vexatious actions

Squires Golf Club v. Bank of America - January 13, 2011 - ED Pa.


The court granted the Bank costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927, which provides: “Any attorney . . . who so multiplies the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously may be required by the court to satisfy personally the excess costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred because of such conduct.”

Although imposition of fees under § 1927 requires a showing of bad faith, this showing may be made by implication “‘[w]hen a claim is advocated despite the fact that it is patently frivolous or where a litigant continues to pursue a claim in the face of an irrebuttable defense[.]’” Cameron’s Hardware, Inc. v. Independence Blue Cross, No. 08-15, 2008 WL 2944697, at *5 (E.D. Pa. July 28, 2008), quoting Loftus v. Southeastern Pa. Transp. Auth., 8 F. Supp. 2d 458, 461 (E.D. Pa. 1998), aff’d 187 F. 3d 626 (3d Cir. 1999), cert. denied 528 U.S. 147 (1999).

Bad faith may also be shown “through ‘the intentional advancement of a baseless contention that is made for an ulterior purpose, e.g., harassment or delay.’” Id., quoting Ford v. Temple Hosp., 790 F.2d 342, 347 (3d Cir. 1986).