The Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld sanctions against one attorney who called for the judges hearing their appeal to recuse themselves. The attorneys, representing a 9/11 victim, sued members of the Bush administration, arguing that a bomb explosion, and not an aircraft impact, caused damage to the Pentagon on September 11, 2011, injuring the plaintiff. Judge Denny Chin, of the Southern District of New York, dismissed the plaintiff’s case, characterizing the complaint as “cynical delusion and fantasy.”
The plaintiff’s attorneys appealed to the Second Circuit, which upheld the dismissal. The attorneys subsequently filed a motion requesting that the appellate judges who upheld the dismissal recuse themselves, arguing that the judges had a “severe bias” against them and were motived by personal emotions, precluded them from ruling reasonably.
That same panel of judges ruled that the attorneys “acted in bad faith in demanding the recusal of the three panel members and any like-minded colleagues” and ordered sanctions of $15,000, in addition to double what the government spent to defend the claims, against one of the attorneys. The attorney has 30 days to comply with the court’s order.