Carr turns to Seventh Circuit in appeal of $635K sanction

Steve Korris Oct. 20, 2010, 2:21am



CHICAGO – Seventh Circuit appeals judges who declared Rex Carr "out of control" in litigation against former partners find him knocking on their door again.

On Oct. 12, Carr appealed a $635,171.23 sanction that U.S. District Judge David Herndon imposed for harassing Stephen Tillery, Steven Katz and Douglas Sprong with lawsuits over fees.

Herndon sanctioned Carr because Seventh Circuit judges ordered him to do so.

Circuit Judge Richard Posner wrote that Carr's lawyers violated their duties by failing to rein him in.

His lawyers reacted by dropping him as a client.

Tillery, Katz and Sprong asked Herndon to sanction Carr by requiring him to pay almost $1.5 million in defense bills.

Herndon disallowed most of the bills before entering judgment in May.

Carr moved for a reduction, pleading financial ruin and old age.

He wrote that he borrowed all he could and cashed in all available assets.

Carr wrote that his office barely met expenses by small settlements and loans.

At age 83, his life expectancy was 6.7 years, he wrote.

In September, Herndon declined to reduce the judgment.

On Oct. 5, Carr asked him to approve an initial payment of $25,000 and monthly payments of $5,000 thereafter.

At that rate, without interest, repayment would take 10 years and two months.

Carr wrote that he exhausted his ability to raise cash.

He led the firm of Carr Korein Tillery, which broke up in 2003.

He and lawyers at the new Korein Tillery agreed on terms for dividing future fees in pending cases, but disputes arose.

Carr filed a series of suits, including one in Herndon's court.

Herndon dismissed it for lack of jurisdiction but denied sanctions.

Both sides appealed, with Carr claiming Herndon shouldn't have dismissed it and the Tillery group claiming Herndon should have imposed a sanction.

The Seventh Circuit handed Carr a double defeat, ruling Herndon properly dismissed it but reversing his decision against a sanction.

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