When is attorney misconduct so egregious that it warrants dismissal of the client’s case? That was the question for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in determining whether to uphold the dismissal of a False Claims Act case against Sallie Mae (and other defendants) that was thrown out for what Chicago federal district court Judge Milton Shadur described as a “virtually unbroken pattern of dilatory and irresponsible conduct” by plaintiffs lawyer Jorge Sanchez of Despres, Schwartz & Geoghegan.

On Thursday, in a 23-page opinion, the appeals court upheld Shadur’s decision, ruling that a district court’s power to sanction for violations of the judicial process is necessary to ensure the integrity of the court. Jeffrey Sarles of Mayer Brown argued for the defendants.

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