Woltmann v. Chicago Gridiron, LLC, No. 11 C 5994, Min. Order. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 11, 2012) (Norgle, J.).

Judge Norgle awarded defendant Chicago Gridiron its costs pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 68 in this copyright case.  Chicago Gridiron had a right to its costs pursuant to Rule 68 because it made plaintiff a $5,000 offer of judgment and plaintiff’s jury verdict was for $3,700, less than the offer of judgment.  Chicago Gridiron was not entitled to its attorney’s fees because it was not a prevailing party.  Chicago Gridiron was not a prevailing party simply because the jury’s award was less than its offer of judgment.  It acknowledged infringement and the jury’s verdict was for plaintiff.  And Chicago Gridiron was not entitled to its fees as a § 1927 sanction.  While Chicago Gridiron argues that plaintiff’s conduct was unreasonable, based upon the filing of three sanctions motions, it made no claim that plaintiff’s conduct was vexatious.  Both are required for § 1927 sanctions.