Trials & Litigation

Federal judge orders lawyer to pay almost $116K for pursuing baseless employment discrimination case

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A Pennsylvania lawyer with what a federal judge called a “consistently problematic track record” was ordered on Friday to pay nearly $116,000 in legal costs for the two defendants in an employment discrimination case determined by the court to be baseless.

The initial opinion (PDF) by U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann granting a sanctions motion against attorney Donald P. Russo was filed on Dec. 29. In it, Brann also said Russo had kept the meritless case alive by “a sort of litigious necromancy conjured up by … specious filings.”

The judge said the sanction was the least severe he could impose to prevent Russo from continuing with such conduct in the future, reports

“This was a case built largely on Mr. Russo’s posturing, the consistent filing of pleadings, which amounted to nothing more than bluffs that defendants here were not afraid to call,” Brann wrote.

The $115,917 awarded by Brann in the Williamsport case will be split between PPL Corp. and Local 1600 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

The article doesn’t include any comment from Russo.

Related coverage: “Federal judge sanctions lawyer for ‘litigious necromancy’ and ‘see what sticks’ approach to briefing”

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