By Cyndy Cole
Arizona Daily Sun
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, law professors, tribal groups and conservationists are asking a federal appeals court to reconsider the fining of an attorney whose lawsuit attempted to block snowmaking at Arizona Snowbowl.
They say other attorneys who take up contentious issues as charity work will be much less inclined to do so if they face fines for cases they believe are legitimate.
And it appears the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering a request to hear the matter of the fines — it reversed itself earlier this month on that question.
At issue is litigation by Howard Shanker, an attorney who worked for free representing the Save the Peaks Coalition, and previously for tribes opposed to snowmaking on religious grounds.
Snowbowl had first argued Shanker should pay up to $269,280 for “strategically engaging in serial litigation against the Forest Service and Snowbowl,” though the amounts up for consideration are now closer to $32,000.