Standardized Sanctions: Discovery

Rules 16(f) and 37(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorize the court to impose specific sanctions for failure to comply with a scheduling, discovery, or pretrial order. Rule 11 permits imposition of sanctions for improper certification of pleadings. In the Western District of Pennsylvania, the court has issued an order that facilitates the imposition of sanctions for violations of discovery orders.73Other courts have made it clear in their orders that sanctions will be applied for failure to comply with scheduling orders.74

  1. IF a party files a motion to compel discovery or a motion for sanctions, that
    party must file a certificate of compliance with a local rule and an affidavit of costs
    and attorneys’ fees related to the motion. Sanctions are automatically imposed
    unless the respondent files a counteraffidavit sufficient to raise an issue about the
    motion or about the reasonableness of the fees and costs. If a hearing is held and
    the movant prevails, the court awards additional fees and costs engendered by the
    hearing. If the respondent prevails on the merits of the motion, the court awards, fees and costs against the original movant. If the respondent shows that the costs and fees are not fair and reasonable, the movant forfeits the right to any fees or costs. Memorandum Order, In re Asbestos Litig., Misc. No. 8482 (W.D. Pa. July 27, 1982).
  2. See, e.g., Lambros et al., supra note 45, at 23, 40, 57, 74, 91; In re Asbestos
    Litig., Standing Order 226 (E.D. Tex. July 7, 1982); Bailey v. Johns-Manville Corp.,
    Initial Pretrial Order 214 (E.D. Va. Aug. 25, 1977).