Plaintiffs in Savignac, et al., v. Jones Day, et al., case number 1:19-cv-02443 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, are two former Jones Day employees that filed suit in 2019 alleging, amongst other things, that the law firm’s parental-leave policy discriminates based on sex. In December 2022, Jones Day filed a motion for Rule 11 sanctions, arguing that the plaintiffs’ claims lacked factual and evidentiary support and are per se unreasonable. The employer’s motion for sanctions also sought attorney fees and costs.
Less than two months later, the plaintiffs fired back with their own request for Rule 11 sanctions, arguing that their claims do have merit and are not sanctionable. In turn, the plaintiffs’ motion argued that the defendants’ motion was meritless to the point of being unreasonable and was therefore sanctionable. The plaintiffs also argued that the defendants’ requests for sanctions in the form of attorney fees were intended to harass them and discourage others from bringing similar claims against the employer. Essentially, the plaintiffs sought sanctions against the employer for their attempts to sanction the plaintiffs—with the goal of deterring the filing of even more Rule 11 sanctions later in the litigation.