A federal appeals court has upheld a sanction against Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein over its role in submitting inflated billing rates in an investor class action lawsuit.

Lieff Cabraser’s appeal did not contest the reduced amount of legal fees awarded after U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf of the District of Massachusetts found the lead firms inflated their lodestar by double counting hours using different rates for contract attorneys. Instead, the firm appealed the court’s finding that it violated Rule 11(b) when it allowed a study by professor Brian Fitzpatrick to be misrepresented to the court as approving the requested legal fees.