McHenry County Suit against Zane Seipler Seeks British Solution

A lead story in Saturday's Northwest Herald is headlined, "County: Deputy should pay legal fees."

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?


McHenry County Suit against Zane Seipler Seeks British Solution — 6 Comments

  1. Seipler did not LOOSE.

    The This action took 2 yrs. and only to determine WHO WOULD INVESTIGATE not that there was nothing to investigate.

    The judge simply dumped it in Bianchi’s lap.

    Bianchi could still ask to have it investigated.

    The NWH article does not say WHO the county is.

    No names. Never went before a county board. (can look up info on county website).

    Is someone using Caldwell an the deflect from other news about county bad boys???

    The NWH is floating a balloon out there to get some attention.

  2. Look up previous articles on this blog – The judge gave Bianchi permission to “fish”.

    inner was in the courtroom and heard the judge.

    This is still alive.

    The ball is in Bianchi’s court.

  3. Let’s ferret out how a this lawsuit would theoretically work and progress.

    Filing. Haven’t seen any hard evidence reported that anything was filed or who actually said that a suit was imminent.

    Then we will have Horwitz motion to dismiss, which will probably be a winner. Unless of course the judge is on the take so I would imagine that Horwitz will be screening every McHenry County judge and finding reasons for removal.

    If it were to proceed, discovery would take place. I would suspect there are law enforcement officials that would testify that the use of the stars are worthy of investigation. Judge hears that, case dismissed.

    Depositions would be taken. Bianchi would be required to evaluate the evidence and decide if the allegations have merit. He won’t be able to hide behind his attorney client excuse. If he goes under oath and says they have no merit then he could be in grave trouble for his role in the original trial and not just telling Judge Meyer this to begin with.

    More depositions of political activist in this county that may be influencing the ins and outs of this situation.

    Nygren will be brought in to explain his use of the stars and why he thought it was OK to do what he has done.

    Leist and Caldwell will have to justify their expenses and every phone call, email, and communication will be inventoried and examined.

    Leist will have to answer questions regarding his new position as the EEO.

    These are just some of things I would expect from the “defendants” Seipler and Horwitz.

    The other possible action is that the County asks for sanctions from Judge Meyer. That request will be denied. Meyer would not make such a ruling and consider the case frivolous after all that he allowed to go on.

    Then there would be the appeals if Seipler were to lose.

    It would cost the county a tremendous amount of money to go down this path.

    This would also bring into question, who is paying the attorney fees for the “frivolous” appeals Nygren made regarding Seipler’s employment.

    Cans of worms are poised to explode.

  4. Smooth- Thank you.

    Always good to get accurate info.

    The NWH just throws stuff out and spins hoping the general reader won’t see through it.

    Who has anything to gain — Caldwell will get additional payment for working on a feudal project.

    Seipler will be able to show that Nygren did abuse the county tax payer and illegally use the money for his campaign.

    It does go beyond the Star!!!

    While, that indeed. did cost a good chunk of money.

    Cook County would have had just even the star issue wrapped up before now.

    It would be a serious offense.

    Their officials got in more trouble for less.


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