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Rule 11

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Definition Edit

Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires all papers to be signed by the attorney (if the party is represented). It also provides for sanctions against the attorney or client for harassment, frivolous arguments, or a lack of factual investigation.

Overview Edit

The purpose of sanctions is deterrent, not punitive. Courts have broad discretion about the exact nature of the sanction, which can include consent to in personam jurisdiction, fines, dismissal of claims, or dismissal of the entire case.

The current version of Rule 11 is much more lenient than its 1983 version. Supporters of tort reform in Congress regularly call for legislation to make Rule 11 stricter.

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