Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Sanction Consisting of Award of Attorney’s Fees Not Yet Reduced to a Sum Certain Is Not Appealable

Webb v. Morella, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7393 (5th Cir. April 12, 2013):

The Webbs raise a number of issues relating to the district court's decision to impose sanctions. While the court granted Morella's Rule 11 motion and stated that it would award $200 per hour in attorneys' fees for work relating to the motion to dismiss, the court also required Morella to filed an itemized summary of fees and expenses "for the court's approval." Morella has filed the required summary, but the court has yet to approve or disapprove the charges listed therein. An award of attorneys' fees or costs that does not "reduce the sanctions to a sum certain" is not an appealable final decision and therefore cannot be reviewed by this court. S. Travel Club, Inc. v. Carnival Air Lines, Inc., 986 F.2d 125, 131 (5th Cir. 1993). Because the district court has yet to reduce its award of attorneys' fees to a sum certain, we lack jurisdiction to review its decision to impose sanctions. Id. We therefore DISMISS that portion of the Webbs' appeal.

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