In re Nat. Gas Royalties Qui Tam Litig. — F.3d —, 2017 WL 35710 (10th Cir. Jan. 4, 2017)

This appeal arose from two district court orders awarding millions of dollars of attorney’s fees against the man who filed a qui tam case that lasted over 20 years and involved more than 300 natural gas industry defendants.  The Tenth Circuit affirmed the award of attorney fees against the plaintiff under the fee-shifting provision of the False Claims Act, finding that the complaint was clearly frivolous and lacking in evidentiary support.  However, the court reversed the district court’s award of attorney fees related to an earlier appeal, explaining that the district court lacked jurisdiction to award appellate-related fees and noting that defendants failed to request the fees from the Tenth Circuit.