Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

No Sanctions for Local Counsel Who Was Uninvolved in Drafting Complaint or Devising Litigation Strategy

Gallop v. Cheney, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2154 (2d Cir. Feb. 2, 2012):

In an order dated October 14, 2011, Gallop v. Cheney, 660 F.3d 580 (2d Cir. 2011) ("Gallop III"), this Court imposed sanctions on counsel of record to plaintiff-appellant April Gallop -- Dennis Cunningham, Mustapha Ndanusa, and William W. Veale --f or filing a frivolous appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Denny Chin, Judge) dismissing her complaint alleging that defendants, former senior government officials, caused the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States in order to (1) create a political atmosphere in which they could pursue domestic and international policy objectives and (2) conceal the misallocation of $ 2.3 trillion in congressional appropriations to the Department of Defense. ***

B. Sanctions Against Ndanusa

In his response to our October 14, 2011 order to show cause, Cunningham urged us to "remit the share of the fine accruing to [Ndanusa]" from our order for Gallop's counsel of record "[t]o pay the government double costs in addition to damages in the amount of $ 15,000, for which they are jointly and severally liable," Gallop III, 660 F.3d at 584, "because [Ndanusa] was not involved in the case until after the complaint was filed, and then served as local counsel only, implementing our needs on the ground, not forging or determining in any way what we said to the Court." Cunningham Mem. Response at 12.

Accordingly, we vacate the sanctions against Ndanusa.

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