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Case Law Update: Attorney Fees in Removal

Wolf v. Kennelly, No. 08-2203 (7/23/09) determined that the district court erred in barring plaintiff from seeking attorney fees from one defendant who unsuccessfully attempted to remove Ill. state court case seeking vacatur of arbitration award. Plaintiff could properly seek fees under 28 USC sec. 1447(c) on grounds that case law clearly precluded any removal where: (1) in absence of any realignment, presence in lawsuit of another defendant, which was resident of Illinois, precluded removal under forum defendant rule; and (2) forum defendant could not be realigned from respondent to petitioner in Ill. state court case since plaintiff and forum defendant had actual controversy that precluded any realignment. This case will have an effect on all Illinois cases.