Attorney off hook for ski resort’s legal costs

Snow making at Arizona Snowbowl

The Associated Press

A federal appeals court has reversed an order that put a Flagstaff attorney on the hook for some of a ski resort’s costs in a lawsuit targeting snowmaking.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the decision this week without explanation.

The owners of the Arizona Snowbowl had asked the court to make Howard Shanker pay its costs involving his failed effort to block snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks. The court agreed but excluded attorneys’ fees. Snowbowl’s lawyers put the amount at $32,000.

Shanker argued that it should have been less. He and others, including consumer advocate Ralph Nader, asked the court to reconsider. They said lawyers who work for free would be less likely to take up contentious issues when faced with such sanctions.

“I guess I’ve been vindicated, so that’s good,” Shanker said Thursday.

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