Many judges make clear that conduct has consequences: they instruct that when one party raises a meritless claim, and the court dismisses it or finds in the other party’s favor, the court can award the prevailing party counsel fees for having to defend against a meritless claim.
In the recent Appellate Division case of C.B. v. K.B.K., the court awarded the wife counsel fees after the court was forced to have a plenary hearing because the husband sought to challenge a prenuptial agreement on baseless grounds. The court placed great weight on the husband’s lack of candor, unreasonable conduct, and complete lack of proof to support his position that a document existed that would nullify the agreement. Since he was never able to produce such a document, and his claim that one existed (when it appeared that it did not) caused protracted and prolonged litigation in bad faith, the court awarded his wife counsel fees for the hearing and compelled him to pay those fees.
In advancing or defending a claim, you must be reasonable and credible. Otherwise, a court may rule against you, or your client, and order that they pay counsel fees for operating in bad faith.
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