Prior to the 1983 amendments to Rule 11, there was some concern as to whether or not the Federal Rules had adequate provisions to insure the truthfulness of allegations in pleadings and motions. With the 1983 incorporation of an objective standard of reasonableness, subjective good faith was eliminated as a defense. Whether anticipated or not, the federal courts have now become flooded with litigation concerning the new Rule 11. Certain differences do exist among the circuits; however the differences are relatively minor, relating primarily to each circuit's description of the conduct which violates the relevant standards and to the standard of review to be exerted by the appellate courts. There is uniformity in the application of the objective nature of the standard of reasonableness and a uniform recognition that deserved sanctions will be upheld and increased, if appropriate, for frivolous appeals. Additionally, the appellate courts have recognized areas where a district court may overstep its limits by relying too heavily on a hindsight analysis or by otherwise failing properly to apply the objective standard to the paper at the time it was filed. It uniformly appears as though the federal courts have not only been receptive to the new Rule 11, but they are all stepping on board the Rule 11 bandwagon to sanction frivolous filings.
Roger M. Baron,
Stepping on Board the Rule 11 Bandwagon,
35 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol35/iss2/5