On October 6, 2016, the Third Circuit affirmed that the New York Giants do not have to pay for federal court attorneys’ fees incurred by a memorabilia dealer. The dealer, Eric Inselberg, had argued that the Giants should pay the fees incurred while he attempted to remand his lawsuit back to New Jersey state court because the team’s approach to his claims was “objectively unreasonable.”
Originally, the Giants had removed the civil case to federal court, but in November 2014, U.S. District Judge William Martini kicked it back to state court upon overruling a magistrate judge’s findings that the suit contained patent claims preempted by federal law. However, Judge Martini declined to award Inselberg his attorneys’ fees in getting the case remanded.
In affirming Judge Martini’s ruling, judges Theodore McKee, Thomas Ambro, and Anthony Scirica explained that “[r]easonable minds can differ as to whether federal jurisdiction was proper in this case, as evidenced by the fact that the Magistrate Judge and the District Court came to different conclusions. Under these circumstances, we cannot say that the District Court abused its discretion when it determined the Giants had an objectively reasonable basis to seek removal.”