Archive: April 26, 2017

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U.S. Supreme Court Considers “Inherent Authority to Sanction a Litigant for Bad-faith Conduct” by Ordering Payment of Opponent’s “Legal Fees,” Reverses and Remands

U.S. Supreme Court Considers “Inherent Authority to Sanction a Litigant for Bad-faith Conduct” by Ordering Payment of Opponent’s “Legal Fees,” Reverses and Remands

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 581 U.S. ___ (2017)

In this rare opinion from our Supreme Court addressing discovery, the court considered “a federal court’s inherent authority to sanction a litigant for bad-faith conduct by ordering it to pay the other side’s legal fees.” The court held that “such an order is limited to the fees the innocent party incurred solely because of the misconduct—or put another way, to the fees that party would not have incurred but for the bad faith.” Because neither the trial court nor the appellate court applied the correct legal standard, the judgment of the Court of Appeals (9th Cir.) was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.

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