Judge Sanctions Lawyer, Realtor for ‘Frivolous Claims Supported by Wild Speculation’
A judge has ordered a Virginia lawyer and his client to pay a $272,000 sanction for filing “a combination of frivolous claims supported by wild speculation.”
Judge Jonathan Thacher imposed the sanction on Alexandria, Va., lawyer Forrest Walpole and his client, saying they pursued litigation “after any legitimate prospect of success had vanished,” the Washington Post reports.
Walpole had represented real-estate agent Lauren Kivlighan, who claimed the couple she originally represented in a house sale had hired a new agent, and together they conspired to harm her and interfered with her contract. But Thacher said it was Kivlighan who had “a vindictive and malevolent desire” to harm the defendants, according to the story.
Kivlighan never had a contract with the couple, the judge found, yet she refused to drop the suit until the second day of trial. “It is clear from her behavior on the witness stand,” the judge said, that Kivlighan “possesses a vendetta against defendants.”
Walpole plans to file a motion asking Thacher to reconsider.