On February 19, 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a court of appeals decision denying an award of attorney fees against the federal government for having maliciously prosecuted a small business. The decision was a setback for WLF, which represented the business in its efforts to recover its defense costs. The business was initially charged with criminal violations of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean water regulations, based on claims that the company had discharged overly acidic rinse water into a local river. But the government later dropped all charges after the company proved that EPA had doctored key evidence and that there was no evidence of any improper discharges. The trial court ordered the federal government to pay all defense fees, but the appeals court overturned that order on the ground that the government’s misconduct was insufficiently egregious.