United States District Court, S.D. New York
March 24, 2004.
AUSCAPE INTERNATIONAL, et al., Plaintiffs, -against- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, et al., Defendants
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEWIS KAPLAN, District Judge
On August 12, 2003, Magistrate Judge Pitman ordered plaintiffs'
counsel, Surjit P. Soni, Esq., to pay $69,484 in attorneys' fees to the
ProQuest defendants within ten days. *fn1 Mr. Soni moved for
reconsideration of and objected to Judge Pitman's decision. Judge Pitman
denied the application insofar as it sought reconsideration. By order
dated September 29, 2003, this Court overruled Mr. Soni's objections
"and, insofar as it may be deemed necessary to do so, affirms his order
of August 6, as amended by the August 12, 2003 order . . ."*fn2 Order,
Sept. 29, 2003. Despite extensive efforts by Mr. Soni to overturn, appeal
from, and stay the effect of these orders, all of those efforts have been
unsuccessful. Thus, Mr. Soni has been subject to an order requiring that
he pay the money no later than August 22, 2003 for over seven months.
By letter dated March 19, 2004, the ProQuest defendants complain that
the money remains unpaid and seek appropriate relief. They note that the
available remedies include, among other things, revocation of Mr. Soni's
admission pro hac vice, additional sanctions under 28 U.S.C. § 1927,
and civil contempt.
Mr. Soni has responded by letter of even date. The letter focuses on
the fact that a judgment has not yet been entered against him. It ignores
entirely that Mr. Soni has been subject to Judge Pitman's order,
completely independent of the entry of a judgment, explicitly directing
him to pay the money.
The Court is not anxious to adopt still sterner measures with respect
to Mr. Soni. Nevertheless, if he fails to pay the funds pursuant to Judge
Pitman's order on or before March 31, 2004, the ProQuest defendants may
file a motion seeking such relief as they deem appropriate, and the Court
in any case will consider whether to revoke Mr. Soni's leave to appear
pro hac vice.
It is ORDERED that counsel to whom this Order is sent is responsible
for faxing a copy to all counsel and retaining verification of such in
the case file Do not fax such verification to Chambers