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Second Circuit: All Relevant Factors Must Be Considered in Awarding Attorney's Fees; Absence of Bad Faith Alone Is Not Sufficient (PDF)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Link to more items from this source
Mar. 13, 2014
"[I]f a court chooses to consider factors other than a plaintiff's 'success on the merits' in assessing a request for attorneys' fees, Chambless still provides the relevant framework in this Circuit, and courts must deploy that useful framework in a manner consistent with our case law. A court cannot selectively consider some factors while ignoring others.... [The District Court] originally denied attorneys' fees on the sole basis that Liberty had not acted in bad faith. But we have explained that 'a party need not prove that the offending party acted in bad faith' in order to be entitled to attorneys' fees.... The District Court did not consider culpability, which we have found in circumstances analogous to those at issue here.... The District Court also did not address the 'relative merits' ... By inadequately addressing these two important factors and, instead, treating the absence of bad faith as the most salient factor, the District Court committed an error of law[.]" [Donachie v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 12-2996-lv (2d Cir. Mar. 11, 2014)]

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