A US federal appeals court has fined a group of lawyers for filing a “frivolous appeal” against former Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney, former US Secretary of the Department of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and US Air Force General Richard Myers.
The lawsuit, filed by 9/11 victim April Gallop in Dec. 2008, intended to prove that the former Republican US administration was behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, Itar-Tass news agency reported.
Gallop had alleged that on Sept.11, 2001, a bomb was detonated inside the Pentagon, that no plane hit the Pentagon, and that various identified United States civilian and military leaders knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance, assisted in their planning, and subsequently covered up the government’s involvement.
The US appeals court found that “Gallop’s attorneys repeatedly and in bad faith accused the Court of bias, malice, and general impropriety” and ordered Dennis Cunningham, Mustapha Ndanusa, and William Veale to pay the government double costs in addition to damages in the amount of $15,000, “for which they are jointly and severally liable.”
As to whether “sanctions are appropriate against Gallop,” the Court notes that “she is not an attorney and thus has not assumed the ethical obligations that her attorneys owe to this Court. Additionally, the record before us reveals that Gallop did not spearhead her litigation strategy, but rather relied heavily upon her attorneys to draft the relevant documents and provide advice in pursuing this litigation.
“Rather, Gallop is hereby admonished that the submission of future frivolous filings, either as a pro se litigant or one represented by counsel, may result in sanctions being imposed on her by the courts, including the imposition of leave-to-file restrictions, requirements of notice to other federal courts, and monetary penalties.”