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Fifth Circuit Turns the Table on Department of Labor, Sanctions Government for Bad Faith Conduct During Investigation and Subsequent Litigation

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Sometimes the hunter becomes the hunted.  That’s a lesson the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently learned.  In an opinion dated July 2, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reprimanded the DOL for pursuing “poorly documented” and “legally dubious” claims.  The Fifth Circuit found that the DOL had engaged in “uncivil and costly litigation tactics,” attempting to prevail by oppressively pursuing a very weak case.  Ultimately, the court held that the DOL had “acted in bad faith” and ordered the district court to enter an award against the DOL for hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees. More