Wednesday, October 19, 2011


There is a time and a place for everything. For the 9/11 conspiracy theorist, it's the street corner or the Internet, not the Federal courts. There are no sanctions on the street corner. There are sanctions in the Federal courts.

The case is Gallop v. Cheney, decided on October 14. This case alleges that the U.S. government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. As if the government actually had the coordination to pull something like this off. Anyway, the district court dismissed the case. The Court of Appeals affirmed, but then it threw in a sanctions order for good measure. Plaintiffs' counsel had to show cause why sanctions were not warranted. Then things got interesting.

Plaintiff immediately moved to disqualify the panel that decided the appeal. Counsel said that the judges on the case were too emotionally-affected by the 9/11 attacks to decide the case fairly. What is more, "[t]he affidavit was also peppered with disdainful and unsubstantiated conclusions about the panel members’ emotional stability and competence to serve objectively. See, e.g., Veale Aff. ¶¶ 3, 19 (alleging that the Court had engaged in a “rank, dishonest wielding of ordained power,” and that the participation of one member in particular was so egregious that it “would or should provoke a congressional investigation”)."

That did it. Counsel got sanctioned again, this time for attacking the judges this way. Not only does "the response presents only irrelevant information in a jarringly disorganized manner, united solely by its consistently patronizing tone," but it does not "provide a sufficient basis for pursuing an appeal of Gallop’s claims against defendants." In addition, the response "contains a robust collection of unsupported accusations of bias against the Court. For example, it accuses the Court of 'an untoward, actionably biased judicial response' to Gallop’s claims, 'angry pre-judgment,' and participation (or at least acquiescence) in the 'ongoing' government 'conspiracy' regarding the events of 9/11." The lawyers are hit with paying double the governments' costs in handling the appeal plus $15,000 in fines, to be paid jointly and severally.

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