Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Sanctions — Misconduct of Counsel Should Not Be Visited on Client Absent Evidence of Client Participation

From In re Central European Indus. Dev. Co., 2009 Bankr. LEXIS 639 (N.D. Cal. Bankr. Jan. 13, 2009):

[I]n the context of [Bankruptcy] Rule 9011 sanctions, courts generally disfavor sanctioning a party for its counsel's misconduct unless the party itself is somehow implicated. Shepherd v. Am. Broad. Companies, Inc., 62 F.3d 1469, 1484 (D.C. Cir. 1995). See Rathbun v. Warren City Schools (In re Ruben), 825 F.2d 977, 986 (6th Cir. 1987); and see Gregory P. Joseph, Sanctions: The Federal Law of Litigation Abuse § 27(A), 436 (2d ed. 1994)("a party cannot be taxed with the misconduct of his or her counsel absent evidence reflecting that the party participated in the misconduct"). "For example, when the offending conduct concerns the scope or quality of the counsel's competence — especially when the material is beyond the understanding of the client or when the client is unaware of the attorney's wrongful conduct — counsel alone should be sanctioned." WRIGHT & MILLER at 662-663.

Share this article:


Recent Posts