May a federal court impose sanctions for intentionally prolonging a lawsuit for the improper purpose of forcing a party opponent to cause transfer of a Redwood forest to the misbehaving party? Yes. May the court penalize conduct that occurs in collateral proceedings but involves the same opponent and arguably the same motive? No.
So the Fifth Circuit, per Patrick E. Higginbotham, held last week. Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Maxxam, Inc., No. 05-20808 (5th Cir. Apr. 3, 2008).