The 9/11 Truthers are back in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
This week, the Second Circuit imposed further attorney sanctions on one of the lawyers in the 9/11 Truther case, while relieving another attorney of sanctions after learning that he had served a "peripheral and subordinate role" in the frivolous appeal.
The Truthers lawsuit, filed on behalf of U.S. Army Specialist April Gallop, alleged that the Pentagon was bombed by a coalition of the senior U.S. military and civilian leaders on September 11, 2001, in an attempt to implement radical change in the government. The lawsuit claimed that the story that a commercial airplane crashed into the building was a hoax.
The district court dismissed Gallop's complaint in a 12(b)(6) motion. Gallop's attorneys appealed, and the Second Circuit ruled that the district court properly dismissed the complaint as frivolous.
The lawyers irked the appellate judges by moving to recuse the entire panel that was "peppered with disdainful and unsubstantiated conclusions about the panel members' emotional stability and competence to serve objectively." The Second Circuit Court of Appeals responded by slapping the three Truther attorneys with an order to show cause why they shouldn't be subject to attorney sanctions.
Apparently Dennis Cunningham, the "decider" behind the frivolous appeal, was able to show cause why Mustapha Ndanusa, one of the other attorneys, shouldn't be sanctioned: Cunningham claims that he was the brains behind the motion to disqualify the panel "and any like-minded colleagues," while Ndanusa only played a minor role in the appellate fiasco.
Though Cunningham insisted that the "frivolous" appeal was "filed out of zealous advocacy, rather than bad faith," the Second Circuit Court of Appeals chose to impose additional attorney sanctions on Cunningham. For the next year, Cunningham must provide notice of the sanctions imposed upon him in the Truthers case to any federal court in the Second Circuit where he appears or seeks to appear.
- Gallop v. Cheney (FindLaw's CaseLaw)
- Avoid Attorney Sanctions: Show Up for Your Hearing (FindLaw's First Circuit blog)
- Seventh Circuit Threatens Attorney Sanctions for Frivolous Appeal (FindLaw's Seventh Circuit blog)