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Clark Hill’s Michael Croghan Obtains Attorneys Fee Award Due to Improper Removal

February 22, 2021

Clark Hill attorney Michael Croghan recently obtained a substantial award of attorneys fees and costs due to the improper removal of a case to federal court.

In February 2020, Clark Hill initiated litigation on behalf of an accounting firm in Oakland County, Michigan, Circuit Court arising out of a ransomware cyberattack on the accounting firm’s virtual desktop and cloud data-hosting service provider. The defendant subsequently removed the case to federal court on the basis of purported diversity jurisdiction.

At a scheduling conference, Croghan raised concern that the Defendant’s members may not have completely diverse citizenship, prompting the Court to direct the parties to investigate and report back. The Defendant’s investigation revealed that one of its members was in fact a citizen of Michigan, defeating diversity and requiring remand back to Oakland County Circuit Court.

Clark Hill filed a motion seeking an award of attorneys fees and costs resulting from Defendant’s improper removal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c). The Court granted the motion and awarded over 95% of the fees and costs requested.

The removed case is Grifo & Company PLLC v. Cloud X Partners Holdings, LLC, formerly known as InsynQ, LLC, Case No. 20-10858 (E.D. Mich.), and the fee award can be accessed at 2021 WL 672118. Clark Hill attorneys Michael Croghan and Linda Watson represent the client in this matter.

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