Marilyn Abrams Living Trust v. Pope Investments LLCAnnotate this Case
When a trial court has awarded a party expenses under the bad-faith exception to the American Rule and that party defends the trial court’s ruling successfully on appeal, the trial court lacks authority to award the expenses that the party has incurred in defending the appeal. Further, when a trial court has awarded a party expenses under the bad-faith exception to the American Rule and the litigation results in a judgment that is final for purposes of appeal, that party cannot subsequently ask the trial court for a supplemental award if it realizes that it left certain expenses out of its previous request or determines that it subsequently incurred additional amounts at the trial level.
Here, Plaintiff prevailed at trial. The Court of Chancery’s post-trial decision found that Defendants raised bad-faith arguments to contest Plaintiff’s claim, thus warranting an award of expenses under the bad-faith exception to the American Rule. Defendants appealed, and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed. Plaintiff then moved to recover additional expenses, comprising expenses incurred successfully in defending the appeal and expenses incurred at the trial level that Plaintiff had not been able to submit as part of its previous application. The Court of Chancery denied the application for the reasons set forth above.