After the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by one attorney against another, the circuit court entered an order imposing sanctions against the plaintiff.

Relying in large part on fee-shifting cases in which a pro se attorney was not entitled to recover attorney fees, the Court of Appeal reversed.  But the Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the attorney fee award:

“The policy considerations underlying our decisions…on fee-shifting provisions are not present when a court awards sanctions….  Here, sanctions are intended as a punishment against the party who abuses the judicial process, not as a reward to a successful pro se attorney who is defending against a frivolous lawsuit. The concern…on deterring abusive fee generation by lawyers who initiate litigation is not present when sanctions are imposed against a plaintiff who files frivolous pleadings. This case does not involve awarding attorney fees to an attorney bringing suit as a plaintiff in his own name. Rather, defendant was forced to expend his time defending a frivolous lawsuit, as well as pursuing sanctions.”


McCarthy v. Taylor, No.123622, 2019 WL 4865786 (Ill. June 20, 2019).