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Guilty by Association: District Court Assesses Attorneys’ Fees on Defendant Not Found to be Responsible for Violating

by Christopher W. Smith
Morris Polich & Purdy LLP - Los Angeles Office

April 16, 2014

Previously published on April 1, 2014

After all but one of the defendants in the case of National Exchange Bank and Trust v. Petro - Chemical Systems, Inc. (" NEBAT "), 20 14 WL 1089589 (E.D. Wis. March 19, 2014) had been found liable for violations of Section 6972(a)(1)(B) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the prevailing plaintiff moved for attorneys’ fees. In the challenge to those attorneys’ fees, whi ch typically involves disputes over recoverability and reasonableness, the fact that the one defendant had not actually been found liable was limited to a footnote. The limited attention paid to this significant point led the District Court to assess attorn eys ’ fees against the defendant who had not actually been found to be in violation of RCRA.


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