A finding of “subjective bad faith” is not a prerequisite for an award of attorney fees in a dismissed market manipulation case subject to a 1995 law designed to curb frivolous securities claims, a unanimous federal appeals panel in Manhattan ruled Wednesday.

Writing for the panel in ATSI Communications v. Shaar Fund (pdf), 08-1815-cv, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs concluded that a finding of bad faith is not required to support an award of sanctions ordered by Southern District of New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan under the mandatory provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

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