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Lawyer Sanctioned for $100,000 for Wasting Court’s Time
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Photo credit: Jason Morrison/FreeImages

Summary: A lawyer is being sanctioned $100,000 for making a frivolous suit, PennLive reports.

A Pennsylvania lawyer is facing a huge sanction after a federal judge called his attempt to extort a settlement baseless, PennLive reports. Judge Matthew W. Brann ordered Donald P. Russo to pay the legal fees of the parties his client had sued, which total more than $100,000.

  
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Russo represented Ernest Keister, who claimed age discrimination against his employer, PPL Susquehanna LLC. Russo failed even in getting the company’s name correct, calling them PPL Corp and PPL services as defendants, The Morning Call reported. Russo also missed multiple filing deadlines and produced no evidence at all that employer PPL discriminated against Keister. Instead, he dragged the case on for three years.

The judge granted the motions of PPL and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to make Russo responsible for legal costs, saying Russo kept the lawsuit alive as “a sort of litigious necromancy conjured up by Mr. Russo’s specious filings to coerce the defendants into settling a meritless claim.”

Keister was 67 when he claimed PPL hired younger employees for the same position he held and denied him a pay raise or new job classification. Nevertheless, upon questioning, he could point to nobody younger than him who was given a pay raise or title upgrade upon request. The case was finally dismissed, in part, because Keister should have filed a grievance with his union before suing and the suit was filed after deadline.

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Russo objected to the $100,000 fee saying that federal appeals courts have ruled that these sanctions should consider the party’s ability to pay. He is, after all, a sole practitioner.

Nevertheless, Brann pointed out that other federal judges have described Russo’s work as “dubious,” “troubling,” “silly” and “riddled with credibility shortcomings.”



Source: PennLive

Source: The Morning Call

Photo credit: Jason Morrison/FreeImages



 

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