District Court Imposes Sanctions for Lawyer’s Failure to Investigate False Signature on Affidavit

Paniagua v. MAX 18, INC., Dist. Court, ND Illinois 2013 – Google Scholar.

The district court has imposed sanctions against a lawyer for the filing of a false affidavit.  The Court concluded that the lawyer failed to make a reasonable inquiry into whether the signature on the affidavit was genuine and imposed a sanction of $1000 on the lawyer. The client was ordered to pay the reasonable costs and expenses of the Plaintiff.

The court explains:

The Court’s inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the creation and submission of the 2012 Kamel Affidavit is not a frolic and detour. It has taken substantial time and resources, and that substantial investment is commensurate with the serious fraud that occurred here. The integrity of the judicial system is compromised when the adversarial process is tainted by fraud, and more so when a member of the bar fails to acknowledge as much.

Having concluded that Mr. Schimanski failed to make an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances before filing the 2012 Kamel Affidavit, and having received no response from Mr. Schimanski with respect to the potential imposition of sanctions, the Court imposes on Mr. Schimanski under Rule 11[1]a fine of $1000 payable to the Clerk, to serve the rule’s deterrent purpose to prevent repetition of the improper conduct. SeeDivane v. Krull Elec. Co., 319 F.3d 307, 314 (7th Cir. 2003). The fine is payable within 14 days of the entry of this order.”

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.


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