Counsel’s Social Media Posts Lead to Monetary Sanctions

28 U.S.C. § 1927 provides that “An attorney or other person admitted to conduct cases in any court of the United States or any territory thereof who so multiplies the proceedings in any case unreasonably and vexatiously may be required by the court to satisfy personally the excess costs, and attorneys’ fees reasonably incurred by such conduct.

Image of Polaroid CameraVery recently, in Ha v. Baumgart Café of Livingston, No. 15-5530, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70781 (D.N.J. Apr. 28, 2018), a district court in New Jersey relied on Section 1927 to impose a $10,000 sanction against the plaintiffs’ attorney because of her social media posts. The attorney filed a motion beyond the time when she had been ordered by the court to file it and, to explain its untimeliness, she wrote a letter stating that she missed the deadline because of a family emergency that required her to leave the country. Her social media posts, however, proved that her excuse for missing the deadline was not true. After receiving a copy of the explanatory letter, opposing counsel objected to the untimely filed motion because, among other things, the attorney’s public Instagram page contained photographs of her in Miami and New York City during the time she claimed to have been out of the country. Screenshots of the Instagram pages were included with defense counsel’s objection.

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