Universal Oil Products Co. v. Root Refining Co.
328 U.S. 575 (1946)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Universal Oil Products Co. v. Root Refining Co., 328 U.S. 575 (1946)

Universal Oil Products Co. v. Root Refining Co.

Nos. 48 and 64

Argued October 15, 1945

Decided June 10, 1946

328 U.S. 575

Syllabus

Attorneys representing clients interested in patents involved in an allegedly fraudulent judgment theretofore rendered by a federal court in favor of the petitioner offered and undertook to serve as amici curiae in an investigation of the judgment. A master was appointed and an investigation was conducted, but without the usual safeguards of adversary proceedings. Petitioner, though it had consented to a reargument of the case in which the judgment was rendered, objected throughout to the character of the proceedings before the master if rights were to be adjudicated therein. The master found that the judgment was fraudulent, and the court set the judgment aside and ordered the case reargued. The master's fees and expenses, and fees and expenses of the attorneys as amici curiae, were taxed against petitioner.

Held:

1. It was not improper to tax against petitioner the master's fees and expenses, in view of the fact that the petitioner appeared and participated in the investigation before the master, with knowledge that the master's fees and expenses would be assessed by the court. P. 328 U. S. 579.

2. It was inequitable and improper to tax against petitioner fees and expenses of the amici curiae. P. 328 U. S. 580.

(a) Petitioner having objected throughout to the character of the proceedings before the master if rights were to be adjudicated therein, it was unjust to tax against petitioner attorney's fees and expenses. P. 328 U. S. 580.

(b) The amici curiae having already been compensated by their clients for their services in the investigation, it was inequitable and inappropriate that their fees and expenses he taxed against petitioner for reimbursement of the clients. P. 328 U. S. 581.

147 F.2d 259 reversed.

The Circuit Court of Appeals taxed against the petitioner certain fees and costs in connection with an investigation of an allegedly fraudulent judgment theretofore

Page 328 U. S. 576

rendered by that court in favor of the petitioner. This Court granted certiorari. 324 U.S. 839. In No. 48, the judgment is reversed and remanded, and in No. 64 the writ of certiorari, invoked under § 262 of the Judicial Code, is dismissed. P. 328 U. S. 581.

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