Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

§ 1927 Sanctions Imposed for Willful Violation of a Court Order without a Showing of Bad Faith in Circuit Generally Requiring Bad Faith

Pringle v. Adams, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3302 (2d Cir. Feb. 21, 2014) (unpublished):

Additionally, the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering sanctions against Plaintiff under § 1927 for improper service. See Lahiri v. Universal Music & Video Distrib. Corp., 606 F.3d 1216, 1218 (9th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff's third attempt to serve Rister Editions through Shapiro Bernstein & Co. violated a court order, and the district court reasonably concluded it was "reckless[]" and that it "unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceedings." Sanctions may be imposed for willful violation of a court order without a showing or finding of bad faith. Evon v. Law Offices of Sidney Mickell, 688 F.3d 1015, 1035 (9th Cir. 2012).

Defendants' cross-appeal is also unavailing. The district court reasonably concluded that it could not "identify any single piece of unassailable evidence . . . conclusively establishing that Pringle's claim was legally and factually baseless." See Christian v. Mattel, Inc., 286 F.3d 1118, 1128 (9th Cir. 2002). The district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to impose Rule 11 sanctions against Plaintiff and his counsel.

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