A federal appeals court has vacated an injunction issued by a district court against an attorney and his clients which had barred them from pursuing an Illinois state court claim against an employee health and welfare benefit plan governed ERISA. The unanimous panel agreed with CCL, which represented the attorney on appeal, that the injunction barring the state-court suit did not qualify under an exception to the Anti-Injunction Act and thus was improper. The decision suggests a path for seeking a fair share of fees under the equitable “common-fund” doctrine in state court litigation.

CCL’s Robert S. Peck was lead appellate counsel in the case. With him on the briefs was Jeffrey White. The case is Trustees of the Carpenters’ Health & Welfare Trust Fund of St. Louis v. Darr, Nos. 10-1682, 10-1793 & 10-2579 (7th Cir. Aug. 21, 2012).