Attorney Fee Awards and Sanctions (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Price: $185 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 8/30/2019


A pre-recorded streaming video replay from the August 2016 webcast, Attorney Fee Awards and Sanctions.

Topics covered include:

  • What are the similarities and differences between the Virginia and federal rules?
  • What’s the difference in statutory standards between the “prevailing party,” “substantially prevailing party,” and “successful party”?
  • What contract language is effective in shifting fees?
  • Which equitable claims might get an award of attorney fees?
  • How does a party request the award of fees?
  • What factors go into the determination of “reasonable” fees, and what proof can be offered for each?
  • Can fees associated with an appeal be awarded?
  • What costs are allowed?  Disallowed?
  • How is an improper pleading sanctionable?
  • What are common discovery abuses that lead to sanctions?

BONUS! Attorney Fees and Sanctions in Virginia (2016 edition) —a $90 value—is included with your registration fee in completely searchable electronic form.

Although Virginia and federal courts generally follow the “American Rule” on attorney fees—that costs rest with the separate parties—there are many exceptions that counsel ignore at their peril.  Specific statutes may permit the award of attorney fees to a successful party, though the definition of “success” is far from uniform.  Contracts may, or may not, effectively shift the burden of paying attorney fees.  And courts may have an additional inherent or common law-based authority to award attorney fees.  If an award is appropriate, quantifying the amount of the award is subject to a multifactor test for reasonableness, with each of the factors requiring proof to the court’s satisfaction.  It might not be easy, but the reward is great and worth pursuing—and worth resisting vigorously on the other side.

Sanctions are designed to protect the parties and the court by providing a deterrent against misbehavior of various types.  The court has wide discretion to deal with frivolous pleadings, discovery abuses, and breaches of decorum, with punishments ranging from procedural penalties through monetary awards up to consequences for the offending attorney’s licensure.  While sanctionable conduct is generally self-evident, there remain subtleties of which the practitioner should be well aware.




Michael E. Barnsback, LeClairRyan / Alexandria (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Michael E. Barnsback counsels and represents Virginia employers in all aspects of employment law. He has frequently lectured on and assisted employers with disability accommodation and leave issues under the ADA and FMLA. He is experienced defending employers in Department of Labor wage/hour audits and FLSA individual and collective action overtime cases. He also has significant background representing employers before the EEOC and state/local administrative agencies. Mr. Barnsback has over twenty years of courtroom experience litigating employment related cases. He is an editor of the Virginia Employment Law Letter, a monthly newsletter published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, LLC. Mr. Barnsback is an adjunct professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law and teaches a class in labor law. He also frequently conducts seminars on employment law and data security and privacy issues.

Bernard J. DiMuro, DiMuro Ginsberg / Alexandria (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Bernard J. DiMuro is the managing partner of the Alexandria law firm of DiMuroGinsberg, P.C. He represents clients in complex civil litigation and professional responsibility cases. He was formerly a chairman and member of the Eighth District Grievance Committee and chairman of the Virginia Supreme Court Disciplinary Board. Mr. DiMuro also has been a faculty member of the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course, a member of the VSB Committee to Study the Code of Professional Responsibility, and a past president of the VSB. He assists business clients and their general counsel in litigation management and in the audit of legal fees and legal services.

Michael S. Lieberman, DiMuroGinsberg PC / Alexandria (Expand/Collapse Bio)

Michael S. Lieberman is a founding partner of DiMuroGinsberg and a member of the firm’s litigation team. He has 35 years’ experience in the litigation of complex criminal and civil matters, with particular emphasis and success in appellate matters. Mr. Lieberman spent the early years of his career honing his skills as a criminal litigator, concentrating mostly on constitutional claims. His practice has since evolved to include commercial litigation in the areas of business conspiracy, RICO, copyright and trademark litigation and the litigation of wrongful death claims, especially police involved shootings. Mr. Lieberman also assists attorneys involved in professional negligence matters.

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