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Attorney Sanctions for Frivolous Appeal in 9/11 'Truther' Lawsuit

By Robyn Hagan Cain | Last updated on

Ever wonder how much the Second Circuit Court of Appeals hates frivolous claims? In October, the court not only upheld dismissal in Gallop v. Cheney, (the 9/11 Truther Lawsuit), it sanctioned the attorneys behind the case for filing a frivolous appeal.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of U.S. Army Specialist April Gallop, alleged that the Pentagon was not hit by American Airlines Flight 77 - or any plane, for that matter - but bombed by a coalition of the most senior U.S. military and civilian leaders in an attempt to implement radical changed in the government.

The district court dismissed Gallop’s complaint in a 12(b)(6) motion. Gallop’s attorneys appealed, and the Second Circuit ruled without hesitation that the district court properly dismissed the complaint as frivolous.

The lawyers further incurred the judges’ ire by moving to recuse the entire panel that was “peppered with disdainful and unsubstantiated conclusions about the panel members’ emotional stability and competence to serve objectively.”

That was enough to prompt sua sponte attorney sanctions.

In October, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals fined the three attorneys representing Gallop $15,000 each, plus double costs to the government for filing a frivolous appeal. The attorneys, clearly unaware of when to stop, say they will appeal both the sanctions and the dismissal, reports The Metropolitan News-Enterprise.

We admire someone who sticks to his convictions, but an appeal for en banc rehearing sounds like a one-way ticket to contempt charges.

Courts can impose attorney sanctions for frivolous lawsuits under 28 U.S.C. §1927, (penalizing attorneys who multiply proceedings “unreasonably and vexatiously”), and under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 38, (providing for “just damages and single or double costs to the appellee.”)

While attorney sanctions are rare, attorneys should weigh the possibility of fines before filing a potentially-frivolous appeal in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. And that is the “truth.”

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