Sample Briefs on Sanctions and Ethical Issues in Lawfare following the 2020 Election.
Inherent Authority Sanctions
A court can invoke its inherent authority to sanction only when no other mechanism “is up to the task” and when counsel’s conduct is so appalling “the very temple of justice has been defiled.” See Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 46, 111 S.Ct. 2123 (1991) (preserving courts inherent authority for “fraud” or when “the very temple of justice has been defiled” or when an attorney acts for an improper purpose (internal quotation marks omitted)).
The Supreme Court has now made clear that inherent-authority sanctions must be “compensatory rather than punitive in nature” and so are “limited to the fees the innocent party incurred solely because of the misconduct.”
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Haeger, 137 S. Ct. 1178, 1182, 1186 (2017).
Inherent-authority sanctions are the most difficult to justify and must be carefully exercised. They require a showing of bad faith.
See Roadway Exp., Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, 766-67 (1980).