Brennan v. Global Brass & Copper, Inc., No. 11-2772 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Lawyers, who represented the plaintiff in an employment discrimination case, were sanctioned for improperly joining a defendant that had never employed the plaintiff and were ordered to pay attorneys' fees of $1,475. The judge also dismissed the entire suit with prejudice. The lawyers filed notice of appeal from the sanctions after expiration of the 30-day deadline, 28 U.S.C. 2107(a); Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A). The Seventh Circuit dismissed the appeal, rejecting an argument that since the award of fees was based in part on Rule 11, the award was outside the scope of Rules 54 and 58(a)(3), required a separate document, and did not become final until that document was filed. A post-judgment sanctions order, made while the judgment is already on appeal, does not fit the ordinary understanding of "judgment," and if it is not a judgment, no separate judgment document was required.