Berggren v. SchonebaumAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court’s decision awarding attorney’s fees assessed against opposing counsel for costs Defendant incurred in bringing a successful motion to disqualify opposing counsel for an alleged violation of the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct. The circuit court reasoned that sanctions were appropriate because the motion to disqualify was “other litigation” resulting from counsel’s alleged ethical violation. In reversing, the circuit court held (1) counsel’s alleged violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct did not result in “other litigation” comprehended by either Jacobsen v. Leisinger, 746 N.W.2d 739, or the precedent on which it relied; and (2) the procedural requirements for S.D. Codified Laws 15-6-11(c) (Rule 11) sanctions were not met.