A defense firm has been threatened with severe sanctions for allegedly engaging in a pattern of fraudulently removing cases from state court to federal court in Louisiana. Sanctions on the table? Not only a financial penalty but also also barring members of the firm from practicing in federal court.
Here is a copy of the federal judge’s memorandum opinion in the case. The opinion certainly makes it appear that the judge has done his homework and is, shall I say, extremely irritated.
This article explains the lengths to which the firm is going to avoid sanctions.
Notice that some of the cases mentioned in the Memorandum Opinion are over seven years old. Sanctions are been repeatedly ordered against the firm, yet is appears that improper removals continued.
This matter demonstrate the need for lawyers who compare notes about common adversaries. Lawyers who act inappropriately don’t just do it once – they do it repeatedly. Judges often assume the conduct is a momentary lapse, and refuse to act decisively to shut it down. So it continues, and if anything it gets worse. A pattern must be established, and documented, before a judge will even consider decisive action.