The Northwest Herald has a story Saturday about Special Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Caldwell’s suing Sheriff’s Deputy Zane Seipler for his and the Assistant State’s Attorney’s fees in Seipler’s attempt to convince Judge Thomas Meyer to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate whether Keith Nygren used taxpayer resources to advance his political campaign.
From a quick reading of the article, it seems Caldwell’s theory is that Seipler’s case was purely political and had no substance.
The timing of its filing–right before the February, 2010, Republican primary election in which Seipler was challenging Sheriff Keith Nygren for the nomination–certainly was political.
But Judge Meyer gave no indication that he thought it was a frivolous suit.
I haven’t read the filing but, if the NWH’s description is an accurate representation of the new case, that’s a fascinating interpretation.
The decision was such a close call that neither side had any idea what the decision would be on the morning it was handed down. One close to the Sheriff was heard worrying out loud before the court session that a Special Prosecutor would be authorized.
A number of attorneys read McHenry County Blog and I’m hoping some will give their opinion in the comment section of the chances of the County’s recovering the legal fees being sought.
One has shared the following with me:
“The American system, as it is legally known, does not provide for payment of attorney’s fees to the victor in a lawsuit.
“There are limited exceptions.
“Our system developed because the British system has a loser pay rule where a litigant’s wealth significantly influenced the end result.
“As a result, the British face significant risk in filing a lawsuit.
“We only allow for fees if provided by contract or by statute.
“In the case of seeking a special prosecutor there is no fee shifting.
“Hence, the government is unlikely to see a penny for fees.
“However, taxable costs can be recovered.
“Cost is the filing fees cost of copies, etc.”
So, attorney readers, do you agree with that interpretation or not and why?