Submitted: October 6, 2017
ASPIC Engineering and Construction Company's "Appeal
from Commissioner's Finding of Fact and
A. Houghton, Esq.
Trainer, Jr., Esq.
M. Lenahan, Esq.
Jurden, President Judge
NOW TO WIT, this 3rd day of January,
2018, the Court having duly considered ASPIC Engineering and
Construction Company's ("ASPIC") "Appeal
from Commissioner's Findings of Fact and Recommendations,
" which constitutes a Motion for Reconsideration of
Commissioner's Order pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R.
132(a)(3); and ECC Centcom Constructors, LLC and ECC
International, LLC's (collectively the
"Defendants") response thereto, IT APPEARS
September 25, 2017, a Superior Court Commissioner granted the
Defendants' Motion for Attorneys' Fees and ordered ASPIC
to pay $16, 149.75 in attorneys' fees and costs to the
October 6, 2017, ASPIC filed an "Appeal from
Commissioner's Finding of Fact and
Recommendations." Pursuant to Rule 132(a)(3)(ii),
ASPIC's filing should have been entitled, "Motion
for Reconsideration of a Commissioner's Order."
Pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R. 132(a)(3)(H) and (iv), a judge
may reconsider a Commissioner's determination on a
non-dispositive issue "only where it has been shown on
the record that the Commissioner's Order is based upon
findings of fact that are clearly erroneous, or is contrary
to law, or is an abuse of discretion."
Delaware courts have awarded attorneys' fees and costs
under the bad faith exception to the American
"when parties have unnecessarily prolonged or delayed
litigation or knowingly asserted frivolous claims,
" and have broad discretion in fixing the
amount of attorneys' fees to be awarded.
Although ASPIC stipulated that: (i) the judgment at issue was
entered in error by the California State Court, and (ii) the
judgment at issue should be vacated by the California Federal
Court,  ASPIC nonetheless sought to enforce that
same judgment in Delaware Superior Court. The Affidavit of
Counsel submitted with ASPIC's Application to
Record a Foreign Judgment in Delaware on May 24, 2017 does not
mention that ASPIC stipulated to the vacatur of the judgment
in California because it was entered erroneously, or that an
unopposed motion to vacate the judgment was pending in
California. Rather, counsel for ASPIC averred and
represented to this Court that "the Judgment is valid,
enforceable and unsatisfied."
be clear, ASPIC asked this Court to enforce a judgment after,
and despite the fact that, it had taken the position in
California State Court and California Federal Court that the
judgment was entered in error and should be vacated,
and when ASPIC knew an unopposed motion to vacate that
judgment was pending decision by the California Federal
day after ASPIC filed its Application to Record a Foreign
Judgment in Delaware in this Court, the California Federal
Court vacated the judgment.That same day, the
Defendants' counsel sent an email to ASPIC, and another
email on May 31, 2017, informing ASPIC that the foreign
judgment had been vacated and noting that ASPIC's
statements made in its May 24, 2017 Affidavit of Counsel
filed with this Court were not consistent with the California
Federal Court's order vacating the
judgment. ASPIC's counsel did not respond to
July 18, 2017, the California Federal Court then vacated the
underlying arbitration award. Thus, as of July 18, 2017,
ASPIC had no judgment and no arbitration award. Despite this,
ASPIC did not ...