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Resurrect Rule 11

Over the past few years tort reform advocates have realized significant victories at the state and even federal levels. States have successfully enacted reforms that seek to limit the destructive effects of frivolous suits and unmerited damage awards. Several states have capped non-economic and punitive damage awards and abolished joint and several liability. At the federal level, significant class action reform was enacted in 2005. These reforms should help reduce the costs associated with the nation’s tort system over time. Yet, most of these reforms are geared to cases requesting larger damage awards. Little has been done to curb frivolous and unwarranted “nuisance” suits from being threatened or filed. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 (“Rule 11”) was implemented to help keep frivolous and unwarranted litigation out of the courts. The rule, which sanctions attorneys for filing frivolous lawsuits, has been amended twice since its inception in 1938. But no iteration has satisfied the public, attorneys, and politicians, all....