Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Sanctions — Rule 11 — Bad Faith Is an Objective Standard That Is Met If Conduct Is Objectively Reckless or Outside the Bounds of Acceptable Conduct

Odion v. Google Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17427 (11th Cir. Oct. 5, 2015):

We review for abuse of discretion a district court's ruling on a motion for sanctions under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Massengale v. Ray, 267 F.3d 1298, 1301 (11th Cir. 2001) (per curiam). Rule 11 sanctions are properly assessed when a party files a pleading that has no reasonable factual basis, that is based on a legal theory that has no reasonable chance of success and that cannot be advanced as a reasonable argument to change existing law, or that stems from bad faith or an improper purpose. Id. Bad faith is an objective standard that is met if the party's conduct was objectively reckless or outside of the bounds of acceptable conduct. Amlong & Amlong, P.A. v. Denny's, Inc., 500 F.3d 1230, 1241 (11th Cir. 2007) (addressing sanctions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927).

The District Court did not abuse its discretion in denying Odion's two motions for sanctions against one group of defendants because those defendants did not base their motion to dismiss on an unreasonable factual [*11]  basis and they did not act in bad faith. See Massengale, 267 F.3d at 1301; Amlong & Amlong, 500 F.3d at 1241.

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