Knop, II, et al v. Mackall, Jr., et al

Plaintiff, a shareholder in Avenir Corporation ("Avenir"), brought a shareholder derivate suit naming Avenir and its three principal officers ("principals") as defendants and alleged that the principals engaged in various forms of financial misconduct as Avenir's managers. At issue was whether the district court properly granted attorney's fees for abuse of discretion to plaintiff where plaintiff originally filed in Superior Court and defendants removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under 28 U.S.C. 1441, where Avenir's primary place of business was in D.C., and where the district court found removal improper under section 1441(b). The court held that the district court improperly awarded attorney's fees to plaintiff where Avenir was a nominal defendant and defendants' reasoning had at least some logical and precedential force behind it.