Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs began efforts last night to recover attorneys' fees in one of the several election challenges filed by the Arizona Republican Party. Her attorneys last night filed to recoup more than $18,000 in legal fees incurred in the AZGOP's case dismissed last month.
The suit alleged that Maricopa County should have to hand-count ballots in 2% of the county's precincts instead of from 2% of the Vote Centers. Superior Court Judge John Hannah quickly dismissed it after oral argument, and specifically invited defendants' counsel to seek reimbursement for their fees based on an Arizona statute discouraging unjustified lawsuits.
By agreement with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, the Secretary of State hired the election law attorneys at Coppersmith Brockelman to represent it in this and the other elections challenges brought by the Trump campaign, the Republican Party and others supporting them. In this case, the attorneys spent 50+ hours researching and arguing the successful defense. Their Application is published below.
The Application uses stronger language about the futility of the AZGOP's case than they did before the judge's ruling.
"They brought a meritless claim, prosecuted it in truly amateurish fashion by failing to seek necessary relief and half-heartedly seeking to enjoin Maricopa County’s canvass, and thought so strongly of their claim that they didn’t appeal when it was dismissed with prejudice. Their motives were transparent: delay final election results and sow doubt about the integrity of Arizona’s elections system.
That’s simply not what litigation is for, and this abuse of the judicial system should not go without sanction. As detailed below, the Court should award the Secretary her fees against ARP and its counsel, jointly and severally, in the amount of $18,237.59."
No word yet on whether the Secretary of State, Maricopa County's Board of Supervisors and Recorder's Office, and Governor Doug Ducey will be seeking reimbursement in any of the other cases. (Maricopa County has been using a team of attorneys within the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.)
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