Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Plaintiff's Counsel Jointly Liable for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs Under § 1927 Due to Inferred Knowledge of Inventor's False Statements

The court granted in part defendants' motion to sanction plaintiff's counsel under 28 U.S.C § 1927 after counsel failed to produce discovery regarding the inventor's multiple false statements about his reduction to practice of the invention. "After it clearly appeared that [the inventor] knew of his false statements, it was ruled that no attorney-client privilege prevented discovery of all facts and documents relating to the trial of inequitable conduct. Nevertheless [plaintiff's counsel] has not produced all of the documents sought, claiming relevancy as to some and that some documents are in the possession of [plaintiff]. [Defendant] is correct that these reasons are insufficient and warrant a conclusion that the withheld documents would support [its] position. . . . Relying on the adverse inference to be drawn from [counsel's] failure to disclose documents, it is found that [counsel] was aware of the false statements prior to the filing of the present lawsuit. Therefore, [counsel] is liable for all reasonable attorney fees and expenses incurred by [defendants], not just those incurred after [a post-filing] email from [the inventor] to [plaintiffs' counsel]. The false presentation of [the inventor's] activity and knowledge justifies making [counsel] jointly and severally liable with [plaintiff] for attorney fees and costs."

Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. HTC Corporation, et al, 1-09-cv-02945 (ILND January 8, 2015, Order) (Hart, J.)

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