N. Va. Real Estate v. Martin

Plaintiffs, Northern Virginia Real Estate and its principal broker, Lauren Kivlighan, filed an eight-count second amended complaint against McEnearney Associates, its real estate agent Karen Martins, and David and Donna Gavin (collectively, Defendants), alleging conspiracy to harm in business, interference with contract expectancy, and defamation. The trial court eventually entered an order granting Plaintiffs' motion to nonsuit all counts and dismissing the case as to all counts and all parties. Defendants subsequently filed motions for sanctions against Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs' counsel, Forrest Walpole, seeking attorneys' fees and costs and arguing that Plaintiffs violated Va. Code Ann. 8.01-271.1 by filing the suit without any basis in fact, without support in law, and with improper purposes. The trial court granted the motions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err when it imposed sanctions jointly and severally against Plaintiffs and Walpole; and (2) the trial court applied an objective standard of reasonableness in concluding that the facts of this case could not support a reasonable belief that the Plaintiffs' claims along with the damages sought were well grounded in fact or law as required by section 8.01-271.1. View "N. Va. Real Estate v. Martin" on Justia Law