SANCTIONS: The Lawsuit Reduction Act of 2011

Vol. 38 No. 1

The author is with the Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices LLC, New York City.

If one were to gather approximately 500 reasonably intelligent, college-educated citizens in one place and ask them for ideas to improve the country, the odds that anyone would suggest reintroducing mandatory sanctions under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are negligible. When the 500 or so citizens are members of Congress, however, anything is possible, and this is precisely what a handful of them has come up with.

The House held hearings on H.R. 966, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA), in March 2011. The bill would amend Rule 11 to do four things:

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