action. . . ." Novak v. World Bank, 227 U.S. App. D.C. 83, 703 F.2d 1305, 1309 (D.C. Cir. 1983).
As Finard itself admits
, its cross-claim would be barred if the traditional test of res judicata were applied since all elements of the four-part test are satisfied. There is an identicality of parties between the present cross-claim and Finard I. A final judgment was delivered in Finard I. Finally, even though the actual claim under Section 6.2 may not have been raised in the first action, Finard's cross-claim is still barred because it stems from the same cause of action that was litigated in Finard I: namely, Capitol's liability to Finard under the Assignment Agreement. We therefore find that Finard's cross-claim is precluded by res judicata17 and grant Capitol's Motion for Summary Judgment to dismiss Finard's cross-claim.
2. Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions
Capitol has also moved for Rule 11 sanctions against Finard on the grounds that its cross-claim was duplicative of the litigation in Finard I. See Capitol's Memorandum in Support of Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions at 2. Capitol seeks sanctions in the form of reasonable expenses, costs, and attorneys' fees incurred in litigating this action.
Rule 11 imposes a duty on the signer of a pleading, motion, or paper to conduct a pre-filing inquiry of the relevant facts and law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11; Southern Air Transport, Inc. v. American Broadcasting Cos., 278 U.S. App. D.C. 222, 877 F.2d 1010, 1017 (D.C. Cir. 1989). A court must impose sanctions under Rule 11 where a pleading or paper is "(1) not well grounded in fact; (2) not warranted by existing law or good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; or (3) interposed for any improper purpose such as harassment or delay." Westmoreland v. CBS, Inc., 248 U.S. App. D.C. 255, 770 F.2d 1168, 1174 (D.C. Cir. 1985). In considering a motion for sanctions, the court is given "wide discretion" in determining whether there are factual or bad faith reasons to warrant sanctions. Id.
In the present case, Finard has exceeded the limits of good faith litigating in bringing its cross-claim. As stated, Finard should have realized that its claim against Capitol was barred after Finard I and that Horn and Hardart's holding, upon which it relied, was irrelevant to the situation at hand. We must conclude that Finard's cross-claim was not well grounded in fact or warranted by existing law and that Finard acted in bad faith and for purposes of harassment or delay. Accordingly, we grant Capitol's Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions as hereinafter specified.
After a full review of these Motions and the record, we grant Capitol's Motion and deny Brannock's Motion with respect to Capitol's payment of the leasing commission, and deny both Brannock and Finard's Motions with respect to Finard's payment of the leasing commissions. With respect to the issue of indemnification, we grant Capitol's Motion for Summary Judgment on its counterclaim against Finard, deny Finard's Motion for Summary Judgment on its counterclaim against Brannock, and grant Brannock's Motion for Summary Judgment on Finard's counterclaim. Finally, we grant Capitol's Motion to dismiss Finard's cross-claim and grant its Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions.
An Order and Judgment consistent with the above has been entered this day.
JOHN H. PRATT
DATE: 25 Nov 92
ORDER AND JUDGMENT - November 25, 1992, Filed
Upon consideration of each party's Motions for Summary Judgment, the opposition thereto, and the entire record herein, and for the reasons stated in an accompanying Memorandum Opinion entered this day, it is by the Court this 25th day of November, 1992,
ORDERED that plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment on its claims against defendants Finard and Capitol is denied; and it is
ORDERED that plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Finard's counterclaim is granted; and it is
ORDERED that defendant Finard's Motion for Summary Judgment against plaintiff is denied; and it is
ORDERED that defendant Finard's cross-claim against Capitol is dismissed with prejudice; and it is
ORDERED that defendant Finard's counterclaim against Brannock is dismissed with prejudice; and it is
ORDERED that defendant Capitol's Motion for Summary Judgment against plaintiff is granted; and it is
ORDERED that defendant Capitol's Motion for Summary Judgment against Finard is granted; and it is
ORDERED that defendant Capitol's Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions against Finard for bringing its cross-claim against Capitol is granted, defendant Capitol to submit a list of reasonable expenses, costs, and attorney's fees within ten (10) days of the date of this Order; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that defendant Capitol is entitled under Section 11.1 of the Assignment Agreement to indemnification of its expenses in defending against Brannock's claims, defendant Capitol to submit a list of said costs and expenses within ten (10) days of the date of this Order.
JOHN H. PRATT
United States District Judge