Legal Ethics

Federal Judge Socks Minn. Lawyer with $50K Sanction, Plus Opponent Attorney's Fees

A Minneapolis lawyer has been socked by a federal judge with a $50,000 sanction, for what the jurist describes as an illegitimate business model based on repeated frivolous filings, delay and forum-shopping.

William Butler’s conduct required a substantial sanction, wrote U.S. District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz, because “he has not been deterred by warnings or motions for sanctions either in this case or in other pending cases,” Minnesota Lawyer reports.

Butler and his counsel could not be reached for comment by the legal publication. However, Minnesota Public Radio reports that the attorney, who practices with Butler Liberty Law, has pursued show-me-the-note litigation that some courts in other jurisdictions have determined to be meritorious in similar cases.

Butler also is being required by the judge to pay attorney’s fees for his opponents, which could bring his total sanction, as the MPR article puts it, “well into the six figures.”

He says he plans to appeal the sanction ruling.

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