Unpublished Disposition, 915 F.2d 1581 (9th Cir. 1988)

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US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 915 F.2d 1581 (9th Cir. 1988)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,Sonya Fryer, et al, Plaintiff-Intervenors,andElam Lantz, Jr., Esq., David B. Hatton, Esq., Ira A. Burnim,Esq., Leonard S. Rubenstein, Esq., Appellants,v.STATE OF OREGON, Oregon State Board of Education, OregonDepartment of Human Resources, Joseph E. Murray, MentalHealth Division, Jerry McGee, Leo T. Hegstrom, Verne A.Duncan, Victor Atiyeh, Defendant-Appellee.

Nos. 89-35447, 89-35587.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Argued and Submitted Sept. 13, 1990.Decided Oct. 2, 1990.

Before CANBY, KOZINSKI and TROTT, Circuit Judges.


The appellants are attorneys who were counsel to intervenors in this action. They appeal from an order of the district court sanctioning them for violating a protective order.

A district court has inherent power to sanction attorneys who willfully abuse the judicial process or act in bad faith. Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper, 447 US 752, 766 (1980); United States v. Blodgett, 709 F2d 608, 610 (9th Cir. 1983). We review the imposition of sanctions for abuse of discretion. National Hockey League v. Metropolitan Hockey Club, Inc., 427 US 639-42 (1976); FTC v. Alaska Land Leasing, Inc., 799 F2d 507, 510 (9th Cir 1986).

The district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that appellants acted in bad faith and in imposing sanctions. Appellants stipulated to a protective order on June 23, 1988, which designated all expert reports, and all information contained in such reports, as confidential. CR 191, at 1. Appellants subsequently quoted extensively from an expert report in a pleading that they entered into the public record and released to the press. CR 269. That the report in question may have already been part of the public record due to an oversight did not relieve appellants of their obligations under the June 23 order. Having failed to advise the court of the situation before making its pleading public, appellants risked being sanctioned. The sanctions imposed by the district judge were well within his authority.



This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir.R. 36-3