However, in Dahl v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 478 F.3d 965 (8th Cir. Feb. 28, 2007), defendants argued that the publication of a new precedent in the Eighth Circuit establishing that cases like the one in Dahl were removable started a new 30-day clock under § 1446(b). The Eighth Circuit rejected that argument, holding that the receipt of an opinion from a different case did not constitute an “amended pleading, motion or other paper” for purposes of the removal statutes.
Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(D)(1) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920(6), “costs” are awarded to prevailing parties “as of course” for various trial-related expenses including court fees, reporters, and court-appointed experts.
In In re Cardizem CD Antitrust Litig., 481 F.3d 355 (6th Cir. Feb. 22, 2007), the district court ordered an attorney for an objector to the proposed class-action settlement to pay the compensation of a settlement administrator hired to disburse $80 million in settlement funds to the class. After unsuccessfully objecting to the settlement, the objector took an appeal, which was dismissed for failure to post bond. On remand the class plaintiffs sought sanctions and costs caused by the delay. The district court rejected various sanctions but awarded costs of over $250,000 for the settlement administrator’s fees as a court-appointed expert under 28 U.S.C. § 1920(6).
The Sixth Circuit reversed because the award was charged to objector’s counsel, while the court interpreted the statute and rules to permit awards to be charged only to parties, i.e., the objector here and not her counsel. The court rejected the argument that district courts have inherent or equitable power to charge awards of “costs” to counsel. However, in remanding, the court noted without deciding the question of whether settlement administrators are “court-appointed experts” for purposes of § 1920(6), and cited a circuit split.