Friday, June 12, 2015


The Court in Whittington summarized the requirements of Rule 11 as follows:
1. An attorney must READ every paper before signing it.
2. He must make a reasonable pre-filing investigation of the FACTS.
3. He must research the LAW, unless he is certain he knows it.
4. The law as applied to the facts must REASONABLY WARRANT the legal positions and steps he takes. If existing law does not warrant these positions, a plausible argument for the extension of the law to the facts of the case is required.
5. It must be demonstrated, as the basis of pre-filing investigation and research, that there is a REASONABLE BASIS to name each defendant named, and to support each claim asserted. The shotgun complaint or answer, filed in the hope that discovery will produce the justification for it, is improper.
6. The adequacy of an attorney's investigation, research and legal analysis will be evaluated by the court under an OBJECTIVE STANDARD, namely, whether the attorney acted as a reasonably competent attorney admitted to federal practice. Except as to improper purpose, subjective good faith is not a defense to Rule 11 sanctions. A pure heart but an empty head is of no avail.
7. The attorney must CONTINUALLY RE-EVALUATE his positions and abandon them if they are no longer reasonably warranted.
8. An attorney must not have an IMPROPER PURPOSE, such as harassment or intimidation, in naming any defendant, asserting any legal position or taking any legal step.
9. If an attorney violates Rule 11 the imposition of some sanction is MANDATORY, although the nature and extent of the sanction is discretionary with the district court.(42)

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