Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Inherent Power Sanctions — Full Cost of Defense Imposed on Plaintiff for Perjury, Fabrication of Evidence, and Attacks on Opposing Counsel

From Barash v. Kates, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106809 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 23, 2008):

...Barash should be sanctioned for the full amount of attorney's fees incurred by Kates in defending this action. Standing alone, perjury is both a "serious offense that results in incalculable harm to the functioning and integrity of the legal system as well as to private individuals," and an "assault on the cornerstone of our judicial system." ***

However, Barash's actions went beyond well beyond perjury. ...Barash attempted to mislead the court by fabricating evidence, and committed perjury in trial in an attempt to create a factual issue where none existed. There can be no question that Barash undertook such actions for the sole purpose of continuing his personal vendetta against Kates and her family for his personal financial gain. Given Barash's litigation history which has been detailed in the previous Order enjoining Barash from future filings without court approval, ... there can be no doubt that Barash's actions herein were nothing more than yet another attempt to deliberately misuse and abuse the judicial system to further his own biased agenda. As in Chambers, 501 U.S. at 51, Barash's "entire course of conduct throughout the lawsuit" evidences "bad faith and an attempt to perpetrate a fraud on the court."

To make matters worse, even after Barash was ordered to be sanctioned, Barash's attacks became more all the more vicious and were then levied against Kates' counsel, as evidenced by the fact that Barash used practically every pleading filed subsequent to the Order Imposing Sanctions to call Kates and her counsel liars and to accuse them of producing fraudulent documents to the Court. .... In light of such behavior, this Court concludes that sanctions in the amount of Kates' entire attorney's fees serve the dual purposes of vindicating judicial authority and making Kates, the prevailing party, whole for the expenses caused by Barash's obstinacy.... Considering Barash's litigious history and access to substantial funds, anything less than the entire amount sought by Kates would have little to no deterrent effect.***

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