United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division
Jeremiah C. Lynch, United States Magistrate Judge.
the Court is Defendants Shaun Thompson, Jon Moog, Mitch Hill,
Amy Scott Smith, and Heather McGuyer's motion for an
award of attorney's fees incurred defending this action.
For the reasons discussed, the Court deems it appropriate to
grant the motion.
parties are familiar with the extensive details of this case.
Thus, for purposes of addressing the pending motion for
attorney's fees the Court will present only a general
summary of the subject of, and proceedings in this action.
appearing pro se, commenced this action stemming from events
that occurred in his practice of law as an attorney in
Montana, and during a campaign season in which he campaigned
for election as a state district court judge in Ravalli
County, Montana. During the campaign Myers accused the
incumbent district judge, Defendant Jeffrey Langton, of
multiple incidents of misconduct.
as a result of Myers' various activities, the Montana
Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed multiple complaints
against Myers. Specifically, the complaints were based upon
Myers' conduct as an attorney appearing before Langton,
and based upon accusations Langton made against Myers for
fabricating misinformation about Langton. The various
complaints asserted Myers violated provisions of the Montana
Rules of Professional Conduct and the Montana Code of
Defendants identified in this civil action were each involved
with the prosecution of complaints filed against Myers with
the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Shaun Thompson served as
the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Jon Moog served as the Deputy
Disciplinary Counsel, and Mitchell Hill served as an
investigator, all of whom served in the Montana Office of
Disciplinary Counsel. Heather McGuyer and Amy Scott Smith
were witnesses who the Office of Disciplinary Counsel used in
support of its complaints and prosecutions against Myers.
result of the multiple misconduct prosecutions against Myers
pursued by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Montana
Commission on Practice recommended that Myers be disbarred
from the practice of law. In 2017 the Montana Supreme Court
adopted the recommendation and disbarred Myers.
civil action Myers alleged that Thompson, Moog, Hill, McGuyer
and Smith conspired to deliberately fabricate false evidence
and testimony against Myers. And Defendants allegedly used
that information during the Office of Disciplinary
Counsel's prosecution of Myers, and presented the
information to the Montana Commission on Practice.
Myers alleged Thompson, Moog, Hill, and McGuyer retaliated
against him for the exercise of his free speech rights to
publish his accusations against Langton during the campaign.
Specifically, Myers' alleged that Defendants' conduct
in prosecuting the complaints filed by the Office of
Disciplinary Counsel constituted acts of retaliation against
him, all in violation of his rights under the First Amendment
to the United States Constitution.
April 25, 2018, Defendants Thompson, Moog, Hill, Smith and
McGuyer moved for summary judgment dismissing Myers'
claims against them. Myers did not file a brief in response
to Defendant's summary judgment motion.
December 13, 2018, the District Court entered its order
granting Defendants' summary judgment motion. The Court
concluded that Myers' retaliation claims were barred by
the doctrine of collateral estoppel. (Doc. 43 at 24-25; Doc.
47 at 27-28.) Additionally, the Court concluded Defendants
established the absence of a genuine issue of material fact
as to the merits of Myers' conspiracy claims, and that
Myers failed to submit any evidentiary material to raise a
genuine issue of material fact in support of his conspiracy
claims. Therefore, the Court dismissed the conspiracy claims.
(Doc. 43 at 25-26; Doc. 47 at 28-29.) Finally, the Court
concluded Defendants Moog, McGuyer and Smith were also
cloaked with immunity from liability on the conspiracy claims
under the circumstances of this case. (Doc. 43 at 26-27; Doc.
47 at 29.) Consequently, the Court granted Defendants'
summary judgment motion and dismissed this case. (Doc. 47 at
Thompson, Moog, Hill, Smith, and McGuyer now move for an
order awarding them the attorney's fees they incurred in
defending against of Myers' claims. Although Myers filed
a brief in response to Defendants' motion for
attorney's fees, he did not present arguments as to the
factual and legal merits of Defendants' request for fees.
Instead, Myers' response brief consists of 25 pages of
arguments challenging the factual and legal merits of
Defendants' summary judgment motion which the Court has