Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Court’s Simple Observation that Counsel Has Engaged in Conduct Violative of Rule 11, without More, Does Not Constitute a Sanction and Does Not Require Prior Notice

From M.B. v. Eastern Regional High School Dist., 386 Fed. Appx. 186 (3d Cir. 2010):

M.G. claims the District Court erred by sanctioning Epstein without first providing him with notice and a reasonable opportunity to respond. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(c)(1). But the District Court did not impose Rule 11 sanctions on Epstein. Rather, the Court explained that some of Epstein's conduct rose "to the level of a Rule 11 violation" only to support its complete denial of attorney's fees. See M.G., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98631, 2009 WL 3489358 at *9-*10 ("Mr. Epstein's conduct thus rises to the level of sanctionable conduct under Rule 11. However, given that the Court is otherwise denying his requested fees, such sanctions are unwarranted at this time. Nevertheless, the Rule 11 breach does further illuminate the sheer egregiousness of Mr. Epstein's fee request."). Because no Rule 11 sanctions were imposed, the Court was not required to give Epstein notice or an opportunity to respond.

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