Legal Ethics

Appeals Court Tosses Fieger Suit Against State AG

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Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger’s vindictive-prosecution lawsuit against Michigan Attorney General Michael Cox won’t be heard in federal court.

The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed the lawsuit and affirmed a federal trial court’s order requiring Fieger to pay attorney fees as a sanction for making unsupported allegations against another defendant, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman.

The controversial Fieger sued in an effort to stop an investigation by Cox into whether Fieger failed to disclose more than $450,000 in campaign contributions that funded political advertisements opposing Markman’s election. Michigan election law requires television and radio ads to bear the name of the person who funded them.

The appeals court ruled in the May 6 opinion (PDF) that dismissal of the suit was warranted because the same issues were being addressed in a state lawsuit filed by Fieger. The ruling also held that Fieger and other plaintiffs should pay Markman’s attorney fees for defending the action because they had made unsupported allegations that Markman engaged in a plan to violate their constitutional rights.

Fieger is currently on trial for alleged campaign finance violations in a different case brought by the federal government. A lawyer at Fieger’s law firm, Todd Weglarz, testified yesterday that FBI agents who visited his home to question him about the contributions terrified his children, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“Daddy, are they going to shoot you?” Weglarz said his son asked.

A hat tip to How Appealing, which noted the 6th Circuit opinion.

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