Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Rule 11 Sanctions Limited to What Suffices to Deter Repetition by Offender and Others (Good Quote) — Eleventh Circuit Factors to Be Considered in Determining an Appropriate Sanction

Thomas v. Early Cnty., GA, 518 F. App'x 645 (11th Cir. 2013):

"The purpose of Rule 11 sanctions is to reduce frivolous claims, defenses, or motions, and to deter costly meritless maneuvers." Kaplan v. DaimlerChrysler, A.G., 331 F.3d 1251, 1255 (11th Cir. 2003) (quotation omitted). "[T]he selection of the type of sanction to be imposed lies with the district court's sound exercise of discretion." Riccard v. Prudential Ins. Co., 307 F.3d 1277, 1295 (11th Cir. 2002). However, the court's discretion to impose sanctions is not unrestricted, in that the sanction "must be limited to what suffices to deter repetition of the conduct or comparable conduct by others similarly situated." Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(c)(4).   Likewise, "[t]he conduct and resources of the party to be sanctioned are relevant to the determination of the amount of sanctions to be imposed." Baker v. Alderman, 158 F.3d 516, 528 (11th Cir. 1998). Specifically, we should consider the following   factors in determining an appropriate sanction: (1) "[w]hether the improper conduct was willful, or negligent"; (2) "whether it was part of a pattern of activity, or an isolated event"; (3) "whether it infected the entire pleading, or only one particular count or defense"; (4) "whether the person has engaged in similar conduct in other litigation"; (5) "whether it was intended to injure"; (6) "what effect it had on the litigation process in time or expense"; (7) "whether the responsible person is trained in the law"; (8) "what amount, given the financial resources of the responsible person, is needed to deter that person from repetition in the same case"; and (9) "what amount is needed to deter similar activity by other litigants." Fed.R.Civ.P. 11, advisory committee notes (1993 Amendments).


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