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Jordan v Reed/Wyman Answer to Motion to Modify Attorney Fees

Jordan v Reed/Wyman Answer to Motion to Modify Attorney Fees

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Published by patgund
Washington State Attorney General's office response to Linda Jordan's request to reduce or dismiss fees
Washington State Attorney General's office response to Linda Jordan's request to reduce or dismiss fees

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: patgund on Feb 25, 2013
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02/25/2013

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NO. 87837-4
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
LINDA JORDAN,Appellant,
v.
KIM WYMAN, Secretary
of
State
of
theState
of
Washington,Respondent.ANSWER
TO
MOTION
TO
MODIFY CLERK'SRULING
ON
ATTORNEY FEES
I.
INTRODUCTION
This Court dismissed this appeal as frivolous and awarded asanction in the amount
of
reasonable attorney fees in favor
of
Respondent,Secretary
of
State Sam Reed.! Order (Dec.
5,
2012). This Court furtherdirected the clerk to determine the amount
of
fees. The Secretary filed adeclaration detailing the claim for fees, totaling $12,675. Declaration
of
Jeffrey
T.
Even Detailing Request for Attorneys' Fees (Even Decl.). Theclerk entered a ruling granting the Secretary's request in full. Clerk'sRuling Setting the Awards for Attorney Fees (Ruling) at
3.
Ms. Jordan moves to modify the clerk's ruling, asking for areduced attorney fees award. The number
of
attorney hours for which the
1
Secretary
of
State Kim Wyman was later substituted
as
Respondent in thismatter, by notation ruling dated February
6,
2013.
 
Secretary requested compensation was reasonable because the Secretaryminimized the number
of
hours by successfully seeking early dismissalbefore filing briefs on the merits. Those hours were also reasonable inlight
of
Ms. Jordan's actions that multiplied the scope
of
work necessaryduring the brief pendency
of
this appeal. The hourly rate accuratelyreflects the market value
of
counsel's time. The clerk should decline
to
adjust the awarded amount, and
if
presented with the issue, the Courtshould deny the motion to modify.
II. A SUBSTANTIAL SANCTION IS NECESSARY
TO
DETER BASELESS FILINGS
The purpose
of
imposing sanctions for a frivolous appeal "is todeter baseless filings and
to
curb abuses
of
the judicial system."
Bryant
v.
Joseph Tree, Inc.,
119
Wn.2d 210,219,
829
P.2d 1099 (1992) (discussingCR
11;
emphasis omitted). This Court has determined Ms. Jordan'sappeal to be frivolous, and determined an award
of
"reasonable attorneyfees"
to
be the appropriate measure
of
the sanction. Order. The clerkawarded reasonable attorney fees, and neither the clerk nor the Courtshould now modify that award.When a court determines that the appropriate sanction is an award
of
attorney fees
it
should award the full amount caused by the sanctionableconduct.
See Biggs
v.
Vail,
124
Wn.2d 193,201-02,876 P.2d 448 (1994).
2
 
In this case, such an award is necessary in order to deter similar futureconduct. Ms. Jordan pursued this appeal despite being placed on notice byboth the trial court and Respondent's counsel that there was
no
basis fordoing
so.
The trial court found that
Ms.
Jordan "cannot have beenunaware"
of
the numerous prior decisions rejecting challenges to thePresident's qualifications.
2
CP13.
Ms. Jordan additionally receivedwarning from Respondent's counsel. Declaration
of
Even in Support
of
Motion for Attorney's Fees,
Ex.
A.
Ms. Jordan not only decided to proceed in disregard
of
thesewarnings, but the record contradicts her assertion that "there
is
no claimshe acted in bad faith or [with] malicious intent." Motion
to
Modify at
3.
Ms. Jordan repeatedly lodged reckless allegations
of
"collusion" betweenthe superior court judge and the Secretary's counsel.
See
Respondent'sMotion for Attorney Fees
at
6-9. Ms. Jordan did
so
despite possessinginformation demonstrating her conspiratorial allegations to be unfounded.
Id.
at 8-9;
see also
Respondent's Reply in Support
of
Motion forAttorney's Fees at 3-5.
2
See, e.g., Rhodes
v.
MacDonald,
670 F. Supp.2d 1363, 1382 (M.D. Ga. 2009)(imposing $20,000 sanction against attorney who had challenged deployment
of
an armyofficer to Iraq based on the notion that the qualifications
of
the commander-in-chiefwerein doubt);
Hollister
v.
Soetoro,
601
F.
Supp.
2d
179, 180 (D.D.C. 2009) (describing achallenge to the President's qualifications as a case that,
"if
it were allowed to proceed,would deserve mention in one
of
those books that seek to prove that the law
is
foolish orthat America has too many lawyers with not enough to do");
Liberty Legal Foundation
v.
National Democratic Party
of
the
USA,
2012 WL 3683492,
*1
(W.D. Tenn. 2012)(imposing sanctions based on contention that the President
is
not a natural-born citizen).3

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