Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Details Needed in Court Order Sanctioning Lawyers

Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Details Needed in Court Order Sanctioning Lawyers

Article excerpt

SANCTIONS

The Fifth Circuit has reversed a hefty attorney's fee award and sanction order against the losing party in complex litigation that included a Lanham Act claim in Procter & Gamble Co. v. Amway Corp., 280 F.3d 519 (2002).

The district court had awarded attorney's fees and costs totaling more than $498,000 to three defendants as sanctions against Procter & Gamble for allegedly pursuing meritless claims and otherwise engaging in vexatious litigation. The fee awards and sanction orders came at the end of P&G's losing lawsuit against Amway, one of its distributors, and a distributors' association for allegedly initiating and spreading rumors that P&G had links to satanism.

P&G's lawsuit asserted various causes of action, including common law fraud, violation of the Lanham Act, and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. At the close of P&G's case at trial, the court granted Amway's motion for judgment as a matter of law on certain claims while dismissing others. The district court later issued three orders imposing sanctions against P&G by shifting attorneys' fees and costs under either Section 1927 or 11 17(a) of the Lanham Act. 80 F.Supp.2d 639.

On P&G's earlier appeal of the dismissals, the Fifth Circuit had affirmed in part and reversed in part, remanding for further proceedings. …

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