Friday, November 12, 2010

"Unreasonable," "Excessive," and Wasteful Litigation Tactics do not Warrant Award of Attorneys' Fees

Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1927 following summary judgment was denied. "While plaintiff’s conduct at times may have seemed unreasonable, 'carelessly, negligently, or unreasonably multiplying the proceedings is not enough.' Throughout the course of this litigation both counsel have been warned by the Court that unprofessional and unreasonable conduct will not be tolerated."

Allstar Tire & Wheel, Inc. v. Wheel Pros, Inc., et. al
., 8-08-cv-00563 (CACD November 9, 2010, Civil Minutes) (Stotler, J.)

The court denied defendant's motion for attorneys' fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. "Plaintiffs requested what appears to be excessive discovery, failed to compromise on minor litigation activities, unreasonably submitted two expert reports without prior designation in contravention of the Court’s scheduling order, and filed a motion for preliminary injunction two years after the product they sought to enjoin had been introduced to the market and then withdrew the motion only after [defendant] filed its response in opposition. As a result of this behavior, [defendant] was required to expend significant time and money on this action that could have been avoided or mitigated. Nevertheless, the Court cannot find by clear and convincing evidence that standing alone plaintiffs’ litigation tactics were exceptional."

Mintz, et al v. Dietz and Watson Inc. et al., 3-05-cv-01470 (CASD November 9, 2010, Order) (Lorenz, J.)

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