Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

A Personal Pet Peeve: Non-Existent Sanctions Counterclaims

May 2020 Bar Bulletin

By Brian J. Waid

At a CLE program more than 20 years ago, I heard Judge John Coughenour ominously say words to the effect that “If someone files a Rule 11 motion in my Court, someone will be sanctioned.” Too many of our colleagues seem unaware of Judge Coughenour’s wise admonition and treat sanctions demands as just another arrow in their litigation quiver.

In years past, associates in a certain Seattle law firm (which shall remain nameless) often filed “counterclaims” alleging violations of CR 11 or RCW 4.84.185, or both, apparently based on an in-house form pleading. After several informal conversations with the firm’s management...

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