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Here’s something we don’t see a lot. On Friday, New Haven, Conn., federal district court Judge Janet Bond Arterton granted a motion for Rule 11 sanctions (pdf) against Labaton Sucharow and Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check, lead plaintiffs counsel in a failed securities class action against Star Gas. Arterton agreed with Star’s counsel from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom that the class’ claims were almost entirely without merit, and that Labaton and Barroway knew as much early in the litigation. She ordered the plaintiffs firms to pay all of Star’s attorney fees and costs.

“The Rule 11 violations were not de minimis. The [consolidated amended complaint] did not suffer from a minor procedural flaw. Nor were the Rule 11 violations limited to one of many claims for relief,” Arterton wrote. “Thus, plaintiffs’ lead counsel’s violations were substantial, creating a presumption for awarding all fees and costs for the entire litigation as sanctions.”

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