Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

§ 1927 Sanctions May Not Be Awarded Based on Counsel’s “Misunderstanding, Bad Judgment, or Well-Intentioned Zeal” (Good Quote)

Morgan v. Covington Township, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7105 (3d Cir. April 16, 2014):

2   The Township seeks sanctions under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 and 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b) as well as Rule 38. Sanctions under § 1927 may only be awarded upon "a finding that counsel's conduct resulted from bad faith, rather than misunderstanding, bad judgment, or well-intentioned zeal." LaSalle Nat'l Bank v. First Conn. Holding Grp., LLC, 287 F.3d 279, 289 (3d Cir. 2002).  [*21] Moreover, a prevailing defendant may be awarded attorney's fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b) only "'upon a finding that the plaintiff's action was frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation.'" Barnes Found. v. Twp. of Lower Merion, 242 F.3d 151, 158 (3d Cir. 2001) (quoting Christiansburg Garment Co. v. EEOC, 434 U.S. 412, 416-17, 421 (1978)). For the reasons set forth in the text, sanctions under § 1927 or § 1988 for pursuing this appeal are not warranted.

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