Bergen County, N.J., Superior Court Judge Ellen Koblitz doesn’t seem too worried about sparing the reputations of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler. In June, you’ll recall, she found that the two firms had filed a frivolous suit on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman in a family dispute over hundreds of millions of dollars. On Friday she issued a final opinion (pdf), rejecting the firms’ arguments for mercy and ordering them to pay $1.96 million in legal fees to the defendants, Perelman’s former father-in-law and brother-in-law.
“Paul Weiss and Lowenstein Sandler argue that since they are both such important, well-regarded law firms, the mere finding that they engaged in frivolous litigation is deterrence enough,” Koblitz wrote. “They argue that this court’s finding of frivolous litigation has been widely publicized and besmirches their reputation, which will cost them untold, unspecified damages. A monetary sanction, however, is clearly appropriate here.”