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ARGUED MAY 14, 2009

Before RIPPLE, MANION, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

After her employer Enterprise Recovery Systems (“ERS”) fired her, Rhonda Salmeron brought this qui tam action on behalf of the United States against ERS alleging that it committed fraud in its student loan debt collection practices. Salmeron subsequently amended her complaint three times to add USA Funds, Inc.; USA Group Guarantee Services, Inc.; USA Servicing Corp.; Sallie Mae, Inc.; Sallie Mae Servicing, L.P.; and Scott Nicholson as defendants. During the lawsuit’s three-year sojourn in the district court, Salmeron’s attorney, Jorge Sanchez, engaged in what the judge described as a “virtually unbroken pattern of dilatory and irresponsible conduct,” consistently missing filing deadlines and failing to appear at status conferences. Fed up with Sanchez’s repeated flouting of the court’s rules, the district court dismissed the suit sua sponte. Though ultimately persuaded to reinstate the action, the district court issued a “final warning” to Sanchez that future misconduct would not be tolerated. Only a short time later, however, Sanchez breached an oral agreement he had with opposing counsel and leaked a document obtained through discovery to three separate sources. Upon finding the document posted on an Internet website, the defendants moved to dismiss the suit as a sanction for the unauthorized disclosure. The district court granted the motion, finding the leak “willful” and “inexcusable.” Salmeron appeals, arguing that the punishment does not fit the offending conduct. We affirm.

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