Thursday, March 27, 2014

Illinois Appellate Court imposes sanctions for frivolous appeal

As you know, attorneys have a duty not to pursue frivolous claims, a principle that appears both in the rules of professional conduct and the rules of civil procedure (usually identified as Rule 11).

Today, the Illinois Court of Appeals reminds us that there are other rules that hold the same principle as to appellate practice. In a case called Fraser v. Jackson (available here), the court found a party and their lawyer should be sanctioned for pursuing a frivolous appeal.  Quoting an older case, the court stated
We find that this appeal, viewed as a whole, was frivolous, that it was taken for an improper purpose, and that it was filed specifically to harass and to cause unnecessary delay and needlessly increase the cost of litigation. We choose to impose sanctions for this conduct, finding that cases like this drain valuable resources intended to benefit those who accept the social contract of living under a law-based system of government
The sanctions will have to be paid by both the client and the lawyer.

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