An attorney who informed the Court that her client had asserted a gender discrimination case when he had not, and who was sanctioned sua sponte
by the District Court got a break from the Second Circuit. When a Court sanctions Rule 11 sanctions sua sponte
, the standard is different. When a party moves for Rule 11 sanctions, the standard as to whether sanctions should be imposed is the subjective unreasonableness of the attorney's conduct. However, because a sua sponte
decision to sanction an attorney under Rule 11 does not provide the 21-day safe harbor protection, which allows the attorney to correct his or her conduct, the standard is different. The Second Circuit has held that the standard is subjective bad faith. The Court found that the record could not support a finding of bad faith and reversed and vacated the District Court's decision imposing sanctions.
The decision in Muhammad v. Walmart Stores East, L.P.
can be found here