Friday, June 22, 2012

The Save The Peaks Coalition v. U.S. Forest Service

Jun 21: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 10-17896. On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona [See WIMS 2/10/12]. The Appeals Court explains that Intervenor-Defendant-Appellee Arizona Snowbowl Resort Limited Partnership (Snowbowl) has moved for attorney's
fees and costs. The court is well aware that Plaintiffs-Appellants and Howard M. Shanker (Shanker), their counsel, "grossly abused the judicial process in prosecuting this second case. However, a majority of the panel has concluded that an award of attorney fees would be inequitable because Plaintiffs-Appellants appear to have been misled by their counsel concerning the issues that remained part of the appeal, and Shanker was acting in a pro bono capacity. Nevertheless, the panel unanimously concludes that some sanction against Shanker personally is appropriate."
    The Appeals Court indicates, ". . .we find that Shanker's conduct merits sanctions against him personally. As detailed in Save the Peaks Coalition v. U.S. Forest Service, 669 F.3d 1025 (9th Cir. 2012), Shanker grossly abused the judicial process in bringing this case solely 'to ensure further delay and forestall development' at Snowbowl. Save the Peaks Coal., 669 F.3d at 1028. Shanker acted with subjective bad faith. He engaged in tactics with the intent of increasing expenses and delaying development at Snowbowl, unreasonably multiplying proceedings after losing in Navajo Nation v. U.S. Forest Service, 535 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc). His intent was to harass Snowbowl. Therefore, we conclude that Shanker is subject to sanctions under § 1927. See B.K.B. v. Maui Police Dep't, 276 F.3d 1091, 1107 (9th Cir. 2002); New Alaska Dev. Corp., 869 F.2d at 1306."
    The Appeals Court says, "As an appropriate remedy, we hold Shanker 'personally liable for excessive costs for unreasonably multiplying proceedings.' Gadda, 377 F.3d at 943 n.4. Because this entire case was designed to harass Snowbowl, we conclude that Snowbowl is entitled to an award of all costs other than attorney's fees that it incurred in litigating Save the Peaks Coalition v. U.S. Forest Service before both the district court (D.C. No. 3:09-cv-08163-MHM) and our court (No. 10-17896.) We hereby award these costs to Snowbowl against Shanker personally. The case is hereby referred to the Appellate Commissioner to determine the monetary amount of costs to award in Snowbowl's favor against Shanker. Therefore, the court awards costs in litigating Save the Peaks Coalition v. U.S. Forest Service before both the district court (D.C. No. 3:09-cv-08163-MHM) and our court (No. 10-17896) to Snowbowl, to be paid entirely by Shanker, counsel for Plaintiffs-Appellants. Thus, Snowbowl's Motion for Attorneys' Fees is denied, and its accompanying motion for costs is granted, as modified by this order."
    Access the complete order (click here). [#Land, #CA9]
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

an shark Italian Building group ( has obtained to build a big resort of hotels and private house in Grand Canyon park area of 300.000sqm in Tusayan (Arizona) at detriment of million of trees.
Please save that area.