Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Fraud on the Court

Nat’l Oilwell Varco, LP v. Auto-Dril, Inc., 68 F.4th 206 (5th Cir. 2023):

“To establish fraud on the court, ‘it is necessary to show an unconscionable plan or scheme which is designed to improperly influence the court in its decision.’ ” First Nat’l Bank of Louisville v. Lustig, 96 F.3d 1554, 1573 (5th Cir. 1996) (quoting Rozier v. Ford Motor Co., 573 F.2d 1332, 1338 (5th Cir. 1978)).

Generally speaking, only the most egregious misconduct, such as bribery of a judge or members of a jury, or the fabrication of evidence by a party in which an attorney is implicated, will constitute a fraud on the court. Less egregious misconduct, such as nondisclosure to the court of facts allegedly pertinent to the matter before it, will not ordinarily rise to the level of fraud on the court.

Rozier, 573 F.2d at 1338 (citations omitted) (quoting United States v. Int’l Tel. & Tel. Corp., 349 F. Supp. 22, 29 (D. Conn. 1972), aff’d, 410 U.S. 919, 93 S.Ct. 1363, 35 L.Ed.2d 582 (1973)).

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