Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC v. Trading Techs. Int’l, Inc., No. 05 C 4088, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 17, 2008) (Moran, Sen. J.).
Judge Moran denied declaratory judgment plaintiff Rosenthal Collins Group’s ("RCG") motion to vacate the Court’s March 14, 2007 order awarding declaratory judgment defendant Trading Technologies’ ("TT") Fed. R. Civ. P. 37 sanctions – click here to read the Blog’s post about that opinion and click here to read much more about this case and the related cases. In that earlier order, the Court held that RCG’s motion for summary judgment of invalidity was "somewhat misleading" and possibly "disingenuous." Instead of dismissing the case as TT requested, the Court struck the declaration underlying RCG’s motion, denied RCG’s summary judgment motion with leave to refile a motion "supported by proper evidence" and awarded TT its costs and attorneys fees associated with the Rule 37 motion, as well as its software expert’s fees.
In this motion, RCG argued that the Court should vacate that sanctions order because the Court held that TT had not proved by clear and convincing evidence that RCG acted willfully or with bad faith. But the Court held that Rule 37 sanctions could be based upon willfulness, bad faith or fault. Fault went to the reasonableness of the party’s content, not necessarily intent. And the Court held that RCG’s actions met the standard for fault. Furthermore, while clear and convincing was the burden of proof for dismissal, clear and convincing proof is not required for lesser sanctions.
Finally, the Court held that the categories of fees and costs sought by TT were within the scope of the Court’s order, but ordered the parties to brief the reasonableness of the specific fees sought by TT, using the Local Rule 54.3 requirements (a rule usually used for post-judgment fees and costs).