Friday, November 04, 2005

High Court to Hear Arguments on Standard for Awarding Legal Fees under Removal Statute

On Tuesday, November 8, 2005 the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Martin v. Franklin Capital Corp., a case that will take up the following question: What legal standard governs decision on whether to award fees and expenses under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) upon remanding removed case to state court? Briefs can be obtained through Westlaw by clicking here.

Here is the summary of the case from Cornell's LII:

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c), a federal court "may" award attorney's fees against the removing party when remanding a case back to a state court. However, the circuit courts are currently split on the question of what legal standard applies to determine whether such an award is given. In this case, the Supreme Court will resolve the split and decide whether an award is presumptively granted, is given according to a balancing test that weighs the interests of the parties, or is reserved for exceptional circumstances — such as when the defendant lacks a reasonable basis for removing. The standard that is chosen by the Court will affect how aggressively defendants file motions to remove to federal courts, and in turn, affect the number of cases on the federal court dockets. In deciding which standard to apply, the Court must weigh the interest of the federal courts in reducing the number of cases on their dockets against the right of defendants to have their cases heard by federal courts.

Their full preview of the case can be found by clicking here.


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