Lawyer and Client Sanctioned for Filing “Completely Selfish” Lawsuits

From the Jester’s Courtroom


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U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck has sanctioned Miami attorney Scott Dinin for filing frivolous lawsuits on behalf of his client, claiming the attorney and his client filed the suits for “completely selfish” motives.

According to news reports, Dinin, on behalf of his client, Alexander Johnson, who suffers from hearing loss, sued more than 100 companies under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The sanctions order revealed that Dinin was improperly sharing attorney’s fees with Johnson, “egregiously inflated” his billable time and exaggerated his legal experience. Dinin allegedly billed $400 an hour for more than six hours of drafting, reviewing and filing documents that were identical to those filed in similar lawsuits.

Judge Huck wrote that the lawsuits filed by Dinin for Johnson served “to dishonestly line their pockets with attorney’s fees from hapless defendants under the sanctimonious guise of serving the interests of the disabled community.”

The order goes on to block Dinin and Johnson from filing cases in any state or federal court in the country without written permission from the Southern District of Florida.

Dinin said he respects the ruling and the opportunity it provides for him to “address professionalism and then return to serving the justice needs of people with disabilities.”

Huck’s findings stemmed from lawsuits Dinin brought against gas stations over their failure to include closed captioning on the TV screens next to gas pumps. In all, there were 28 identical cases filed.

The court ordered Dinin and Johnson to give back fees and costs from the two gas pump cases that were the subject of this suit and pay a $59,000 penalty, either to the clerk of the court or the Disability Independence Group, a Miami nonprofit aimed at protecting the rights of disabled people.

—Source: law.com

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